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!