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Random Acts of Flowers

The Power of a Flower: Impacting 10,000 Lives

Volunteers, board members, and the staff of Random Acts of Flowers gathered in January at Tennova’s Physician’s Regional Medical Center to celebrate the 10,000th floral delivery to a patient in a health care facility.

Random Acts of Flowers is a Knoxville based 501(c)(3) non-profit charity whose volunteers collect flowers from weddings, memorial services, florists, special events, grocery stores, and churches to recycle and re-purpose them into beautiful bouquets for delivery to patients in area hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice care centers. The charitable service of Random Acts of Flowers supports mental health, spreads joy, and offers comfort through random, thoughtful, botanical deliveries.

Random Acts of Flowers blossomed in 2008 after a near-fatal accident.  Founder and Executive Director, Larsen Jay, felt the ladder he was standing on give way during a roof repair.  His story and a half fall left him hospitalized and wheelchair bound for months. During his recovery friends and family showered Jay with flowers and filled his hospital room. Overwhelmed by their generosity and encouragement, Jay made it his mission to pass on those gifts to other patients in much worse shape on his floor who hadn’t had any visitors.  His personal deliveries served as the inspiration for the charity.  In a little more than three years’ time, Random Acts of Flowers’ volunteers now make bi-weekly deliveries to patients across Knoxville and the surrounding community.  Partners include seven hospitals, over thirty nursing homes/assisted living facilities, and four hospice care centers in the East Tennessee area.

“As people make their New Year’s resolutions, I think it’s important to focus on what we can all do for others,” says Larsen. “I’m constantly amazed how we turn leftover flowers into smiles by recycling them into bouquets for patients in need.  Every week we see first-hand the power of this simple gesture of kindness.  And I know we’ve positively impacted that person’s life, if only for a moment.”

Each floral donation to Random Acts of Flowers gets deconstructed to its core elements. Then, a team of volunteers rearrange each bouquet from scratch in just a few hours, using as many elements as possible. Other parts of the floral arrangements are then recycled through resale outlets or recycling centers. The result is a beautiful new bouquet of flowers ready to be delivered to a patient in area hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice care centers.

“The joy of flowers is reinforced when I see one large centerpiece turn into ten smaller arrangements,” says Ellie Gardner, longtime RAF volunteer. “I know that the time I’m giving today will help brighten a patient’s day tomorrow.”

The 10,000th delivery not only marks a major milestone, but also launches a year of strategic planning to expand Random Acts of Flowers into other cities around the country.

To learn more about Random Acts of Flowers, make a donation, participate in an event or sign up to be a volunteer, visit www.RandomActsofFlowers.org.

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