Charity

Countdown to Valentine's Day

Hi everyone, only three and a bit weeks until Valentine’s Day! I am now nervously counting down the days as I’ve had to make some changes to the website and think a bit more about how to make my plan work. The change to the website is that I’ve added a shop so people can conveniently buy their Valentine’s Day bouquets online. And because I’m a ‘less is more’ type of girl, I’ve made the flower selection and check out system as simple as possible. I’m so excited about getting my first orders through the website!

As for how my plan is going to work, I’ve now met with with two lovely ladies from the Canberra Hospital Foundation (CHF). We’ve decided it would be good to donate the flowers to the patients at the primary aged care ward, so approximately 26 people. The flowers will be delivered the day after Valentine’s Day (Monday 15 February).

At our meeting, the CHF ladies invited me to stay for morning tea with some of the patients after I’ve delivered the flowers. At that moment, I realised that spending time with the patients is actually more important than the flowers. While the flowers are a really important gesture, I feel that if I don’t spend time with the people receiving them, the donation will be meaningless.

I also thought, why not see if other people would like to help out? I’ve asked the hospital, and they’ve said I can bring three people with me. So if you’d like to help me deliver the flowers, spend time with some of the patients, and join me for morning tea, please get in touch! First in, best dressed!

Finally, I’ve also been pondering about the cards that will be attached to the donated flowers, which are quite important to me. Why? Because I think it would be nice if they were a bit more personal, so the recipient feels loved. So if you decide to buy a Valentine’s Day bouquet from me, you’ll be asked to write a short message to the patient. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be War and Peace. Something as simple as ‘Dear … Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day , from <your first name>’ will suffice. I’ll then fill in the recipients’ names when I receive the list from the hospital.

It’s all slowly coming together, and I’m really excited. Remember, I’m looking for volunteers to come along with me on the day, so if you’re interested, I’d love to hear from you!

My 2016 Valentine's Day Plan

Happy 2016 everyone! After a few long months of not any writing blog posts, it may seem odd that my first one for 2016 is about Valentine’s Day. I suppose it’s especially odd to me since I loathe Valentine’s Day—it’s not because of the crazy work pressure and long hours I’ve had in past years while working in other shops. I simply don’t like the concept of it. Valentine’s Day just doesn’t make sense to me. In the florist shop I used to work in, a line would form from inside the shop, all the way outside. The phone would ring non-stop. The more last minute, the more desperate people were for flowers—not as a true declaration of love, but just to get out of trouble. I personally think Valentine’s Day should be an excuse to show love for all the people who matter in one’s life, not just partners. I like the idea of sending love messages to my single friends, and friends I haven’t seen in a while.

I was thinking about this, and an idea came to me.

If Peony N’ Pearl is going to sell flowers for Valentine’s Day, it has to be about people who matter in one’s life and not be exclusive to love between significant others. My original idea was that every time I sell one bouquet for Valentine’s Day, the sender would get to send another posy for free to another person of their choice; hopefully someone important to them, such as a friend they haven’t seen in a while, someone in hospital, their grandmother.

But the more I thought about it, the more problems I came up with. What if the sender didn’t know what to do with the second posy? What if it was wasted on someone who didn’t deserve it? How would I manage to do 50 per cent of my deliveries for free in one day? There was no way it was going to work.

So I simplified the idea. And here it is: with every bunch of flowers purchased for Valentine’s Day from Peony N’ Pearl, I will donate a little posy to someone in hospital. This satisfied two of my criteria:

  • one type of recipient who will truly appreciate flowers on Valentine’s Day, tick.
  • one delivery destination for the donated flowers, tick.

Perfect!

But then it was time to call Canberra Hospital and see if my idea would work. It took some courage for me to call and ask. Through a friend, I managed to find the right person to talk to. And thankfully, that person is enthusiastic about the idea and thinks that it is realistic. To be honest, I’ve had this idea about giving flowers to a hospital for months and months, and up until that point it seemed more like a dream. A dream that is now no longer out of reach, and is tangible!

There will have to be a lot of organisation to make this happen, and I’m still working out the details about how I can support the Canberra Hospital. At this point the hospital has asked for the flowers to be directed to aged care. Being a hospital, it’s not surprising to hear that they often receive donations of all sorts, but aged care tends to be an area that is forgotten. Which makes them the perfect recipient for the flowers and the dream I’ve been longing to fulfil.

I’ll post updates and ‘how to order’ details next week as the plan comes together.

Fionna

Canberra Hospital Foundation
Canberra Hospital Foundation