Take it from someone who has recycled her blooms for a good cause
As bride-to-be Gail was making all the necessary preparations for her wedding she puzzled over the fate of all the flowers that would be used, not wanting them to go to waste. Two weeks before the big day, she stumbled upon a video by a local news outlet that featured BloomBack and floral donations. The team would collect flowers from events, then repackage and redistribute them to beneficiaries like low-income residents and hospice patients.
“We immediately knew what to do!” says Gail. She dropped the team an email informing them of her wedding date, what kind of flowers and how many she was going to donate. Together, they arranged to have some volunteers pick the flowers up after the banquet.
After all, Gail’s wedding was a grand affair – 400 guests with elaborate flower centrepieces on each table. “They were tall, purple arrangements with vanda orchids, lisianthus, kale, some hanging amaranthus, and a smaller posy of similar flowers below,” she says. There were so many flowers that BloomBack had to hire a lorry to cart everything back to their headquarters.
Gail and her husband enthusiastically told all their friends and family about what would happen to the flowers after the wedding. “Some people asked us about the donation process as they were interested in doing the same with their wedding flowers as well,” she shares. It was heartening to see how this simple act could inspire so many others to join the floral movement.
The following day, the volunteers set to work. Among them was Jacqueline, founder of a real estate agency. Having helped out at her mum’s flower shop as a kid, Jacqueline finds voluntary flower arrangement both meaningful and fun.
“We typically spend the morning after the event repackaging the flowers, from 9am to about 2pm. Then we deliver the flowers to the beneficiaries,” she explains. These include Banyan Home, St Andrews Community Hospital and the Kidney Dialysis Foundation. Sometimes, the BloomBack team give the flowers to a specific organisation at the donor’s request.
Since fresh flowers do not last very long as must be distributed as soon as possible, time is of the essence. The team splits up to give out the flowers to beneficiaries at the various hospitals and charities.
Jacqueline hands out flowers with a warm greeting and a smile. The bouquets are usually met with surprise and elation. “One of the beneficiaries even shared that it’s been a long time since she received flowers because nobody visited her,” she says, adding that she struggles not to get too emotional during visits.
The BloomBack team also shows its appreciation for caregivers. “If we have excess flowers, we give them to the medical staffs, as well as family members and domestic helpers who are present,” says Jacqueline.
This is why so many women like Gail are eager to hand over their used flowers. “Knowing that our wedding flowers could bring beauty into the lives of different people besides our own friends and family made us really happy.”
Have an upcoming event and want to donate the used floral arrangements? Drop us a note and you, too, could make somebody’s day.