There’s nothing wrong with a little sunshine, and Sunshine Inspiration in Norwood Young America has been hard at work bringing some to folks around the community. One of their most recent efforts brought smiles to the folks living at The Harbor in NYA, who are still under isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

”My kids were writing letters to each person living in The Harbor, knowing that everyone was locked in,” said owner Robin Bowar. “I wanted to do more, and started putting together donations.”

Sunshine Inspiration is a home goods store, selling things like photo frames, flowers, and key chains. Bowar herself regularly puts together arrangements of silk or real flowers. Her family started the fun, writing cards to every single resident at the Harbor and Haven. This set the tone, giving Bowar the idea to put together arrangements for the residents.

The next step was to figure out how to make it happen. So Bowar took to Facebook, putting together a fundraiser to start up the arrangements. And donations flooded in. According to Bowar, she received donations from customers, their friends, and her friends from around the county, some even coming in from California and South Dakota.

With the help from her friends and family, Bowar got to work making small arrangements for every Harbor resident. All in all, Bowar made over 75 arrangements, thanks to the generosity of the donors.

“I wanted to make them springy and bright, since they’re still stuck inside,” she said.

The arrangements themselves weren’t delivered at all at once, so not to overwhelm the staff. Instead, they were delivered over ten weeks. The only week they weren’t delivered was Mother’s Day week, since that would interfere with the festivities. Otherwise, every week, flowers were delivered The Harbor.

“Robin has been so great in delivering small handmade bouquets to help brighten the seniors’ day,” said Bonita Heilmann, community relations director at The Harbor. “At first, the question I got was ‘Who did these come from?’, ‘Who is this person?’, ‘Do I know them?’ Then I explained that it was from a community member that just wants to spread cheer and goodwill and you could see them relax and then a great big smile.”

After doing it once, Bowar is thinking of ways to do something like this again.

“I would love to do more projects,” she said. “I love making people smile, and I’m trying to think of more to do.”

Until then, though, she’s hard at work bringing smiles in different ways. Sunshine Inspiration puts together workshops for people to join in the fun for making arrangements. They also decorate various venues, such as weddings, homes, and businesses. They are also happy to put on private events, such as birthday parties.

With the COVID rules still in place, all workshops are sign-up only and have limited space. The best way to know what’s coming up and sign up is to follow Sunshine Inspiration’s Facebook. They are also a new member to the Norwood Young America Area Chamber of Commerce, so be sure to give them a warm welcome.

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