Balloon buddies to brighten your day

Bustleton’s Karen McBride worked in the face-painting and airbrush tattoo business, but those industries have suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last May, McBride made a bit of a career change.

“I pivoted and started doing balloons,” she said.

Balloon Creations by Karen can brighten up any special occasion. Check out the company’s Facebook page or call McBride at 215-906-4431.

One of McBride’s clients is Paul’s Run, the retirement community at 9896 Bustleton Ave. She has created balloon decorations for events such as the hair salon reopening and COVID vaccine day.

Last week, McBride worked with community life director Erin Samsel on Operation Adopt a Grandparent. She created 100 “Balloon Buddies” for health care residents.

Each balloon design was different, with all featuring bright colors. There was a smiley face for the head, and the bodies were decorated with stars or circles.

Each buddy was holding a red or pink heart-shaped balloon. Attached was a note that read, “Here’s a buddy who’s come your way with a smile to brighten up your day. Sent with joy and hugs just for you. Hoping you feel loved through and through.”

The note was signed, “Your friend,” with the name of a sponsor.

Staff delivered most of the gifts, as Paul’s Run has visitor restrictions during the pandemic.

“This was the most beautiful idea to bring happiness to residents who don’t have visitors,” Samsel said. “It was an opportunity for everybody to get something.”

McBride was able to deliver a few of her creations, and was touched by the reaction of the recipients.

“I love being able to put smiles on people’s faces,” she said.

McBride uses high-quality Qualatex balloons, and the Paul’s Run health care residents will be able to enjoy their gift for up to two weeks. ••