MENLO PARK (KCBS)— A new non-profit is re-purposing flowers by engaging a group of volunteers to deliver bouquets to health care facilities throughout Silicon Valley.
Trudey Feuderman lives at a senior-care facility in Redwood City and received a special delivery from Random Acts of Flowers. They include her favorite yellow and red roses.
“They’re so beautiful. Prettier than any other thing I can think of. Except maybe a baby,” she said.
The Knoxville-based organization is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit and its motto is “Recycling Flowers…Delivering Smiles.”
Before the bouquets are driven in the delivery van, they’re arranged by volunteers at a small warehouse space located in Menlo Park.
“We get flowers every couple of days from Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and California Flower Shippers. The relationships will grow as we will grow,” said Linda Plount, executive director of Random Acts of Flowers Silicon Valley.
The charity makes deliveries to hospitals and healthcare facilities from Mountain View to San Carlos. Flowers are also re-purposed after wedding, funerals and special events.
“Some of the flowers you see here today were for a local charity luncheon on colon cancer research,” Plount said.
The man who planted the seed for Random Acts of flowers is Larsen Jay.
“I was fixing a roof when a ladder collapsed out from underneath me. I fell about a story and a half, face down on the concrete,” Jay said.
He said he was blessed to receive what he calls a jungle of flowers in the hospital and when he saw that others were in barren rooms, he put the bouquets on his lap in a wheel chair and shared them with other patients.
“I looked and said, ‘Surely somebody must be already doing this,’ and no one was, and so a year to the day of my accident, we started Random Acts of Flowers.
But the smiles are only contained to the Silicon Valley; it also operates in Knoxville, Tampa and Chicago.
Gillian Growdon pushed to have the non-profit brought to Menlo Park. She lives far from her mother who has late stage Alzheimer’s.
“I’m not alone in Silicon Valley being far away from my loved ones and to be able to have this pay it forward opportunity makes me feel good about the people who might be taking care of my community at home,” Growdon said.
Bob Ortman also received a bouquet…and said he wasn’t ashamed of the tears running down his cheeks…
“Take your mind off of certain problems and in doing so, you make friends with people that you didn’t even know,” he said.
What is delivered after all is more than blooms. It’s kindness. To financially support, donate flowers or volunteer go to rafsiliconvalley.org.