A few months ago, we had the opportunity to participate in a very special project at Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah.
Tamara Bailie received an email from her daughter’s school letting her know that they would be selling roses as a Valentine’s Day fund-raiser. Parents could purchase roses for their child or students could purchase roses for each other. She made a mental note to buy some roses for her daughter so that she wouldn’t feel left out. But as the day went on, Tamara kept thinking about the other students—what if they didn’t receive any roses? Would they feel excluded?
That night she went to her Facebook page and posted a simple inquiry: could her community help her raise enough money to purchase roses for every student at Riverton High School? Soon word spread about Tamara’s mission. Within 48 hours, donations poured in from friends, family, and even strangers across the country. Together, they contributed enough money to give roses to all 2,164 students!
Inspired by her friend Tamara’s work, Mary Anne Radmacher reached out to us in hopes of including a ThoughtFulls card with each rose. We were delighted to join their mission and offer these students a small message of inspiration. School volunteers personalized the cards by handwriting each student’s name on them.
On February 14, the school halls were bursting with excitement as each student received a red rose with a ThoughtFulls card tied around the stem. Tamara says, “My daughter was sending me text messages about how it was going… Many of the students were saying that they weren’t going to get a rose that day, and then when the deliveries came they were so happy to receive one! She said one boy who never really smiles just kept looking at his rose and smiling.” With the help of Tamara and a network of bighearted friends, the teenagers felt special and cared for on Valentine’s Day.
Later that day, Tamara and the rest of the country received news about the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “As I read the chilling news of this event, I couldn’t help but think that at the very same time that we were filling a Utah high school with love and good energy and roses, a school in Florida was being filled with terror and gunshots and fear,” she says. “The differences in between those two realities that were happening at the same instant made me even more appreciative of all the people who came together from across the country to let strangers know that they care.”
In the face of such a tragedy, we are inspired by Tamara and countless others who continue to spread joy and kindness in their communities. We hope their compassion and spirit inspires you too.