Staying Strong, Saying Thanks

Woman with headset in call center

Looking at Cheryl Almgren’s gorgeously photographed flower calendars, you might never guess the inspiring story behind them. It’s a tale about determination, appreciating nature and discovering beauty even in challenging situations.

And with the help of devoted team members at the FedEx Office® National Bid Center, Almgren is able to produce the custom print calendars beautifully and at a great value. 


FedEx Office National Bid Center provides dedicated consultation for personal and business projects at no extra cost to you. The team members work with you to find solutions that best meet your needs for:

  • Speed
  • Scale
  • Budget

Here’s her story.

Finding focus

At the age of 2 months, Almgren was diagnosed as being entirely blind in one eye. As she grew into childhood, her optometrist suggested her mother guide Almgren into photography as an outlet and to help develop her depth of field. Even though Almgren has only one eye to see with, the doctor reasoned, she only needs one eye to shoot photos.

For her subject matter, Almgren took inspiration from her mother, Carol. A plant enthusiast who had studied botany in college, Carol brought Almgren to parks and gardens all over Chicago, taught her about different flowers and encouraged her to photograph their beauty. Almgren was hooked.

Finding strength

Then in December 1989, Almgren was struck with cauda equina syndrome, a fast-acting spinal cord condition. She started losing her balance and, within a month, was paralyzed.

After undergoing major surgery, Almgren was encouraged by her doctors to visit the park that spring. “At this point, I couldn’t get out of bed at all,” she remembers. “But they told me, ‘We want you to go to the park and start photographing flowers.’ ”

Thirty years later, she has made nearly a full recovery from her paralysis. And she still makes plenty of time for her favorite hobby.

Finding beauty

Almgren began turning her flower photos into calendars at FedEx Office 13 years ago. The project quickly became a way to reach out to friends and family, and to express gratitude to all of the people who had helped her, directly or indirectly, over the years.

Each year, the calendar has a different flower theme. This year, the theme is orchids, and Almgren dedicated the calendar to her mother, who passed away in January 2016.

Finding possibilities

Almgren saves up all year to fund her project. Still, bulk printing calendars on a fixed income requires careful budgeting.

This year, Desi, a team member at the FedEx Office location near Almgren’s home, put her in touch with the FedEx Office National Bid Center At no extra charge, the team helps customers with custom or complex printing needs get the highest quality for the best value for their personal or business projects.

The process is simple:

  1. Highly experienced consultants work with individuals and small businesses one on one via phone or email to get a complete understanding of the project needs.
  2. The consultants might suggest new or different options to enhance the project and methods to cost-effectively execute it.
  3. They put together a quote for the project based on the customer’s timeframe, volume and budget needs.
  4. If the customer finds a lower-cost option, the consultants will match any competitor’s price.

Customers then work directly with a FedEx Office location of their choice to complete the project. After it’s printed, customers can pick up the project at their local FedEx Office location or have it delivered to them.

Finding joy

Working with the FedEx Office National Bid Center and her local FedEx Office enabled Almgren to print a calendar that she thought was going to cost $30 for just $8 each at the same quality — a difference that stacks up quickly when producing 100 calendars to give away for free.

“It was great,” she says. “I’m so appreciative.”

Make an impact

When you’ve got a custom or complex print job, work with the FedEx Office National Bid Center to develop a customized solution at a price that fits your budget.

More from FedEx Updates

Find additional tips and tricks to improve your FedEx experience on FedEx Updates.

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