Two Boynton Beach women are making sure giving back comes full circle while the community continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
They call their effort the Peacock Project. They are collecting $10 donations from their neighbors in the Hunters Run community.
Those donations go toward supporting Next Generations Nancy Dershaw Grant for Holocaust Survivors and Cleveland Clinic Florida Caregiver Hardship Fund.
When someone makes a donation, they receive a peacock feather delivered to their door. For another donation they can then have a feather delivered to someone else.
Founders Randi Senderowitz and Deirdre Kline chose those two charities because they say they represent some of those hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, being elderly and isolated and healthcare workers.
Senderowitz says, "we really take care of each other when in need whether we know the people or not."
What started as just a $10 donation project has grown into something much more. Senderowitz says, "now we’re doing feather bouquets which is beautiful, beautifully arranged and what's nice is they don’t need water and they don’t die so with a minimum of $50 we will deliver a bouquet."
The program is two-fold. While they are helping charities in need, they are also brightening spirits of those who donate. "Besides the obvious of helping people in your own community, just the whole message of paying things forward, which really is our purpose," Senderowitz says.
Senderowitz says the peacock's tail feathers fall out naturally during the year, and then are purchased in bulk from peacock farms. She says, "it doesn’t go bad, it doesn’t wilt, you don't have to water it, who wouldn’t like it." The peacock feathers represent optimism, protection, kindness and compassion.
Hunters Run resident Lois Plansky has a special place in her heart for peacock feathers. She already had a collection of them with special memories going back to her childhood. "Everyday when I walk by I think of my mom," she says. She keeps them in a vase that belonged to her mother.
She donated to the Peacock Project and said she was excited about the idea. "My first thoughts were just that it's an amazing idea at a time when everybody is so isolated, you know we are isolated from our families, from our friends, you hardly see anybody," she says.
Plansky says, "I did a feather for myself and a feather for a friend who I knew was struggling with something at the time. Lo and behold a few days later Randi knocked on my door and said you got feathered! Somebody else had actually sent me a feather and it was like, I can't explain it. You get this cheerful face at your door with a peacock feather, what could be better than that? Ya know it made my day and I think that's why the charity has done so well because it's nice when you donate to a wonderful charity but it's also nice when you get a little something back." She says during these uncertain times, that little gesture goes a long way. "She feathered me and there was a text that said 'just because I love you' and basically that's what it is. We all go through hard times and we all go through happy times and this is just 'hey I'm thinking of you, I'm feeling kind of lonely right now and sad and blue and maybe you're feeling the same and I just want to let you know I'm thinking about you and that's basically what it does. It just lets people know we are all in this together, we're trying to get through it day by day."
So far, the Peacock Project has raised $2,000 and delivered checks to both organizations. Right now, they are only delivering feathers in the Hunters Run community but will take donations from others. For more information you can contact Randi at firstname.lastname@example.org or Deirdre at email@example.com. You can also visit their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/279740499862161/