Flower philanthropy: Surprise bouquets delight with message of goodwill

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to The Wilson Times.


Wilsonians were paying it forward with petals Wednesday.

It was all about making somebody’s day, according to Margaret Davenport, co-owner of Gallery of Flowers in Wilson, which organized the gestures of goodwill.

Davenport, Nancy Crowder, Jenny Spencer and Jenny O’Hara spent the lunch hour giving away free bouquets of flowers to anyone they encountered.

But there was a catch.

The recipient received two bouquets with the understanding that he or she would take one of the bunches and offer it to someone else.

“It made us smile. Thanks for the smiles, sweeties,” said Tanishia Lucas, of Wilson, as she and her sister Kimberlie received theirs.

“They are beautiful. I was getting ready to ask ‘Who are you all giving out flowers to?’ I’m going to be talking about this all day,” Lucas said. “We’re fixing to make somebody happy right now.”

The Lucas sisters encountered the quartet of well-wishers on Nash Street in front of Bill’s Grill.

“That made our day. Yes it did,” Kimberlie Lucas said. “It was surprising. It was a blessing to us because we need a smile on our face.”

The sisters’ plan was to give the flowers to anyone they saw on the street who wasn’t walking with a smile

Davenport said the giveaway was part of the Petal It Forward campaign from the Society of American Florists.

“It’s kind of like pay it forward, give somebody a bouquet to keep, something to pass out to somebody else,” Davenport said. “You never know when somebody’s having a bad day. Make somebody happy. Put a smile on their face.”

That’s exactly what happened to Pastor Calvin Suggs, of Miracle Christian Center in Wilson.

“It’s a blessing. It’s encouraging,” Suggs said. “I never would have expected it coming out of the barbershop, but it makes my day even better.”

“We hope you have a great day and we hope you are blessed as well,” Davenport told the man.

Suggs said he intended to give the bouquets to his wife Teresa and a friend at church who was having a birthday Wednesday.

“They are going to burst out real loud. A loud scream,” Suggs said. “I really appreciate it. This is great.”

Nancy Crowder, who helped prepare the arrangements, said she loved passing them out.

“There is so much bad going on in the world today,” Crowder said. “Everybody needs some happy and I like being part of happy.”

“I love walking out, meeting the different people and making them smile,” said Spencer. “It makes me feel good. It’s a feel-good thing to do. With things the way they are in this world right now, everybody needs to feel good at least one day in their life.”

When Carl Howard, of Kenly, received his pair of bouquets, it wasn’t long before he was handing one of them to LaVonne Jones, of Wilson.

“I love that. It makes me feel real good. I think that was a really good move,” Howard said.

Deliverer Jenny O’Hara said the idea was awesome.

“I think it does as much for me to give them away as it does for the recipients,” O’Hara said. “It makes you feel good to see someone smile and make them happy and be able to share that with somebody else.”