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Reasons for Hope in America: 17 Reasons We're Optimistic

By Rachel Sylvester, Real Simple Magazine

Because this neighbor paid it forward with flowers. 


Kindergarten teacher and floral designer Sam Thomas lifted her neighbors’ spirits by building bouquets from their gardens. Inspired by the beautiful blooms she saw on her frequent walks, Sam floated the idea of a community flower swap on the social network Nextdoor: “I asked neighbors if they’d leave their cut flowers on their doorsteps so I could create arrangements,” she says. Almost instantly, she received 20 responses—and got to work designing bouquets, or “rearrangements,” as she calls them, and returning them to the participants. “The swap gave me the opportunity to get to know my neighbors while bringing them a bit of sunshine.”

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This Teacher’s Flower Swaps Bring Joy to Neighbors During the Pandemic

By Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens

Like many of us, Sam Thomas, a kindergarten teacher in Mountain View, CA, and owner of Lemon Tree Floral Design, started taking more walks around her neighborhood during the pandemic. As she strolled along, she noticed all the beautiful spring flowers in bloom, including roses, lilies, poppies, lavender, and sweet pea. And while Thomas says she isn’t much of a gardener, she has a talent for creating stunning bouquets and flower arrangements. (Before shelter-in-place orders, she even taught classes on flower arranging.) So she put to use her passion for flowers to help spread joy during a stressful time for many.

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Coronavirus kindness: 'Flower swap' brings smiles to Mountain View during pandemic

By Dustin Dorsey, ABC7 News

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Looking for a way to spread smiles, a South Bay woman took to NextDoor with a one of a kind idea.

Mountain View kindergarten teacher Sam Thomas wants people to have reasons to smile during the COVID-19 pandemic, through flowers.

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