PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Spring is a time of hope and new beginnings. So, the local branch of the Coast Guard Enlisted Association is starting the season off by donating to a good cause.
After offering both time and money to the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days program, the group decided to donate their flowers to some of the patients at Children’s Hospital.
Read more about their experience below:
Story written by: U. S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeff McConnell from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh
The Steel City branch of the Coast Guard Enlisted Association kicked off the spring season by donating time and money to the American Cancer Society through the Daffodil Days program.
After the idea to participate in this program was raised, the Steel City Branch learned the event was less than 10 days away. Petty Officer 1st Class John Sadler, a boatswain’s mate with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh, orchestrated two meetings within a week in order to allocate the appropriate money and personnel.
The Daffodil Days program is an annual fundraiser that directly benefits the ACS by financially supporting research aimed at finding a cure for cancer. The ACS establishes various donation locations, one being two blocks from MSU Pittsburgh, whereby donators will receive a fresh, yet-to-have bloomed daffodil for every dollar they donate. The blooming daffodil symbolizes resurgence, life and the hopefulness of spring with its brilliant yellow petals.
After deciding to donate the money to this noble cause, members of the Steel City branch CGEA unanimously decided that instead of taking the flowers home, they should be delivered to children suffering with cancer in the oncology wing of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Members that participated were Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Horton, Petty Officer 2nd Class Terrell Sisk, Petty Officer 2nd Class Craig Miller, Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Bernat, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler Frank, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeff McConnell. All are members of MSU Pittsburgh.
After picking up and delivering 250 fresh daffodils, these members were surprised at the positive reaction and heartfelt thanks that the staff of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh displayed. The members were able to directly distribute many of the flowers to outpatient children afflicted with varying types and degrees of cancer.
Seeing these brave, young kids and their parents light up at the sight of Coast Guard personnel doing something as simple as giving them a few flowers was an experience all involved will surely remember, especially Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler Frank.
“I would go back every day if I could just see the smiles on the kid’s faces after they received the daffodils,” said Frank.