250 Old Country Road Read more [...]
Place Category: Garden Centers
221 North Sunrise Service Rd.
Manorville, NY 11949
Fifteen years ago, Jim McCann, Founder, CEO and Chairman of 1-800-flowers.com and Chris McCann, President of 1-800-flowers.com helped build a greenhouse—this may seem like an ordinary task, but it was far from it—you see it wasn’t just building a greenhouse, in doing so they afforded developmentally disabled adults with an opportunity to become an intricate part of their community, delivered a safe, nurturing location for socialization, and provided jobs to a well deserving and inspiring population.
It all started with a phone call from the Founder & CEO of the group home where their brother Kevin lives. The home was having difficulty finding local jobs for all of their residents, and they were hoping the McCann’s could leverage their business relationships to help with such placement. Knowing first-hand the importance of integrating developmentally disabled adults into a community structure, and a little something about flowers, they sprang into action and personally funded a year-round greenhouse operation to create those jobs.
From its peaceful nook on the east end of Long Island, the Flower Barn was born, and quickly became an enrichment epicenter for developmentally disabled adults who age out of traditional educational programs at twenty-one years old. Year after year, Kevin and his housemates have grown flowers and plants that were sold to local florists and communities—providing them with a steady salary, lasting social ties and an unmistakable sense of pride.
The families of these new found gardeners quickly saw positive changes in their demeanor, and it became clear to everyone that the Flower Barn was filling a huge gap in social services for these important members of our communities. As word spread of the Barn’s success, Jim and Chris started getting calls from families across the country about expanding and assisting the group homes in their respective areas. The seed was planted, brainstorming began and the concept of partnering their business with this humanitarian cause took shape.
The McCann family has an innate belief that as citizens, neighbors, coworkers and friends, we should make a difference in the communities in which we work and live. More importantly they are passionate about delivering SMILES. So in the beginning of 2014, the McCann family created Smile Farms, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting developmentally disabled adults by building fully operational, self-sustaining greenhouses that provide meaningful work, social interaction and immersion in their communities across the country.
On September 18, 2015 the Flower Barn transitioned into a Smile Farm, and our goal is to partner with citizens, corporations, and government entities to fund and create an additional 5 farms over the next 5 years— spreading smiles one job at a time.