In the evenings he works for the county mental clinic in Indio, but his days are filled with daisies and roses and lilies! In this week’s KMIR Cares, we share the inspirational story of Seamus Mcdonnell.
On any given day, one local man has at least 100 flower bouquets in his car. Why? Well studies have shown flowers make us feel better, they make us smile! Nobody knows that better than this full time Valley nurse who uses his precious off hours delivering blossums and kindness to seniors.
For the past 9 years Seamus Mcdonnell has been delivering flowers to nursing homes, assisted living communities, hospice care facilities and senior citizen centers throughout the Coachella Valley. All on his own time and at no cost. His mission? Just to brighten the days of seniors in our community.
"I got lucky with all of these today," he says. The flowers are usually days old and about to be tossed away from vendors like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but Seamus dutifully collects them daily to repurpose them. To date he’s delivered over 4 million flowers to more than 30 local facilities. You could call it a "repurpose with a purpose".
"Texas A&M says that flowers in the work place increases productivity. Rutgers University says it increases short-term and long-term memory. There are many benefits to having flowers around," he says. Seamus literally works around the clock.
"At night I am the nurse supervisor at the county mental health hospital believe it or not. And then by day I’m the flower man. I give away my money in the day time," says Seamus.
And his fans are very grateful! Resident Maria Schweck has a message for Seamus, "I want to say thank you so much for providing the flowers because they really do help us cheer up."
Activities Director Leslie Cyphers says, "they look for it every Thursday at 9:45 AM and they are down here with their vases, we call it bring your own vase. Most of the time their flowers last. They tell me it lasts most of the week and they smell wonderful and it makes them happy every time they walk in their door."
So the lucky locals receive roses, but Seamus says he receives so much more. "The joy that I receive from the smiles and hugs and kisses, that’s my reward."
Seamus says he’ll keep seniors smiling for as long as the flowers keep flowing because it brings him so much joy and there’s a bonus too! The seniors and caretakers get a little occupational therapy as they cut, arrange and create their bouquets! It’s a win, win!