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'Petal It Forward' Brings Flower Power To The Streets Of Stamford

Victoria Colangelo of Stamford, a volunteer with Stamford Florist, hands out free flowers on Wednesday on Summer Street.
Victoria Colangelo of Stamford, a volunteer with Stamford Florist, hands out free flowers on Wednesday on Summer Street. Photo Credit: Karen Tensa
Joy Lorusso, Victoria Colangelo and Jasmine Rivera from Stamford Florist hand out free roses on Wednesday on Summer Street in Stamford.
Joy Lorusso, Victoria Colangelo and Jasmine Rivera from Stamford Florist hand out free roses on Wednesday on Summer Street in Stamford. Photo Credit: Karen Tensa
Jasmine Rivera, manager at Stamford Florist, steps into the road to deliver free roses to a driver and passenger on Summer Street.
Jasmine Rivera, manager at Stamford Florist, steps into the road to deliver free roses to a driver and passenger on Summer Street. Photo Credit: Karen Tensa

STAMFORD, Conn. — Drivers and pedestrians were startled Wednesday by the sight of three women in bright pink holding armloads of roses along the streets of downtown Stamford at lunchtime on Wednesday.

And they were surprised to learn their mission.

The women from Stamford Florist hit the streets to spread good cheer by giving away flowers to passersby. And every person got TWO free roses — one to keep and one to give to another person.

Proving the point — it's better to give than to receive.

"You just brightened my day!" one woman exclaimed as Joy Lorusso handed her a yellow rose and a white rose outside the First Bank of Greenwich on Summer Street.

The women even stepped right into traffic — with the red lights — to lean into cars and give roses to drivers and passengers alike.

The best part? "Seeing the smile on their face when you tell them it's for them and it's free," said Victoria Colangelo. "They go from confusion to joy in a matter of seconds."

Jasmine Rivera, the manager at Stamford Florist on Bedford Street, said the initiative, dubbed "Petal It Forward," is run in partnership with the Society of American Florists.

She pointed to data from the Society of American Florists that shows the positive benefits of flowers. A survey of over 2,500 Americans showed that:

  • When it comes to happiness, it's just as good to give flowers as it to receive: 88 percent of Americans report that giving flowers makes them feel happy, while 80 percent reported that receiving flowers make them feel happy.
  • Just being around flowers improves your mood: 76 percent of Americans agree that having flowers in their home or office improves their mood.

Stamford Florist was taking part for the second year in a row and planned to give away "thousands" of free roses in two locations in the city on Wednesday.

Stamford Florist is also celebrating its 40th year in business.

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