If the past year has brought anything into focus, it’s the vital importance of community. Many of us have spent months cooped up in front of our screens, often separated from friends and family. We’ve engaged with fewer people each day and lost the spontaneous conversations we used to have at the office or our local coffee shop.

However, as humans, we try to be resilient and cope. One way that we cope is through building and maintaining relationships. This year, for instance, we’ve made some “COVID buddies,” to borrow language from one of them, Dr. George Everly.

As COVID reached our shores last March, we began a dialogue with our community in the form of this weekly Celebrations Pulse letter. Larry Zarin, our friend and member of our board of directors, encouraged us to gather experts to provide guidance on how best we can help our community express, connect and continue to form and maintain relationships during these times.

We took Larry’s advice and connected with leading experts who agreed to share their research and insights with our community. You’ll likely recognize many of their names from our previous Celebrations Pulse letters as we’ve tapped their knowledge on an individual basis. Today, we are excited to unveil the full council to our community and share with you these wonderful minds in the area of wellness, mental health and relationships.

Meet the Connectivity Council

“Connection is the single best predictor of human resilience. In my travels to 39 countries on six continents I have personally witnessed its power to inspire and to heal. I am honored indeed to be part of the ‘Connectivity Council’ and look forward to not only reinforcing the power of human connection, but also exploring new ways to strengthen that connection. Let’s never forget, no one is ever really alone, we are all part of the whole. From that understanding there is nothing we cannot do … together.”

Dr. Goerge Everly
A Professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and holds honorary professorships in Argentina and Peru.
He is the author of over 20 books on stress,disaster, and human resilience.

“Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be part of this community. I trained as a memory researcher, and spent the first part of my career doing pretty technical research on the brain basis of learning. For the last twenty years , all of my work has focused on translating what scientists know about the mind and brain to practical ways we can help children learn, grow, and flourish. I’m really looking forward to learning from you all!”

Dr. Dan Willingham
A professor of psychology at theUniversity of Virginia, and a researcheron the cognitive psychology of children.

“I am very excited to join your community.I love helping people to harness their strengths and create positivity in their lives!”

Dr. Chloe Carmichael
A clinical psychologist, author, and speaker. Her new book, Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety, offers practical tools to manage stress, improve relationships, and increase emotional fulfillment.

I am sure some of you are thinking, “Why would a flower and gift company develop a Connectivity Council?” Well, we don’t think of you as customers but rather as part of our community. That’s why we host events like our Harry & David Hosted Dinners, floral arranging classes and charcuterie classes with a Cheryl’s book club soon to come. It’s also why we developed Connection communities, digital communities which we are evolving to develop forums around community topics – like COVID’s impact on children and the special circumstances of caregivers. Feedback on these activities and this weekly letter has been amazing.

For us, everything is better when it’s shared. Whether that’s an article, food, or the wonderful people we’ve met through our Connectivity Council.

All the best,
Chris and Jim

Written by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.


Jim McCann is the founder, CEO, and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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