LATHAM — The American Cancer Society of the Capital Region is brightening up days once again by hosting its annual Daffodil Days.
The fundraiser, which will close the ordering service on Feb. 22, is selling daffodils to families of those suffering with cancer, as well as offering the option to send a bouquet to an anonymous patient fighting cancer in the hospital or a nursing home. Pick up will be until March 22 at the organization’s offices, at 1 Penny Lane in Latham. Donors can purchase flowers by calling 518-220-6934.
“The response of people who receive the daffodils is always extremely positive, especially those who were not expecting the flowers,” Georgia Vieira, American Cancer Society Community Development Manager, said. “Sending the daffodils seems to be a universal way that those fighting cancer recognize there are people out there pulling for them getting better.”
The idea behind the Cancer Society’s choice of daffodil is two-fold. While daffodils are bright, yellow, happy flowers, the organization looks to the time of year that daffodils bloom. Because they are the first flowers to spring up once winter is over, many patients with cancer and their families view the sunny buds as tokens of hope, recovery and strength.
“Despite a roughly $200 million budget gap that resulted in cuts to both personnel and non-personnel expenses that was caused by the coronavirus this past year, [we’ve] continued to engage with people where they live their lives as we worked hard to serve patients and attack cancer from every angle through research, education, advocacy, and patient services,” Vieira said in a press release.
The American Cancer Society was planning to host Daffodil Days last year and had already collected money for the flowers. Two days before delivery, COVID-19 shut the Capital District down, severely limiting options for flower delivery both from the growers and to donors. Vieira said she was shocked when “99 percent” of the donors told her to keep the money, even though they understood the flowers wouldn’t be coming.
“We really want people to know we’re back to it this year and spread the word that a bunch of daffodils can drive the point home that you’re thinking about someone who is fighting a really brutal fight,” Vieira said. “There’s nothing like watching people’s faces light up when they receive the flowers and the motivation it brings.”
Even after the flowers are delivered, Vieira said the organization is determined to keep the fight to cure cancer as human as possible in the Latham office. All correspondence is signed by a person, allowing donors and patients to form bonds with one of their biggest resources.
“We want to keep those lines of communication as open as possible,” Vieira concluded. “We know these families are suffering enough and we want to be as warm and human as we can be.”
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle.