Kindness blooms on Alexandria's Ash Street

The driver walked up the sidewalk with a vase that contained a singular rose, greens and a beautiful bow.

A simple but beautiful arrangement of carnations and Christmas greens were delivered to a neighborhood on Ash Street, thanks to a person who wanted to remain anonymous. The card reads, "Bless you." (Contributed photo)

In one Alexandria neighborhood, someone is shining a light of kindness through these dark days of COVID-19.

Someone who wants to remain anonymous.

The story begins on the last weekend in October on the 1600 block of Ash Street in west Alexandria, a neighborhood that mostly includes those over age 60.

Deb Roell was looking out her picture window when a floral delivery van stopped in front of her neighbor’s house across the street.

The driver walked up the sidewalk with a vase that contained a singular rose, greens and a beautiful bow.


“I thought how lucky they were,” Roell recalled. “It had to have made their day.”

Then the floral delivery driver walked back to the van, took out a similar vase and came up Roell’s sidewalk.

“I received the same arrangement as my neighbor,” she said. “I asked who they were from but all the driver could or would say was they were sent by someone who wanted to stay anonymous.”

The driver then went back to the van but instead of leaving, she took more vases out of the van and continued to deliver them to Roell’s other neighbors on both sides of her block.

“I know all of my neighbors were just as surprised and elated as I was,” she said.

Roell thought and thought about who sent the flowers. All the card said was, “Thank you.”

“I never did figure it out,” Roell said.

Flash ahead another month, to Monday, November 30.


A floral delivery van drove down Ash Street and parked across the street from Roell’s house.

“The driver got out and started the whole thing again,” she said. “All the same people on both sides of the street received the very same thing again.”

This time, all the vases contained carnations, Christmas greens and a bow. Written on the card were just two words, “Bless you.”

Roell’s not sure if it was the same person behind both flower deliveries or if it was the case of someone forwarding on an act of kindness.

“I don’t know if any of us will figure out who sent them,” she said, “but I just want to tell the anonymous gift giver: ‘Thank you. You made my day –twice.’”

The gesture couldn’t have come at a better time, Roell said.

“It’s nice to see such kindness in someone’s heart with all the madness right now,” she said. “I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.”

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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