The Sunday Series 5: Flowers for Powers
“I know a girl… she puts the color inside of my world.” – Daughters, by John Mayer
I know a couple of girls too, they are 10-year-old Lexi Thomas and Abby Levin, and if you want color in your world and a smile on your face, or the face of someone you love, they’re ready. Meet Flowers for Powers.
It all began in May of this year. Abby and Lexi are jumping on the trampoline and see some beautiful flowers. They take them inside and wonder if they could take these flowers to those who are sick, maybe suffering from cancer, or seniors spending their final years in nursing homes, or assisted living centers. Flowers for Powers is born, bringing healing powers and smiles to those who need it the most. Once you focus in on love it knows no boundaries. Love can come in many forms, in this case it’s from the hearts of two girls, bringing beautiful flowers, even more beautiful smiles and trying to bring the same to the faces of others who maybe haven’t felt like smiling for quite some time.
The very first stop for the girls was the FutureCare Nursing Home outside of Baltimore. The first recipient, a lady named Ruth. You never forget your first. Since that first bouquet, that first smile, that first good feeling, the girls have brought healing powers to more than a thousand people. Hospitals, cancer treatment and infusion centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and even door-to-door to see special people homes, like breast cancer survivor Ellen Logwood, or (the late) Ian Scher, who suffered from the rare motor neuron disease.
And let me pause for a moment of synergy that is too powerful to ignore. I started the Sunday Series five weeks ago with a story about Ian Scher and his inspirational family, (http://markbrodinsky.com/2013/10/13/the-sunday-series-begins-its-just-about-life/), who could have known at that time the same week I wanted to showcase Flowers for Powers, the girls would visit Ian at his home, just days before this blog post. The coincidence is too strong, sometimes you throw a pebble in the water and make a wave, keep this going we’re going to have a tsunami – for good.
And speaking of doing good, it’s what all of this mean to the girls. Abby says, “I feel good about myself, the people usually thank us and smile and it makes me feel good because I made their day better.” Lexi echoes those feelings, “we get excited by their reactions. I feel proud, proud because of what I’m doing, because it’s a good thing to do, because we are helping people feel good about themselves even though they are sick.” The girls already have so many special memories of their experiences, every life touched, every smile given, warms their hearts. Lexi says one of her favorite experiences was a woman they met at a cancer center, she started crying when the girls gave her flowers because it was her 10-year anniversary as a cancer survivor. The woman told the girls, “you never know where you are going to meet angels.”
Then there was this younger man the girls met getting an infusion at GBMC’s cancer center. The first time Abby and Lexi met him he was warm and welcoming and took pictures with them, even while going through his treatment that day. But when the girls came back for another visit he was asleep during his infusion, so the girls left the flowers next to him while they finished their rounds. Before they were leaving, the same man tracked them down in the parking lot, gave them a hug and told the girls they should have woken him, he wanted to see them because he thought what they were doing is so special and they are changing lives.
Yes, changing lives. And not just the patients, but the girls as well. When you give, you get back a million times over. Abby and Lexi are also transformed by their experience and their moms, who are an integral part of scheduling the visits, helping make arrangements, collecting donations and most importantly, transporting their Flowers for Powers girls to their destination, agree. Lexi’s mom, Sherri Thomas: “I think they will learn that life is not all about taking. It’s about giving too and they are learning from this experience that if you continue to give back and support your community that only good things will come to you as well. They are doing this so selflessly. They don’t expect anything, or are asking for anything in return. They are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.”
Abby’s mom, Lisa Levin says she doesn’t know where to begin. “Sherri and I look at each other at times and it’s unbelievable how (the girls) are affected, yet unaffected. They will approach anybody, they want to help children, they know what the bigger picture is and they get that. It’s a wonderful thing.” Flowers for Powers also made an appearance at a walk for ALS this year, the same disease which claimed the life of Lisa’s mom. Lisa says it was beyond words to see the girls there, to watch them go up to these people give them hugs and bring them flowers.
Flowers for Powers is a big success, so much so that it became necessary to turn it into a non-profit foundation. Sherri says they never thought to do something like a non-profit, but people started donating money early on and it was money they certainly didn’t want to keep. All the funds go back to the foundation, to help with things like buying vases, making t-shirts, promotion and even the gasoline used to get the girls from place to place. Most of the flowers are donated as well, from places like Flowers for Fancies, and B’More Organic.
So where does Flowers for Powers go from here? Sherri says as long as the girls want to do this, they will. No one is forcing them, they love it. The girls always talk about how good they feel when they leave each place, and she says it’s their big grins and sweet voices, along with the flowers, that change the day for a cancer-victim, a senior, or simply someone in need. “You don’t find many 10-year-olds who want to do this and spend their weekends doing it as well”, says Sherri.
So this labor of love for Lexi Thomas and Abby Levin continues. Flowers for Powers is bringing healing and smiles wherever they go. And if you like what the girls are doing, then do them a favor, head over to their Facebook page and LIKE it as well. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flowers-for-Powers/285248074943951)
The more we all give, the more colorful this world can be.
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
(If you have an idea for the Sunday Series, please e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
#1 Amazon Best Seller