CREATING SMILES, ONE JOB AT A TIME
A couple weeks ago, I went to volunteer in Oakdale at Smile Farms at Skills Unlimited as a part of the 1-800-Flowers.com’s Summer of a Million Smiles program. After a day of volunteering with the employees there and getting the garden beds assembled and filled, I was able to go back today for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Getting to spend the morning with the farmers that I had previously worked with and gotten to know was awesome and it was even better seeing how excited they were for this event that openly showcased all of their hard work to get the farm ready in time.
So many people came to join in the celebration of opening this new location that was only started a month ago! In addition to the Smile Farms Team, Skills Unlimited employees and board members, we were joined by Jim McCann, the Executive Chairman of 1-800-Flowers.com and Board Chairman of Smile Farms, and New York Senator Phil Boyle. Seeing all of these people come together for such a great cause was extremely exciting and heartwarming. Everyone gathered in front of the newly planted gardens to cut the ribbon symbolizing the beginning of the partnership between Skills Unlimited and Smile Farms. The event was also recorded and will be featured on News 12.
Being surrounded by so many people with so much happiness and positive energy for the start of this farm created a very welcoming and positive atmosphere. It was so easy to see how proud everyone was, especially the employees at Skills Unlimited, making it easy to catch their excitement. I’m excited, as I’m sure is everyone else, to see how this farm will grow and what else will come out of this new and exciting partnership!
Yesterday, I woke up and drove to Oakdale to participate in a Summer of a Million Smiles event for 1-800- Flowers.com. We went to Smile Farms at Skills Unlimited and from the moment I arrived I not only felt welcome, but the energy from the farmers and other volunteers was contagious. Talking to the farmers and getting to know them was awesome. They had the most positive attitudes even on one of the hottest days of the year (96 degrees)! Every time I was feeling discouraged or tired from the heat or work the farmers smiled and it motivated me even more.
One of my favorite parts of the day was lunch, but not for the obvious reasons! This was an opportunity I had to sit down and talk to the farmers. It was awesome to hear about who they were, what their family was like, and even what their favorite thing they were growing was. As I got to know them, it gave me more and more of an appreciation for Smile Farms because what they provide for the community is so important. I cannot wait to watch Smile Farms grow even more and I look forward to volunteering again soon!
What a wonderful day! Numerous people gathered to celebrate the grand opening of our new location, Smile Farms at The Viscardi Center. I was lucky enough to take part in such a momentous celebration. I was surrounded by individuals with varying occupations that came together for a worthy cause. Board members of The Viscardi Center, IGHL and Smile Farms in addition with students from the school, employees of Hicks Nurseries, Assembly Members and Town Clerks attended this event. The CEO of The Viscardi Center, John Kemp as well as Executive Chairman of 1-800-Flowers.com and Board Chairman of Smile Farms, Jim McCann made heartfelt remarks. The event was recorded and will be featured on Fios1 News.
Attendees gathered around the beautiful hydroponic gardens as students and board members cut the ribbon, representing the beginning of the partnership between Smile Farms and The Viscardi Center.
Overall, the smiles from the attendees today were contagious and I could feel the sense of joy in the air. Myself along with many others are excited for the future plans of this location and cannot wait to see how sensational this partnership will be.
Smile Farms Intern