• December 22, 2014

Flowers sprout smiles, tears of joy at nursing center

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Posted: Friday, August 3, 2012 5:00 am | Updated: 11:45 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Wind Crest Rehab and Nursing Center was filled with lush colors last week as vibrant red and white tulips, white and yellow roses and a rainbow of carnations and mums passed through the halls and entered patients' hands.

"Just seeing all the splashes of color makes you want to smile," said Dennis Fullerton, a Wind Crest patient who received a yellow smiley face mug with his arrangement.

He was just one of many recipients of the personal flower arrangements that The Daisy Flower Shop in Copperas Cove distributed to patients and facility staff for Make Someone Smile Week on July 26.

The week is sponsored by Teleflora, the world's leading flower delivery service that connects customers with local florists and the florists with flower wholesalers.

Teleflora provided the mugs, the wholesalers donated the flowers, and The Daisy Flower Shop donated the time to create the arrangements for the residents at Wind Crest, said Becky Stirnkorb, The Daisy Flower Shop owner. It took about 15 hours of five people working on the more than 95 arrangements to complete the donation, and even more employees and family members to deliver the flower compositions.

The store made 60 flower arrangements, 35 plant arrangements for men at the nursing facility, and then made some arrangements for the nursing staff.

Stirnkorb said she knew the donation accomplished its mission because of how the residents responded to the flowers.

"One resident broke down in tears and I said, 'You're supposed to smile,' and she said, 'I'm smiling,'" said Stirnkorb.

Having volunteers come by Wind Crest is important to the residents and the staff, said Shelia Chambers, the administrator of the facility. Volunteers give the residents an interaction they are not typically getting, and an event like receiving flowers shows them they are part of the community and not forgotten about.

"It is what they deserve, to be a part of the bigger community," said Chambers. "It means a lot to our residents. The flowers will brighten them up and their rooms for a while."

Chambers said Wind Crest seldom sees flower deliveries, so The Daisy Flowers Shop's gift is very welcomed.

"This is wonderful, it is a very thoughtful gesture," said Fullerton. "I think it is a wonderful gesture of support and concern from our community."

Stirnkorb said the number of smiles the store employees received during the delivery made their work well worth it, and she said she is looking to bring flowers to the residents next year.

"It made a lot of people smile and that is what the purpose was for," said Stirnkorb.

She hopes her business will expand the program to other nursing and rehabilitation centers next year so others can smile during Make Someone Smile Week.

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