Giving Back to the Community
Let's be real, we all love flowers. But more likely than not, there are other things that set your heart ablaze as well. For me personally, it’s showing compassion & love to those who are forgotten. For you, it may be feeding the homeless, or restoring broken families, or improving education, or maybe it’s something else entirely! It is easy to feel rather helpless when we are surrounded by brokenness, heartache, poverty, & loneliness. I know I've certainly battled that feeling. What can little me, a small-town floral designer, really do to help others?
Friends, I'm here to tell you that you can make a difference.
Over the past year, I have discovered several ways to merge serving my local community with my love for flowers. Whatever may speak to your heart, you need to know that there are numerous ways in which you, too, can combine what you do and love with what plucks at your heartstrings!
Donate a percentage of your profits.
This is probably the easiest and most efficient way to give back to the community around you. If there is a specific cause that is close to your heart, I can pretty much guarantee that there is a non-profit serving that cause! The beautiful thing about this option is that it doesn’t matter how much you give. Every little bit counts! (Check out our podcast with Mandy Hess to hear how a fellow flower pal does this well.)
Repurpose & donate your blooms.
Raise your hand if you have completed an event or wedding only to throw away all of the flowers you had used? You are certainly not alone. We all know that flowers don’t last forever, but typically there are still several days of life left in those blossoms after an event. So, why not give them to people who need a little bit of cheer in their lives? If redesigning arrangements right after a wedding is overwhelming to you, then call a couple of your pals and have them come help you! Or better yet, design arrangements in containers that can be donated along with the blooms. The bouquets can then be delivered to people in hospitals, in nursing homes, in foster homes, or even to people in a coffee shop. To this day, I’ve never met a person who has denied free flowers, and I promise that the smiles of joy & surprise of the recipients will make any extra time & energy spent well worth it.
Host a design class for local donation.
This is a wonderful way to get the entire community involved. You donate your time and knowledge as the host, and attendees pay for the flowers & materials at cost. (OR better yet, you practice option number 1 from above to purchase the blooms yourself). So, who comes? What do you teach? How do you donate? The options are plentiful! You could invite your neighbors, your church community, your gym, your fellow flower pals, or all of the above. The lesson doesn’t have to be complex. It could be as simple as making a handheld bouquet or wreath, or as involved as creating a garden inspired centerpiece. After the arrangements are complete, each attendee (whether individually or as a group) will donate their arrangement to someone who could use a little color in their lives.
Organize a volunteer group.
Nothing brings people together quite like an opportunity to join forces in serving others. Imagine getting all of the flower professionals in your community together for a few hours to serve a greater purpose. Competition is put aside as you all work collectively as a team to improve the life of someone else. What a way to come together! Look up organizations in your area who need volunteers (homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity, & food banks are a great place to start), grab a few florist friends, and go lend a helping hand!
Create a community garden.
A community garden is a wonderful way to get involved in your area. Fruits and vegetables can provide a few extra food items to those in need, and a cut flower section allows people to grab a bit of beauty for their homes. If your city does not already have a community garden, perhaps you or someone you know has a plot of land that could be donated. If one does exist in your area, you can help by teaching others what should be grown when & where, you can give a bit of time every now and then to weed, water, & care for the crops across the whole garden, or you can simply grow a few things there yourself for the purpose of donating whatever is produced.
Of course, this is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the ways in which you can be involved in your community, but it is at least a place to start. If you are already serving others around you, THANK YOU! You’re doing great things, and you are a blessing to so many. If you are not yet involved in your community, I encourage you to deeply consider implementing one of these options into your business and your life. You absolutely will not regret it!