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Posted: September 27, 2018

Meaghan’s Friend and Neighbour Day blooms again

By Michelle Forbes

There is something inherently wonderful about random acts of kindness; something unexpectedly nice and unanticipated.

It makes the person who receives it feel good, and it makes the person who does it feel good. And some people are really good at it, and seem to be wired to make the world a better place everywhere they go, and inspire others to do the same.

Flowers Galore owners, Sue and Paddy Brown, say their daughter Meaghan was one of these people, and when they lost her, it was absolutely devastating. No parent imagines outliving their child, and her sudden death was an unimaginable loss to them. Moving forward was extremely difficult. But the memory of her bright personality and giving nature inspired them to honour their daughter with an annual tribute, with ‘Meaghan’s Friend and Neighbour Day.’

While the initiative for Neighbour Day was first created in Jacksonville, Florida, by a florist wanting to encourage people to be good neighbours, it was picked up by other flower shops, including the FTD store the Browns previously owned in downtown Calgary.

The event was huge, and people lined up outside the store in anticipation of the event, with the 350 dozen roses they gave away disappearing in under an hour. While Kimberley is small compared to downtown Calgary, since renewing the day, in honour of their daughter’s life, the initiative has gained traction here in Kimberley, where people start looking forward to the day, and to sharing something special with those around them.

Meaghan loved Kimberley, and loved reaching out to other people, and in her memory, Flowers Galore Gifts and More will be giving away 150 dozen roses  on a first come, first serve basis at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 28.

Everyone who receives a dozen roses is encouraged to keep one for themselves, and give away the other 11 to family, friends, colleagues, or strangers, to help brighten someone else’s day, helping Kimberley continue to be the friendly, community oriented, neighbourly city, it is known for.

Sue Brown says that the numerous hours and hours that are put into organizing in the days leading up to their Neighbour Day are worth the pricked fingers from the roses’ thorns, as they hear every year about how this simple gesture, someone receiving an unexpected flower, changed their day.

Every year these stories are exchanged, often with tears of gratitude, and the legacy of Meaghan’s life and memories are sweetened by the lives that are affected by this special day brought to Kimberley in her honour.

“It’s good for the soul,” says Sue Brown, “to give someone something for no reason.” And this day is one of those little moments that definitely makes the world a little brighter.

If you would like to take part in Meaghan’s Friend and Neighbour Day, be sure to stop by Flowers Galore early tomorrow morning, September 28, to pick up a dozen roses to brighten the days of those you meet. And the Browns encourage everyone to share stories or pictures from the day, to continue sharing that giving spirit with others.

Check out their Facebook page for more information.

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