Roses symbolize Good Neighbor Day

Roses symbolize Good Neighbor Day

URBANA -- About 8,000 roses are now out in the Champaign-Urbana area.
URBANA -- About 8,000 roses are now out in the Champaign-Urbana area. If you didn't know, the first Wednesday in September is Good Neighbor Day. If you already knew, you may have picked up a dozen roses for free. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

People didn't get to keep the flowers for themselves. That's part of the deal. You can keep one, but you have to give the other eleven away.

The goal is to spread the love to friends and strangers in your community. Flower stores usually stay busy on Valentine's and Mother's days, but now Good Neighbor Day is becoming more popular.

"Our goal is just to get the community involved with each other and get out there spreading love and joy and friendship and smiles and that sort of thing."

This all started at Blossom Basket 15 years ago. But, a few years ago, they decided to do something more.

"For us, it's a morning and one day, but it kind of spreads throughout the community that way."

In exchange for a dozens flowers, they started accepting donations, but not for themselves.

"When it's cold, we get a lot of donations, especially around the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. So, when we can get a donation this time of year, it's always a wonderful thing."

All the food which gets collected ends up at the Times Center, in Champaign. Last year, the shelter got more than 1,000 pounds of food after this one day of service.

"When you're talking 1,000 pounds, you're talking several meals for an entire community. So, just the help that it gives us is overwhelming and it's wonderful."

The Times Center's supervisor says the food gets made for people who stay there as well as many more in the community. Which just goes to show flowers can help feed your stomach as well as your soul.

They started giving the flowers away at 7 am. If you got one, you can share your Good Neighbor story online.

For more information, click here.
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