Philadelphia woman gives people roses to spread kindness

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Monday, September 26, 2022
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"I know what it's like to not feel appreciated," said Cynthaya Johnson. "I took that and I turned it into a positive."

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "I know what it's like to not feel appreciated," said Cynthaya Johnson. "I took that and I turned it into a positive."

Johnson created the nonprofit, "Give Me My Roses," to give people the acknowledgments they deserve without necessarily needing a reason first. She took the famous idiom literally, bestowing floral gifts as a token of self-appreciation.

"I just kind of like, dreamed about how I can make this collage and have a meaning behind it," she said.

By emailing Johnson at givememyrosess@yahoo.com, anyone can purchase a custom-made collage adorned with artificial roses. A portion of the proceeds go back to the community.

Johnson has been appearing at community events to surprise police officers, politicians, and everyday people with her roses. She also created a series of short interviews called "Rose Confessions" on her Instagram page, @givememyrosess. And lastly, she routinely leaves notebooks in local cafes and libraries encouraging strangers to write down why they deserve roses.

One recent recipient of a rose collage was Rebecca Lewandowski from Roxborough, Philadelphia.

"I lost my son 10 years ago to cancer and I've been going through, like, a hard time," said Lewandowski. "And she's seen it. She's seen that, you know, I deserved a rose. And she made me very happy when she presented it to me."

Johnson hopes to grow her nonprofit, eventually acquiring a van on which strangers can leave their signature as she drives around town and beyond.

"Somebody may be going through something that particular day. And if I can make a difference and make people feel happy, that's my mission," she said. "And eventually, take this on a worldwide tour."

To learn more about Give Me My Roses, visit their webpage or follow them on instagram @givememyrosess.

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