Largo resident Neal Desch doles out sunflowers to strangers in honor of his late soul mate, Suki Kaur. Kaur passed away in December 2019 due to complications from an asthma attack and Desch decided to honor her by giving back.
Kaur’s favorite flower was the sunflower, the state flower of Kansas, where she was born. According to Desch, his goal is to give out 10,000 sunflowers to lucky strangers.
He gave away his first sunflower in June of 2020, and on Tuesday, January 26, at the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market, he gave away the 4,000th flower to a girl named Kylie.
“My greatest joy is to give [them] to the kids,” Desch said.
His mission is to put smiles on faces and honor Kaur in a way she would love. Desch credits his success to his green thumb and appreciates feedback that the flowers are blooming and bringing happiness to their recipients.
“I know that Suki would be very happy,” Desch said.
Desch purchases all of his seeds from Kansas and relies solely on donations to neutralize the cost of the project.
Desch sets up his sunflower stand at the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market and in front of Christy’s Enchanted Notions in St. Petersburg on the weekends.