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Did You Receive This Mothers Day Gift From A U.S. Soldier?

If you have someone serving overseas in the military, you know how much your heart skips a beat every time you receive a card, letter, e-mail or phone call. You also know the lonely pangs when these gestures don’t come. Being a military mom is one of the hardest roles to play.

Feeling the pain of military moms, MariEllyn Donnellan of A Dykstra Florist developed an idea to help deployed soldiers share a special moment with their moms for Mother’s Day. She decided to make it possible for soldiers from her town, Spring Valley New York, to send their mothers flowers. Each mom received a single rose. Many received their roses surrounded by baby’s breath inside a vase. A small American flag served as a patriotic reminder of the person serving overseas.

The response was amazing among local moms as well as other florists in New York state. Many New York state florists participated in the program which helped mothers across the state fall into appreciative tears at the simple but inexplicably significant gesture of everyone involved.

When it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, this is likely the best gift ever for many of these moms. As they pray for their children’s safety and safe return, they can rest at ease knowing that their children are thinking of them as well. Part of why it’s great to be an American is because of the good people who make it possible to connect mother and daughter/ mother and son on such important occasions. Many thanks to MariEllyn Donnellan and other florists who participated in this phenomenal surprise.

Are you one of the moms who received a rose for Mother’s Day from a New York florist? We would love to hear your story!


  1. Brynn,

    I think it is fantastic that you recognized MariEllyn and Dykstra Florist’s amazing Mother’s Day campaign. I would like to would share a little more information about this wonderful grass-roots program that MariEllyn and husband Jerry organized.

    MariEllyn and Jerry have first hand knowledge of what these mothers and soldiers are going through. After all, Jerry is a veteran of the Vietnam War and the county’s director of veterans affairs. So, supporting soldiers and their families is always in the back of their minds. Last year, she delivered free of all charges 15 bouquets to the mothers of National Guard members from her county who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. What began last year as a way to support her local soldiers and families became a greater vision of expanding the support to the entire state.

    This year after months of planning, co-ordinating with veteran affairs leaders, and enlisting the help of other florists in the state, this support the troops campaign delivered over 150 bouquets to mothers in the state of New York. All of the florists who participated were family-owned independent flower shops. Shops who understand that strong families and a connection to them is what makes a community strong.

    This generous grass-roots effort was a great success and much appreciated. The mothers, soldiers and other community members have all responded with great enthusiasm. MariEllyn was kind enough to share a few of the letters and emails she received in response to this program.

    Here is a snippet of an email between a Sergeant in Iraq and Jerry as they co-ordinated the information from the soldiers.

    We’ll take care of the Moms,you take care of the troops,and keep them
    and yourself safe,thanks for your service.
    Jerry Donnellan

    Mr. Donnellan,
    I can’t thank you enough for providing my soldiers with this wonderful
    opportunity. I am always surprised at how much care, concern and support
    everyone at home gives to us. Your generosity is greatly appreciated,
    and all of us are just so happy that you have thought of us on Mother’s
    Day. It shows that you are also thanking our families for keeping the
    home fires burning while we are away.
    Once again, THANK YOU and please feel free to let me know if there is
    additional information you need. I’m enclosing a spreadsheet with
    information as requested on the flyer we received.
    First Sergeant Pat
    Baghdad, Iraq

    This was a letter from a customer

    A resounding “Thank You” for spearheading the project to send flowers to the mothers of service people!!!! In the midst of all the news that brings us down, it is refreshing & uplifting & inspiring to read about this project that brings hope, love, joy, compassion, thoughtfulness, & unity.

    Flowers make me smile – you make me smile more! I am blessed to know you.

    Thanks to you & your staff for making this Mother’s Day a happy happening.

    With Affection,
    Minna Kaufman

    All I have to left to say is “You Go Girl – Maybe All 50 states next Year.”

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