Posts Tagged “Petal it Forward”
I’m excited to introduce my little sister, Desiree, as today’s guest blogger! Des followed in my footsteps by attending the University of Oregon, and is now in her senior year there. Our dad, Pat Dahlson, asked her participate in SAF’s Petal it Forward this year with Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, a local flower shop in Eugene, OR, so that she did! Here’s what she had to say:
Guest blogger Desiree Dahlson
When I was asked to help with Petal It Forward for the local flower shop where I go to college in Eugene, Ore. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Accompanied by two of my fellow sisters of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, we made our way to the flower shop the day before the event to prep the flowers. We prepped bucketfuls of single wrapped roses, attaching to each a small blurb explaining what Petal It Forward is all about.
Learning about the flower industry and how the event would run from Shirley, of Dandelion’s Flowers & Gifts, made us all excited about what we were contributing to. My favorite part, though, was the actual Petal It Forward event the following day. I met up with the Dandelion’s ladies right next to the University of Oregon campus Wednesday morning, ready to pass out roses, one for each person to keep for themselves, and another to pass on to someone else.
Participating in the actual passing out of flowers was even more exciting than I expected. At first people were hesitant to take the flowers, assuming there had to be some kind of catch to receiving free flowers. Once they understood the “pay it forward” aspect of the event, people were immediately on board. The smiles that spread across people’s faces because of the free flowers made the positive power of flowers so obvious. The coolest part of being involved in Petal It Forward was seeing how that passing out simple roses made an average Wednesday morning just a little bit brighter.
Shirley Lyons, Owner of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts
Our adorable 1yr old helper, Fiona, and her mom Toviana, Shirley’s daughter & granddaughter
Not only was it a great experience handing out roses, but the local news even came out to interview Shirley and learn about Petal it Forward . We were all on the news that night, and it was so encouraging to see that the community really supports the message that Petal it Forward sends. Though only in its second year, I’m confident Petal It Forward will gain even more attention and continue to spread smiles, one flower at a time.
If you weren’t already aware, SAF is gearing up for their second annual Petal it Forward event in New York City! This year it will take place on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, and SAF invites you to bring this idea to your community. The basic idea stems from studies that show how flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods. They’ve taken that research and turned it into this fabulous idea, basically “paying it forward” with flowers!
On October 19th, SAF’s marketing team will “hit the streets of New York and randomly present two flower bouquets each to people through the city. Recipients are asked to ‘Petal it Forward’ by giving one of their bouquets to someone special in their life, or even a stranger who could use a smile.”
Well, here at Mayesh we absolutely LOVE the idea of giving back to the community and using flowers for good. Why NOT take advantage of them?! We were inspired to dig a little further, and find out what other ways florists and companies are using flowers to give back. Here’s what we came up with:
The Bloom Project
Founded in 2007 by Heidi Berkman in Bend, Ore., The Bloom Project is a volunteer-driven nonprofit that provides fresh floral bouquets to hospice and palliative care patients. The Bloom Project expanded to Portland in 2013, and receives each of its flowers from donations provided by wholesale floral companies, growers and local grocery stores. The flowers are repurposed by volunteers into beautiful bouquets ready to deliver to local hospice and palliative care patients. Volunteers come from all different backgrounds; many are retired or have little to no floral experience. Members of the team with floral design experience host training sessions, teaching new volunteers how to: care for the flowers, identify which flowers to keep and how to create a bouquet. Berkman and her team of volunteers are committed to sustainable business practices. Not only are they eco-friendly in their efforts to repurpose flowers from their partners, but also by composting floral waste.
Since 2009, The Bloom Project has delivered over 153,000 bouquets with over 62,000 volunteer hours donated in the communities we serve!
Random Acts of Flowers
Random Acts of Flowers improves the emotional health and overall well-being of individuals in healthcare facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness. Founded by Larsen Jay in 2008 after he experienced the challenges of a prolonged recovery from a near-fatal accident, the not-for-profit agency now operates branches in Knoxville, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Silicon Valley and Indianapolis. Run largely by a dedicated corps of volunteers, Random Acts of Flowers has served more than 150,000 people nationwide who are struggling with injury, illness or the aging process.
Ashlee Robertson: “Most of my brides choose to donate their blooms. This practice started seven years ago actually. I was driving home from work one night and thinking about how I really wanted to do something to give back to our community. I had a newborn and was working a million hours but new that I was just beyond blessed to be doing what I loved. I said a little prayer to be sent something great that I could do to give back and I would do it. The very next morning my phone rang and it was a woman with hospice care. I couldn’t believe it. They had a group called “Friends with Flowers” and she was requesting our old flowers to be used to cheer the patients up. I said “I can do better than that.” Since then, they have been coming to my shop every Wednesday and arranging flowers provided by one of our local wholesaler and our shop to deliver to patients. It has been an amazing partnership.
As our wedding business grew, I started to notice how many times we’d arrive back at a venue to retrieve our glassware and all of the flowers remained. It was unbelievable. So, we started offering a service to pick up the flowers as well as our glass and donate them in the community. We take them to children’s floors at the hospitals, the cancer center, and several assisted living facilities currently. Each week we kind of think of new places they should go. We love how it makes our brides feel to give back in such a big way and we love how it makes the recipients feel as well.”
We stumbled upon this and HAD to share, such a unique and different way to repurpose flowers! Brooklyn-based artist Cara Piazza uses waste she collects from florists, restaurants and organic providers to naturally dye clothing and accessories. Check out the article HuffPost did here!
And a few more companies to check out…
Have any of you heard of any other companies finding unique ways to repurpose flowers for good? Or better yet, are YOU? Share with us below, and remember to check out SAF’s Petal it Forward on October 19th!
If you love Lonely Bouquet as much as we do, then we’re sure you’ll be interested to be hear about SAF’s new campaign, Petal it Forward. A play on the concept “pay it forward,” Petal it Forward is basically that, but with, you guessed it, flowers! It shouldn’t come as a surprise that studies have shown that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods, which is why this is such a no-brainer. Through this campaign, SAF hopes to show the benefits of flowers and become a resource for consumers through their websites, aboutflowers.com and aboutflowersblog.com.
Petal it Forward will take place on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 in New York, where SAF’s marketing team will randomly present two flower bouquets each to people throughout the city. While the official event takes place in NYC, you too can bring Petal it Forward to your community! Once you have handed out bouquets to random people, ask these recipients to “Petal it Forward” by passing along one of their bouquets to someone else, whether it’s a friend, family member, or a total stranger. Using the hashtag #PetalItForward and tagging SAF’s instagram @About_Flowersor Twitter @FlowerFactor, encourage participants to post pictures documenting their experience. Selfies, pictures of their bouquets, whatever it may be – we want to see!
We look forward to seeing all the joy being spread on October 7th!