How a Sunflower State Small Business Spreads Joy during a Pandemic

How a Sunflower State Small Business Spreads Joy during a Pandemic

While parents and children across the country practice social distancing by staying home, children in Kansas are able to bring the outside in thanks to locally owned Waters Hardware. This Sunflower State small business is spreading joy during a challenging time with a meaningful symbol of state pride and perseverance.

“We are all moving through some challenging times, and children especially pick up on anxiety and stress,” says Kimberly Smith, marketing and advertising manager for Waters Hardware.Waters Hardware Sunflowers

In March, Kansas became the first state to close its public schools for the remainder of the school year in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Kansas students, like students across the country, have continued their learning online to prevent the spread of the dangerous virus. But staying home doesn’t have to mean fewer activities. Waters Hardware put together sunflower seed kits and began giving them away to local children for free to provide the kids with a seasonal and educational activity to do at home.

“This project is a way for parents and children in our communities to do something fun together,” says Smith. “Parents were able to pull up and take a bag without having to come in or worry about social distancing. And it’s spring, so what is more fun than planting seeds and watching them grow?”

Each kit included soil, seeds, cups and an activity sheet. The response to the program has been encouraging, says Smith, and the community is brighter because of it.

The sunflower is Kansas’ state flower, and it’s an appropriate symbol for this difficult time. When they bloom, sunflowers turn their faces throughout the day to face the sun. By adapting to their environment in this way, sunflowers always see the bright side.

With a simple, meaningful gesture, Waters Hardware has helped its Kansas community see the bright side in a constantly changing environment. As children, parents and small businesses adapt to new protocols and changing routines, simple initiatives like this one can keep the community connected. For more information about Waters Hardware, visit

This story is part of our ongoing ‘Local Memories, Lasting Impact’ series that highlights small, locally owned businesses and the differences they make in their communities. How is your small business adapting to the coronavirus pandemic? Share your stories on social media with #SmallBizStrong and tag Independent We Stand so we can follow along:

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