'Make My Day' program spreads cheer to locals
Abilities United participants arrange, deliver pick-me-ups in new service
Dan Logan warmly welcomed four flower- and treat-bearing visitors from the Make My Day team Tuesday (March 8). It was the third delivery for the newly formed crew of developmentally disabled Abilities United participants, who aim to spread joy by preparing and delivering a free pick-me-up or thank you to those who have helped others or are in need of some good cheer.
"Wow, that's a handful," Logan said as participants handed him a ribbon-bound selection of carnations, peach and yellow-toned roses, star lilies and irises. "Thank you, everyone, this is wonderful!"
The Make My Day team members hone their organizational skills by preparing bouquets every other Tuesday before delivering them to honorees suggested by community members.
Gently guided by community-training instructor Josh Pniower, they pick up a selection of donated flowers at Michaela's Flower Shop in downtown Palo Alto, choose and arrange their favorites and decorate a card.
"I enjoy doing this with you, Josh," a participant named Michael said. An enthusiastic helper, he sorted through donated flowers and pointed out unsafe rose thorns.
Delivering their gifts personally offers participants a lesson in empathy and allows them to celebrate "unsung heroes," Andrea Throndson, Abilities United Community Connections Developer, said.
Tuesday's Make My Day participants flashed shy but infectious smiles as they handed Logan the bouquet along with homemade cookies-on-a-stick and a large, hand-decorated get-well card.
The former executive director of the YMCA on Ross Road in Palo Alto, Logan was selected as one of the first to receive the goodies as thanks for his community service as well as to boost his spirits after some recent medical procedures. His wife works for Abilities United.
"Have we succeeded in making your day?" Throndson asked.
"Yes, you have!" Logan told the team.
Anyone can suggest someone to be honored with the Make My Day delivery of flowers, homemade treats and a card, according to Throndson.
"It recognizes people who don't ordinarily get recognized. It brings awareness to ordinary extraordinariness," Throndson said.
More information is available by contacting Andrea Throndson at email@example.com.
Editorial Intern Sarah Trauben can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.