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St. Patrick’s Day deliveries go on, despite virus fears

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    Scranton (WNEP) — It’s a Saint Patrick’s Day tradition, and despite challenges this year, volunteers with the Shamrock Heart Foundation carried on, delivering thousands of corsages and boutonnieres for the sick and elderly.

“I hope they’re appreciating it. I hope they’re looking at the green flowers and thinking of spring and happy things instead of craziness that’s going on currently,” said Beth Gallagher, a volunteer.

Volunteers stopped at nursing, rehab, assisted living, and care homes throughout Lackawanna County. It’s something they’ve been doing each Saint Patty’s day for 27 years now.

But this year, those places are closed to visitors because of concern about the spread of Covid 19.

“They know people are concerned about them even though they’re in a facility and they’re not able to interact with people from the outside. It’s a way of showing we care about them,” said John McGee, who started the Shamrock Heart Foundation.

Over the past few days, more than 100 volunteers put together more than 3,000 corsages and boutonnieres, and more than 20 drivers delivered them to more than 30 locations.

Some say these deliveries might mean more now than ever, during a time when people really need a little luck and something to smile about.

“To lift the spirits of the people around the community and people in the nursing homes are stuck inside obviously with this coronavirus, it’s tough, people need a little spirit,” said volunteer Jim Murphy.

“We have a great corps of volunteers, and we meet every Saint Patrick’s day morning and distribute it and say see you next year!” said Bill Schoen of Scranton.

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