In the wild year of 2020, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the amazing national holiday of Petal It Forward! If you’re unfamiliar with this special day, it was founded by The Society Of American Florists. Its sole purpose is to help spread the love and joy that flowers bring into our lives. As a supporter of this holiday, it is suggested that you give two flowers or bouquets away to the general public. One for the recipient to enjoy, a second for them to then give to another person. Smiles are not in short supply!
Last year alone, FiftyFlowers gave away over 5,000 roses. Each had an inspirational quote attached, and it took the entire Boise team several hours to give them all out. Each employee set up 5 gallon FiftyFlowers buckets in areas of heavy foot traffic in downtown Boise, and people would naturally flock to us while we were handing out the flowers. In 2020, with the threat of the coronavirus surging again in our Idaho community, we had to adapt our technique so that we could still celebrate and spread some much needed joy.
With a much smaller team of myself and only 4 others, and a mere 200 carnations, we headed down to the less busy, but still populated, quad at our local college, Boise State University. Much of the semester has been moved online, but resources like the labs and library have remained open for the needs of the students.
Within 15 minutes all our flowers were gone! The FiftyFlowers team worked to keep our distance until we knew the recipient was ok with us getting close to them. And I can tell you, there weren’t many students who weren’t willing to grab the flowers! The joy of flowers was spreading like wildfire and we would see one student walk up to get their carnations and then another would hop off a bike or longboard to claim flowers for themselves.
Even in a year ripe with emotion and hardship, something as simple as giving out a flower is enough to make someone’s day great! Even with masks on, we could see the smiles on every single face that we talked to. I walked away with empty buckets, and warmth in my heart. Together we are strong, and I am reminded of the wise words “This Too Shall Pass.” Stay safe out there!