The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 24, 2013

Flower deliveries make smiles

By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER

TARBORO — Flower deliveries at Tarboro Nursing Center Monday afternoon put smiles on the faces of residents.

“When you see the smiles of the people who receive these flowers, it just makes your day. It’s very rewarding,” said William McPhail, president of the North Carolina unit of Teleflora. “It’s a way to give back to the community.”

McPhail and Margaret Jones Etheridge, owner of Margaret’s Flowers & Gifts in Tarboro, partnered to bring the 48 arrangements of daisies in smiley face mugs to nursing center residents. The flower deliveries were in celebration of “Make Someone Smile Week.”

The delivery came at a time when DeVon Ellis, an 82-year-old resident, least expected it, but perhaps needed it the most.

“I’m really surprised. In fact, I’ve never received flowers before in my life,” Ellis said. “I love the flowers.”

Ellis said he has had “more bad luck in the last few weeks,” including the deaths of a couple of family members, and the flowers made him smile.

“I appreciate the thought,” said another resident, 82-year-old Jenni Yount. “They could’ve given them to anybody anywhere else and they chose us.”

Yount said she would remember the kind gesture whenever she looked at the bright yellow smiley face mug in which the flowers were delivered.

The flowers put a smile on the face of 87-year-old resident Lillie Swain, and her daughter Betsy Edwards, who was at the nursing center for a visit.

“I love pretty flowers,” said Swain.

“It makes them feel like somebody else cares about them, also,” Edwards said.

Annie Hanson, a 71-year-old resident, beamed as she clasped the mug of handed to her by Etheridge.

“It brings a lot of joy to me and I’m just so thankful that I got the opportunity to do it because I want to give back,” Etheridge said. “I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I’ve been in business.”

Etheridge’s father, the late Rev. Clarence Harris, used to preach to the residents at Tarboro Nursing Center every Wednesday evening and Etheridge feels that gong back to the nursing center is “continuing his work.”

Hanson’s son William Hanson called the flower delivery “special,” and one that made his mother feel good.

“She wasn’t expecting that,” he said.

The staff at the nursing center appreciated the smiley-faced balloons delivered to their workstations, as well.

“We’ve been feeling kind of groggy, but we like the balloons. It put a smile on our face. It gives us a boost to get us through the rest of our day,” said Laquinta Jordan, LPN.

The “Make Someone Smile Week” deliveries are typically given to people in hospitals and nursing homes who need a little cheer and might not have regular visitors, said McPhail.

“It’s just something we can do to make them happy,” he said. This is the first McPhail has done a “Make Someone Smile Week” delivery in Tarboro.