Unexpected Blooms expects to deliver more than 200 arrangements in October made from donated flowers and vases and arranged by volunteers. These flowers were delivered to Colonial Oaks Senior Living.

Courtesy picture

More than flowers are added to Unexpected Blooms arrangements. Also fill the floral parts: take care of a bouquet of strangers.

Unexpected Blooms uses donated flowers and vases to create floral arrangements delivered to healthcare facilities. It’s a simple concept and a simple gesture that brings as much joy to the giver as to the receiver.

The non-profit organization expects to deliver more than 200 arrangements in October alone.

Like the flowers and vases they reuse, Unexpected Blooms finds a second chance.

“After the unexpected death of one of our founders, COVID hit and Unexpected Blooms, like many nonprofits, had to suspend our services,” said Nancy Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors of the organization.

“But we were not defeated. We are resilient. This spring we started to bloom again.

Williams and AJ Miller, another volunteer, lead the reopening of Unexpected Blooms.

“We believed in the mission,” Williams said. “We wanted to continue to bring joy through flowers to people who needed to know someone cared about them. We knew people would want to be part of an effort that improves the well-being of a vulnerable population.

Unexpected Blooms volunteers do their work in a donated workspace at two churches: Village Presbyterian on Antioch and Ward Parkway Presbyterian.

Around forty people have volunteered since the association reopened in April.

“We were delighted to welcome new volunteers,” said Williams.

“People want to make a difference — creating floral arrangements to enrich the lives of seniors. There is a human need to reach out, to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Williams said there was a ripple effect with flower deliveries.

“Since staff and family members often benefit from the unexpected delivery and sweet scents, we estimate that seven people are impacted by each arrangement,” Williams said. “And add to that the happiness of the volunteers and those who give their flowers; what seems like a simple transfer becomes an impactful service for many people. »

Flowers are donated by weddings, wholesalers and events.

Those getting married these days are more environmentally conscious, Williams said.

“There are a lot of young people who want more purpose for their flowers,” she said. “We maintain their beauty a little longer and provide personal moments of kindness.”

Wedding planner Sarah Quinlivan agreed.

“For years our couples have asked, and we have encouraged, to donate their flowers at the end of the night,” said Quinlivan, owner and principal planner at Quintessential Events. “It’s a wonderful way to extend the beauty of a wedding day to others, especially those in hospitals, hospices or nursing homes who might enjoy a little extra joy at this time. -the.

“Everyone loves fresh flowers. Once a wedding or event is over, these flowers, unfortunately, usually end up being thrown away. What Unexpected Blooms has allowed us to do is take these gorgeous blooms and give them extra life. Our couples love knowing that their flowers continue to make people’s day.

And that’s exactly what’s happening, said Helen Ravenhill, director of life enrichment at Bishop Spencer Place.

“Those who donate their flowers to Unexpected Blooms are incredibly caring and generous, as are the tireless volunteers who expertly rearrange these flowers and deliver them to communities like ours to enjoy,” said Ravenhill.

“They arrive with so many vases of beautiful flowers, which we deliver to our assisted living and skilled nursing residents. If only you could see the smiles.