2017-09-14 / News

Good Neighbor Day helps spread the joy of giving

810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

Every year, people line up outside of Bentley Florist on Belsay Road to get a free dozen bundle of roses to pass out on Good Neighbor Day. 
Photo Provided Every year, people line up outside of Bentley Florist on Belsay Road to get a free dozen bundle of roses to pass out on Good Neighbor Day. Photo Provided BURTON — Bentley Florist on S. Belsay Road hosted Good Neighbor Day Sept. 6 as a way to give back to the community and spread cheerfulness. The staff gave away over 3,000 roses in dozen packs for the event with the condition that recipients of the roses were asked to give away 11 roses to 11 different people and keep one for themselves.

“Every year, we have to consider whether we will do it again because it’s very expensive,” said Steve Welch, owner of Bentley Florist.

“But, the comments and emails we get make it all worthwhile,” he said. “The bottom line is, we enjoy being good neighbors. If more people were good neighbors, the world would be a better place to live!”

The staff ran out of the 3,000 roses they had to give away around 11 a.m. Then, they starting wrapping the stock they had for sale. Red, orange, pink, yellow, green with yellow and white roses were available.

“People were lined up around the building at 9 a.m.,” said Bonnie Hoffmeyer, who gave away the rose bundles.

“A lot of people take them to schools,” she said. “There’s two people who work at Bentley Schools who get them every year. I take them to my grandchildren’s school. A lot of people say they are going to a nursing home to give them to patients. I went to the bank and gave them to the workers there.”

Debbie Stevens, of Burton, picked up roses with two other neighbors to give away. They took them to several widows they know, and to other neighbors, including some they met for the first time.

“Everyone thought it was really kind and was surprised,” Stevens said. “It was a blessing and made us happy giving! It was a great opportunity of Bentley Florist to share that with us.”

Welch said he felt good because some people cry out of happiness when they get them.

“I overheard somebody talking during the event,” he said. “They said there’s still good people in the world.”

For the last few years, Bentley Florist has partnered with the Eastern Michigan Food Bank by asking participants in Good Neighbor Day to donate a non-perishable food item or make a monetary donation, which will be given to the food bank.

“This year was a record year,” Welch said. “Because of the hurricane in Florida, people are aware of the need of food donations and it’s top of the mind. September is National Hunger Awareness Month, and Good Neighbor Day falls in that month every year. That’s why we have the partnership.”

The business has had four large boxes filled with donations this year, and people are still bringing things in. “It’s not too late,” Welch said. “People can still stop in throughout the month and drop off donations.”

Bentley Florist opened in 1953, and has been doing Good Neighbor Day for 24 years.

Welch said they plan to celebrate Good Neighbor Day next year, and it’s always the Wednesday following Labor Day.

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