Philadelphia woman gives people roses to spread kindness

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “I know what it’s like to feel unappreciated,” said Cynthaya Johnson. “I took that and turned it into something positive.”

Johnson started the nonprofit Give Me My Roses to give people the recognition they deserve, without necessarily needing a reason for it. She took the famous saying literally and gave gifts of flowers as a token of self-respect.

“I just like it, dreamed about how I can make this collage and have meaning behind it,” she said.

Anyone can purchase a custom-made collage adorned with artificial roses by emailing Johnson at A portion of the proceeds goes back to the community.

Johnson has appeared at community events to surprise police officers, politicians and ordinary people with her roses. She also created a series of short interviews titled “Rose Confessions” on her Instagram page @givememyrosess. Finally, she regularly leaves notebooks at local coffee shops and libraries, encouraging strangers to write down why they deserve roses.

A recent recipient of a rose collage was Rebecca Lewandowski of Roxborough, Philadelphia.

“I lost my son to cancer 10 years ago and I went through a tough time,” Lewandowski said. “And she saw it. She saw that I deserved a rose. And she made me very happy when she presented it to me.”

Johnson hopes to grow her nonprofit organization and eventually acquire a van that strangers can sign on as she drives around town and beyond.

“Someone could be going through something on that particular day. And if I can make a difference and make people happy, that’s my mission,” she said. “And eventually take that on a worldwide tour.”

To find out more about Give Me My Roses, visit their website or follow them on Instagram @givememyrosess.

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