YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Yardley Borough Police Officer David Ramos took a hour away from his routine police duties on Wednesday to spread a little happiness in downtown Yardley.

Accompanied by Noreen Gorka and Sharon Centofanti from Ye Olde Yardley Florist, Ramos helped hand out more than 500 flowers as part of the nationwide ‘Petal it Forward’ program held in partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF) to show how much joy and happiness flowers can bring to people.

As he made his way down the street, the officer randomly gave out long stemmed roses to surprised recipients, leaving a path of smiles and goodwill in his wake from the Wawa parking lot to the porch at The Continental Tavern.

“We’re doing a Petal it Forward campaign today,” he tells Kari Osmond and Garrett Racz, who were taking a coffee break on the porch at Pretty Bird. “Science proves that giving a flower to someone brings them happiness,” he says. “What I’m going to do is give you two flowers today. One is for you and the other is to give to somebody else to brighten their day.”

Inside the CVS Pharmacy and at several other locations, recipients responded by giving the officer a big hug.

“That is so sweet. Thank you very much,” said a woman standing in line at Bucks Ship and Print as she wrapped her arms around the officer.

“It makes me feel great especially when you give a flower to someone who’s having a bad day and you bring that joy to them,” said Ramos.

This is the third year the florist has partnered with the police department to spread that joy through Yardley. To date, Gorka estimates the local florist has given away more than 1,000 flowers.

“When we do our deliveries we see the joy and happiness in our business. That’s one of the things we wanted to share today,” said Gorka, adding that delivering flowers is the best job in the world because people are always happy to see you.”

Ramos, who is usually giving people the bad news, whether it’s a speeding ticket or a citation, was feeling the happiness.

“It brought joy to me to bring joy to others today,” he said. “It was a great experience to give them that joy, especially the lady at CVS and the lady in the print shop. You give them a flower and they just light up. To feel that sentiment is great.

“You never know what they’re going through,” he continues, “and to give them that joy on what might be a bad day for them is just priceless. It’s a great initiative. I love it,” he said.

Yardley Borough Police Chief Joseph Kelly said his department “is constantly looking for new ways to meet people in non-traditional ways. We are thankful to be included in ‘Petal It Forward’ and see this partnership as another layer in our community outreach efforts.”

The “Petal It Forward” initiative was created in direct response to a survey conducted by the Society of American Florists (SAF) showing the positive emotional benefits of flowers.

The SAF survey found that when it comes to flowers, it’s just as good to give as it is to receive.

“We see the positive impact constantly when we make our flower deliveries,” said Gorka. “People love to get flowers for any reason or no reason at all, and we want others to experience the scientifically proven happiness that occurs when you give and receive flowers.”

SAF conducted the survey of 2,500 people throughout the U.S. to uncover the impact of flowers on Americans. The results revealed the many benefits of flowers, including the positive impact flowers have on one’s emotions and happiness, and backed up previous research studies on flowers conducted by Rutgers, Harvard and Texas A&M. (See www.aboutflowers.com/research more information on the university studies.)

The following are highlights from SAF’s recent survey results:

· When it comes to happiness, it’s just as good to give flowers as it is to receive: 88 percent of Americans report that giving flowers makes them feel happy, while 80 percent reported that receiving flowers makes them feel happy.

· Just being around flowers improves your mood: 76 percent of Americans agree that having flowers in their home or office improves their mood.

· The best reason to receive flowers is “just because”: Women (92 percent) are more likely to agree with this, but the majority of men (three in four) also share this sentiment.

· Florists to the rescue! Nearly four in 10 Americans indicate florists have helped them in a past or current relationship; most frequently to say “I love you,” or schedule a surprise delivery.

“The impact of giving or receiving flowers is powerful and memorable,” said Gorka. “It can turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one.”

For more information on the benefits of flowers, visit www.aboutflowers.com and www.aboutflowersblog.com.

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