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FRANKLIN — A budding idea bloomed into a welcome surprise.
When J.P. Parker Flowers had dozens of flowers meant for events and funerals no longer happening, the business called John Shafer. Instead of throwing the flowers out, the florist shop emptied its entire cooler into John Shafer's vehicle. Now, he passes them out around Franklin.
"I'm standing on the shoulders lots of folks who cared about me and loved me, so it's time to give back," Shafer said. "I then worked my magic at my table."
From his basement, Shafer brought up vases of all kinds, ribbons of all colors, and lots of wiring. All the ingredients to bring buckets of flowers to life ready for curbside delivery as bouquets.
"You could see a light in their eyes. I kept my social distance so they wouldn't be afraid of any exposure, so they were delighted," Shafer said.
Shafer works as the director of counseling at Franklin College. Discussing mental health at this moment can be a thorny topic among strangers, but he believes it can be addressed through acts of kindness.
"Quarantine tends to isolate us increases our stress levels, so just helping others will lift you up," he said.