Tag Archive | how to pick up donated flowers

Some flowers get all the looks!

Some flowers get all the looks! That is why I like collecting them, and delivering them to surprise strangers all over the Philadelphia and suburban areas.

I  marvel at how people gaze at the flowers with joy written all over their faces.

I love that flowers get all of the looks….the looks of appreciation, happiness, joy, fun and surprise.

 

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Where will flowering take you?

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My “Flower Lady” light was a little dim today. Stomach was hurting. Feeling tired and out of sorts. I DECIDED TO TAKE A BREAK AND NOT DELIVER FREE FLOWERS TO SENIORS….but at 9 a.m., I changed my mind.

Fifty seniors and staff at the senior center were glad that I did change my mind.

I started to feel better when I saw so many faces light up with joy at the surprise of free flowers. I received this email a little while ago. “It was great meeting you today, Patricia! Thank you for all of the wonderful bouquets of smiles that you bring our seniors in Norristown.”

When you click the link below, it takes you to the main Happy Flower Day site.

happyflowerday.org

 

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Extra! Extra! Get your fresh and free flowers – at a bus station and a picnic area today

Bring back the May Baskets – kindness project for Moms/Dads and kids for Mother’s Day Weekend

Here is a simple idea. Gather a group of moms or dads. Go to a store that sells flowers and BUY a bunch of bouquets. Maybe purchase ten bouquets at a place such as Produce Junction, a flower mart, Trader Joe’s, flower shop, grocery store or wherever  flowers are SOLD but not expensive.

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Separate the flowers in the bouquet. Tie a pretty ribbon or a colorful  card to each stem. The card might say YOU ARE LOVED. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. You will find lots of positive messages on Pinterest.

The card could have ANY simple message of encouragement typed or handwritten on it. Or no card is really needed.

Call an assisted living or nursing home facility. Ask to speak to the activity director. Explain that you would like to visit with some little ones,  and the children have a single flower for each senior.

This would not be a big project. It could be a one-time event. Maybe for Mother’s Day weekend. You will have so much fun. Give each child a little basket with ten flowers.

Have each child carry the basket and extend a flower and a smile.

Link to a video of Moms and little kids passing out flowers at a nursing home

Or do this project with your own family. The seniors love the interaction with the little children. And what a valuable lesson you are teaching the kids about kindness!

  1. IDEA: I looked up CHILDREN GIVING FLOWERS NURSING HOME on YouTube. I came across a great YouTube video about the Lilies of the Field organization. Watch this video if you want to see what flowers mean to seniors in retirement centers and nursing homes. Here is an excerpt that I saw written under the YouTube video. Lilies of the Field is a non-profit that exists to encourage mothers with young children to share their precious kids with the elderly. Seniors have wisdom and varied hobbies to share with those ready to listen, not to mention some great living history. You and your kids will keep your new older friends young with new experiences and more engaging social interactions. Blessing the lonely at assisted living facilities will also provide positive controlled exposure for you to model and to encourage your children to value and embrace those residents with physical, speech, or mental disabilities. Not sure how to make your introduction to your child’s newest “Grammy” or “Grampy?” Watch the video and see how flowers can be a bridge to a beautiful friendship.

Flowers first thing in the morning given to the young woman who bumped into my car while waiting at the red light!

I was stopped waiting for the light to change from red to green. Bang! Thump! I hopped out of my car as the twenty-something young woman exclaimed, “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to bump you.  I hope there is no damage.”

She was very upset.  Her friend who was in the passenger seat was also upset. I did a very quick assessment. Thankfully, it was just few scratch marks but no dents. I hugged her and told her everything was okay.

Then I said, “I have something for you – for your mom to put on the kitchen table.” I grabbed a bag of beautiful glorious bouquets from the back seat of my flower-mobile (aka little white KIA) and handed them to her. Probably ten bouquets of donated bouquets of tulips were in the bag.

Being the Flower Lady is easy….and gets even easier when you have the opportunity to  spread some flowery love to a scared young woman.

I kind of blended my roles as a mother of four children and The Flower Lady. What would I want someone to do if it were one of my kids who tapped someone’s vehicle – or me?

 

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My flowering volunteer is Ella who is 94-years-old – a true late bloomer

“Petals and Blooms-ceptional” Day at a Senior Center and an Adult Day Care Program

It was a rainy and cold day here in Philadelphia. But it was a flower-ceptional day to take flowers to a senior center and an adult day center. I had my favorite volunteer flower-giver with me – my friend Ella who is 94-years-old. We walked in with our arms full of flowers to give away for FREE to seniors and caregivers.

 

Passing out the flowers was a way to warm hearts with bright and cheery bouquets – a mix of dramatic red roses, purple and pink tulips, and a rainbow colored assortment of daisies and chrysanthemums. All donated to me FREE  – the flowers and plants were unsold  merchandise  from the store’s Easter inventory.

My motto: Let not a bouquet be thrown away while it still has a blessing in it.  (I just made that motto up – just popped into my mind.)

Flower blessings are so commonplace in outside gardens and on church altars – but to my dismay, not commonplace in  nursing homes, group homes, shelters, hospitals, and hospices.

The scent of the flowers, the brightly-colored cellophane wrapping and the beauty of each flower permeated well-being, cheer, and improved the mood of many of the participants.

The leftover flowers got a second chance of life – thankfully because they were not disposed of. The community center seniors received a surprise.  A win-win exchange.

Maybe the flowers made their day! I sure hope so. Visiting them made my day happy. I made a mental note of resolve to share this idea in as many ways as I can.

Link to Happy Flower Day main website

 

 

Things are not always ‘rosy” with people when they are sick or lonely.

I read that 1.6 million people receive Hospice Care annually. You can partner with a hospice care organization and deliver donated flowers to hospice patients. How about the nationwide Meals on Wheels program? Contact them. Ask if they would like to add a bouquet of beautiful tulips, roses, carnations and daisies – to the meals that their volunteers deliver to shut-ins.

Things are not always ‘rosy” with people when they are sick or lonely. Flowery kindness makes a difference. Flowers fill gloomy places with smiles! Your flowers have the power to say someone cares – you are not forgotten. I am not sure how many flowers I have in these carts today. (Want to take a wild guess? My guess is 175 bouquets.) How can YOU not be happy when you give people flowers? How can ANY PERSON not be happy when someone gives THEM flowers? Flowers bloom smiles, lift depression and connect strangers.

I invite you to stop and smell the roses and start your own way of giving surprise gifts of flowery cheer.

Link to main Happy Flower Day website

a whole lot of flowers in cart

www.patriciausa.com

Happy Flower Day! Oodles of flowers travel around Philadelphia and the suburbs – just flowering around!

Where is my happy place? Wherever I can make life prettier with the gift of colorful flowers. 

I took the flowers to a retirement home for retired nuns. Twenty flashy, splashy bouquets of flowers were selected by the sweet retired Sisters.  On the way out, I saw a van picking up some of the Sisters who go to an adult day care program. I asked the driver if there were people on the bus or at the center who would like flowers. “Yes, of course. These beautiful flowers will really brighten their day.”

I stopped to buy a soda at a Sunoco mini-market on Montgomery Avenue. I often carry flowers in for the cashiers. I placed 3 bouquets on the counter.  I told them that my car was unlocked,  and they could go out and “shop” in my car –  so they could take some free flowers home to their loved ones or neighbors.

Yes, flowers to go….for anyone and anywhere!

I drove to Marshall Street and took them to the busy laundromat. Julia, the manager came out to my car and helped me bring in 40 bouquets. I saw a lady waiting for a bus at the corner. She had a large tote bag. “Would you like some flowers for your kitchen table?” She smiled and said, “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, God. I really need these today. Do you have any more we can take to the senior center on George Street?”

I answered that I had twenty-five more in my back seat.  She hopped into the passenger seat of my car and off we went in that direction. Then she changed her mind about where they should go. “Let’s take them to the apartments where I live. There are a lot of sad people there – people with oxygen and cancer. Everyone likes flowers.”

I asked how to get there. We went – my new friend and me…..not sure of exactly where the flowers would go in the next five minutes. “Let’s go right in this front door.”

We went in. She put together a couple of long metal tables and instructed me, “Put all of the flowers here.”  I waited about five minutes……the flowering buzz was spreading around the building. “Flower surprise! Flower surprise!”

Flowers help us in so many ways. I don’t think this chance encounter was an accident – meeting the lady at the bus stop.  She knew the pulse of some elderly ladies – she knew where spirits needed to be lifted. I was just the follower. Following her lead to bring some unexpected joy.

I like when off I go, into the flowery, (blue and pink and yellow and purple) blue yonder.

Oh, anywhere else? Yep, to a man sitting on his porch in Philadelphia in a wheelchair, to a lady walking down the street,  and a lady leaving her office building. I simply say, “I think the world needs a little love today. I am giving away free flowers. Would you like one for your kitchen table?”

All in favor of people receiving FREE FLOWERS, say “aye!” (Those opposed, say “no.”)

Pictured here is Bob, one of my faithful senior volunteers!

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Fresh flowering essentials – just free “feast of colors” and “festive” flowers and a smile – 150 of them today!

Life can be tough. Flowers rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. Inside every senior is an inherent appreciation for natural beauty – like a refreshing bouquet of flowers. They say a picture tells a thousand words. Here are some photos of our delivery today and some pictures from days gone by at a senior center and a senior living apartment house.  I think the pictures show flowers look good on everybody. Now fancy that!

 

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Going with the flow – what I mean is going with the flow with flowers!

I had helped a friend all day. It was 5 p.m. I thought about going to a dance tonight and then I thought about taking flowers to a nursing home. It was pretty late to call  a store for flower donations. I thought, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I was delighted to know that they still had three bags and a box of “slightly used donations” that I could recycle,  and give a repeat life for some  sunflowers, roses, orchids and daisies. John and I took them to two nursing homes and then went to Cracker Barrel for a nice dinner!

 

This nice lady in the picture below was visiting her husband in a nursing home. She was just “resting” in her husband’s wheelchair. She thanked us for the flowers and asked us if by any chance we had given flowers to her son last Saturday. John said, “Yep, that was us. I remember your son. What a nice young man.”

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