Hundreds of DuPage County commuters made a good impression Wednesday by bringing home bright bouquets of flowers to provide a ray of sunshine on a dreary day.
The parade of flower-toting train riders resulted from a nationwide campaign by FTD and hundreds of florists called Petal It Forward. Organizers say the effort was designed as a random-acts-of-kindness thing in response to studies showing the positive emotional benefits of flowers.
With that in mind, FTD and DuPage-based Phillip's Flowers handed out thousands of bouquets Wednesday morning at the Downers Grove Metra station and Wednesday evening at the Lombard station. Each recipient received two bouquets -- one for themselves and another to be shared with a loved one, a co-worker or even a stranger.
Emily Bucholz, spokeswoman for the suburban campaign, said the original plan was to hand out 2,000 bouquets during the morning rush hour and another 1,000 in the evening. But because of the morning's heavy rains, many commuters in Downers Grove already were bogged down with their coffee and umbrellas and couldn't always handle the extra flowers.
She said there were 10 volunteers wearing bright orange T-shirts handing out flowers at each location.
"This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate flowers as the ultimate way to brighten someone's day," Tom Moeller, executive vice president of FTD's floral division, said in a news release.
"It's awesome," Janah Sprenger of Lombard said after getting free flowers at the Lombard station. "I'm a huge flower person."
Florists' Transworld Delivery, or FTD, is headquartered in Downers Grove. Phillip's Flowers has shops in Naperville, Hinsdale, Lombard, Elmhurst, Wheaton, Westmont and LaGrange.