Hope Blooms

Claire Barbe, on the left, and Lillian Bergeron, are two of the thousands of volunteers from across the country who give of their time to help with the sale of daffodils to raise money and awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society.

April marks the beginning of the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual fundraising campaign, Daffodil Month, where more than 40,000 volunteers across Ontario join together to raise money to help fight cancer.

The money raised will help fund life-saving cancer research, including clinical trials, and a number of vital cancer services, such as transportation to and from cancer-related appointments and one-to-one and group support programs.

Learn more about how your donation helps the Canadian Cancer Society fund leading-edge research, provide up-to-date information on all cancers, risk reduction and treatments and offer crucial services that support people living with cancer in your community. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against cancer.


The history of Daffodil Days

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days began in Toronto in the 1950s. A group of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers organized a fundraising tea and decided to decorate the tables with daffodils. The bright, cheerful flowers created an atmosphere that seemed to radiate hope and faith that cancer could be beaten. Soon these gatherings came to be known as Daffodil Teas.

Jackie Brockie, a volunteer who also worked at Eaton's, supported the idea of Daffodil Teas and arranged for Lady Eaton to host a Tea in the store. Seven hundred women attended.

Another volunteer, Lane Knight, arranged for restaurants to give part of their receipts to the Society on the opening day of the residential canvass in 1956. Canadian Cancer Society volunteers were on hand at local restaurants to give patrons a daffodil when they paid for their meals as a token of appreciation. The sight of so many daffodils being carried around the city created interest. When some recipients tried to pay for the flowers or make donations, the Society quickly realized that the sale of daffodils would generate additional revenue.

Canadian Cancer Society volunteer Fran Shannon headed the team that planned the sale of daffodils on the streets of Toronto the following year. An anonymous donor paid for 5,000 blooms to be flown from British Columbia where the growing season starts earlier than in Ontario.

The daffodils were an instant success, raising more than $1,200 the first year. The idea was adopted by other provinces across Canada as well as the American Cancer Society. Today the Canadian Cancer Society is the world's largest purchaser of daffodils and the growers in British Columbia must arrange their plantings to accommodate the Society's spring demand for live blooms.


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