From time to time, Byron (being the awesome husband he is) will randomly bring home Gerber daisies (my favorites!) and spread them around the house. It’s often a surprise and ALWAYS brightens my day, gives him major bonus points and many kisses. Ladies, ya with me? Frankly, anyone who gets flowers by surprise is surely to be excited and bring a smile to a face.
Recently, I had the chance to speak with founder Heidi Berkman of Friends With Flowers. I immediately knew our brides would be interested and we needed to get the word out for this great cause. Founded in 2007, Friends With Flowers is a volunteer, non-profit organization that recycles flowers from weddings and other events and repurposes them for local hospice patients as a random act of kindness. These flowers bring comfort and beauty, a ray of sunshine if you will, to patients and their families dealing with illness.
I recently got together with Heidi and asked her a few questions:
Q:What’s the premise behind Friends with Flowers and when was it founded?
A: The premise behind Friends with Flowers is to utilize flowers that were being thrown out following weddings, special events, and over-run orders with florists. The flowers are repurposed and made into bright, colorful bouquets by volunteers and then gifted to Hospice patients, bringing beauty & joy to the patients and their families.
Q: If a wedding couple wants to donate their flowers, what can they expect?
A: A couple can expect that their flowers will be used to accomplish the above mission. Our team of volunteers will pick up the flowers from the wedding/reception venue, bring them to our workspace, create the bouquets in our vases, and deliver the flowers to the various Hospice organizations for delivery to patients. If vases are rented from a florist, our volunteers will return these vases to the florist on the couple’s behalf. A thank you note will be sent to the couple, following the donation.
Q: Do the couples know where the flowers end up or the person that receives them?
A: The couples should know that the flowers go directly to Hospice patients in their home or in a facility here in Central Oregon – from Sisters to La Pine. Due to patient privacy issues, we do not have knowledge of specific individuals that receive the flowers.
Q: How is packaging and moving the flowers for the event handled and what is the couple responsible for?
A: Packaging and moving the flowers is simple. A “Friends with Flowers” volunteer will come to the site, pick up the flowers in buckets or other containers and take them from the site. If vases need to remain (or be returned to a florist), FWF will handle these details as well. We can bring buckets to place the flowers in, should the vases not be available. Or, we can return vases to the appropriate location, once the flowers have been arranged in the FWF vases for donation and delivery to Hospice patients.
Q: How much notice do you need?
A: As a volunteer organization, a week is preferred but we do take same or next day calls.
Q: How do couples contact you if they are interested?
A: Couples can contact us through the following information or to get started by filling out the Friends With Flowers Online Donation Form
“Flowers from Tamara and Tim’s wedding went to Friends with Flowers. It warmed our hearts to find this group who would share the lovely arrangements with hospice families.” – Mother of the Bride
Here’s some images of a recent floral dropoff, their donated space and some volunteers! Thank you to all the volunteers that make this possible!
B + W