Today is World Kindness Day, and it’s no accident that this autumn newsletter (and therefore this note from me) is hitting your inbox today. I've been thinking lately how kindness should really be a verb. While I know that – grammatically – kindness is a noun; I also know that kindness is something that we do, not just something that we are.
We can’t expect good things to just happen on their own, we have to make them happen. Random Acts of Flowers could have finished before it began. We could have thought “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone got flowers when they were hurt or lonely?” and left it there. But, we didn’t. We put our thoughts into action, and we went to work. And now, more than ten years later, we’ve served hundreds of thousands of people and positively impacted many, many lives.
Everyone who has been a part of Random Acts of Flowers’ journey so far has done just that. So, thank you! Because every minute you spend volunteering, every dollar you donate, every person to whom you spread the word of delivering hope - you make kindness a verb. Through your dedication and help, we’ve turned potential kindness into kinetic kindness, and we are building momentum to do so much more in the years to come. - Larsen Jay, RAF CEO and Founder
Volunteer Carol Pearson joined the RAF Tampa Bay volunteer corps about three years ago after her mother received flowers at her nursing home. When Carol saw the delivery, she "thought it was a wonderful idea & wanted to be a part of it."
Her mother's battle with Alzheimer's inspired her to become part of the RAF family, and the friends she made volunteering have helped her through the hard times. "My mother had Alzheimer's for 16 years. My friends at RAF always asked about her and knew that I went by the nursing home before coming to RAF. As her condition progressed, they were always so kind & caring. They knew what a difficult time it was. I took some time off when she passed away, but got a nice welcome back when I returned."
Beyond the family she's gained through her friends at RAF, her work with us is really a family affair! Her husband, Tom, is a huge supporter of her work with RAF and helps with deliveries himself several times a month.
Carol loves working with the flowers at RAF, but she really feels that the most important thing about the mission is that it "brings joy to so many! The people that volunteer, the people that deliver & the recipients all get joy from the flowers."
And, she's a woman on many missions. Outside of the workshop, Carol has a goal to walk a half-marathon or 10K in every state. She's done 27 so far! You go, girl!
The Holidays can be one of the most difficult times
of the year to be in a healthcare facility,
but you can help make our neighbors days merry and bright!
In her work at the VP of Marketing for Mease Manor (one of Dunedin's senior living communities), Lea Richmond saw firsthand how Random Acts of Flowers' mission affected the individuals who lived there.
For her, RAF and Mease Manor are a good fit because "so many of our goals and objectives line up."
Mease Manor has been part of RAF Tampa Bay's story as a healthcare partner and financial supporter since almost the beginning, and Lea was happy and honored to continue the tradition when she started her work there.
"The benefit to the senior population is beyond words. The work done by RAF is commendable on many levels. Our residents look forward to RAF visits! It's hard to put into words how valuable their contribution to the community as a whole is, but it is entirely evident on the expressions of the recipients' faces.
It may sound silly, but the smiles are my favorite part. Any time an organization can provide someone true happiness, it's is the most valuable thing you can do."
THE ROYAL TREATMENT COMES TO FLORIDA
WhenKronos Incorporated – a leading global provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions – decided to have their annual sales kickoff conference in Florida, it knew it wanted to do something special for their employees and for the community. So, they reached out to Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) Tampa Bay to partner on a very special delivery.
On October 9th, during the company’s Women’s Leadership Forum at sales kickoff, Kronos employees (a.k.a. “Kronites”) participated in a floral-design workshop led by Simon Lycett, Florist to the British Royal Family. Simon created floral designs for the weddings of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles; Prince William and Kate Middleton; as well as many royal occasions. He brought his talent and expertise to Florida, and guided Kronites in the creation of more than 700 teacup bouquets.
If you were at our 80s party in October, you might have seen Board Member Gina Massotto getting totally tubular along with other RAF Tampa Bay supporters. Gina has been on our board since 2015, but has supported delivering hope for a lot longer.
She has many friends who are RAF board members, and - before she joined their ranks - they "kept me informed of the wonderful things that RAF was doing. And, I have known both Monica and Janette very well for many years."
After her mother's passing in 2015, Massotto and her family donated the funeral flowers to RAF, and after seeing that the same care is taken with donors as will recipients, she was - in her own words - "hooked."
A lot of Gina's work as a board member is behind-the-scenes, and she is a very active community member - also serving on the board of the St. Vincent dePaul Soup Kitchen and Community Resource Center and acting as Financial Co-Chair for the Dunedin Youth Guild. And she emphasizes that her "main activity is being a wife, mom, and grandmother. Our three children have blessed my husband and me with seven grandchildren ranging in age from 21 years to 6 months."
And, while she's a busy lady, RAF holds a special place because "Whenever I go out on a delivery and see the surprise and appreciation of the recipients, I know the joy flowers can bring. I also know from first hand experience that not only are flowers colorful, they are something that can represent life at a time when it is so very important."
Deliveries of Hope 70,000+ in Tampa Bay 365,000+ Nationwide
Vases Recycled 84,000+ in Tampa Bay 386,000+ Nationwide
Volunteer Hours 34,000+ in Tampa Bay 176,000+ Nationwide