Last week in Edmond, Oklahoma, dozens of foster children and seniors received a surprise pick-me-up, courtesy of the team at Madeline’s Flowers in observance of Teleflora’s 19th annual “Make Someone Smile Week.”
“This is a wonderful benevolent project that we feel projects the floral industry’s ability to make people feel good,” said Lacee Bilke, who runs the shop with her twin sister, Lenzee, and mother, Barbara (a longtime board member of Teleflora’s Oklahoma chapter).
Make Someone Smile Week, Bilke explained, is an opportunity to celebrate unsung heroes or to encourage those enduring a hardship at a time when they least expect it.
“We try to think of people who make an impact on society and may not get recognized for their tireless efforts or people suffering with an illness, for instance,” Bilke said. Recipients in past years have included patients at the Stephenson Cancer Center in nearby Oklahoma City, the local police and fire department and a veterans group, to name just a few.
Through their membership in the Downtown Edmond Business Association, the Bilkes became acquainted with a local police officer, Randy Payne, and his wife, Kristy, who were so moved by the needs of foster children that they started a nonprofit organization, Fostering Sweet Dreams, to serve them. Fostering Sweet Dreams provides products such as beds, car seats, high chairs and strollers for families. Since its founding in 2016, it has impacted 1,750 children.
“It’s a beloved foundation in our community,” Bilke said. In honor of Make Someone Smile Week, Madeline’s Flowers donated teddy bears so the children could enjoy an object of comfort. The Bilkes documented the donation on Facebook, along with a note about the organization’s mission.
“Wow, that is so beautiful,” commented Lisa Feliciano-Kirk, one of the shop’s fans. “I have been a foster parent for many years, and this brings joy to my heart!”
Additionally, Madeline’s Flowers delivered small arrangements of daisy chrysanthemums in Teleflora’s signature smiley face mugs to residents at an assisted living center. “Those bright yellow mugs always make people smile,” Bilke said. “Sure enough, the residents were so happy to receive them.”
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor for the Society of American Florists.