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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.