“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ~ Albert Camus
It feels like the blink of an eye since the holidays and the start of 2019, but so much has happened at Random Acts of Flowers in the first two months of the year. We’re excited to share with you all the news.
Since the January 1, we’ve made more than 5,700 deliveries of hope and encouragement, re-purposed more than 3,000 vases, and our dedicated volunteers have served nearly 1,000 hours.
And, just this week, we celebrated our 100,000th delivery in Knoxville!
Those are incredible numbers, but what they reveal is the continued and growing need for RAF in our community. Too many people spend the cold days of winter battling illness and isolation, and – thanks to your support – we are able to bring the brightness and hope of spring to them in the depths of the darkest season.
RAF Knoxville made its first official delivery just over 10 years ago, and we currently serve more than 150 healthcare facilities in Knoxville and the East Tennessee region, including hospitals, assisted living facilities, and hospice care centers.
The mission has blossomed since starting operations in 2009, growing from 2,170 deliveries of hope and healing in the first year to an amazing 15,900 in 2018.
And, on Tuesday, February 19th, RAF Knoxville
visited Parkwest Medical Center to make the branch’s 100,000th delivery.
April 9, 2019
6:00-8:00pm 3500 Workman Rd. Suite 101B
$50 per person, includes container, flowers, and instruction.
A professional florist will instruct participants in a hands-on demonstration
of basic floral design. Each attendee will produce a floral arrangement they may take home with them and a second arrangement that will be delivered to an ill or elderly member of our community, adding enrichment
to RAF’s mission of delivering hope and kindness.
Coffee, water, and light appetizers will be provided.
BYOB for participants 21 and over. Tickets on sale soon!
WELCOMING MICK REED AND JERILYN BLISS
RAF Knoxville’s new Executive Director, Mick Reed, joined the RAF family at the start of the year and has already been busily making connections throughout the community and working hard to learn the ins and outs of our day-to-day operations.
We are very happy to have him on the team, and hope – if you haven’t already – you’ll get to meet him very soon!
And our new National COO, Jerilyn Bliss, joined the team at the beginning of February. She is bringing her expertise from her years at Scripps Networks Interactive and will be helping all of RAF’s branches flourish in 2019 and far beyond!
She will be based at the National HQ here in Knoxville, but will make frequent visits to all of our branches.
NANCY IN THE NEWS
On Valentine’s Day, Nancy joined ED Mick Reed on Living East Tennessee. You can see their segment here!
Volunteer Nancy Irwin has been with Random Acts of Knoxville nearly since its inception. When she retired from teaching art in 2009, she went looking for a creative outlet, and RAF felt like the perfect fit. “I thought it would be a perfect way to help others and be creative at the same time.”
She found a home for her creativity and generosity, and she loves “to see my creations delivered to brighten someone’s day, and also get to visit with the many friends I have made over the years.” For Nancy, the keyword is enrichment. Volunteering enriches her life, just as she knows that the arrangements she and her fellow volunteers create enrich the lives of others.
Nancy remembers when a close friend’s mother passed away, “[RAF] received flowers from the funeral. I was able to use the flowers in bouquets, take pictures of them and send the pictures to my friend. She was very appreciative and was able to keep the photos as a remembrance of her mother. She sent me a wonderful letter thanking me, and letting me know how important it was that the flowers were a way of ‘paying it forward.'”
Nancy is one RAF Knoxville’s vibrant and active volunteers, and she knows the value of staying busy in and out of our workshop. “Since I’m retired, I know how important it is to stay active. I like to walk and work out, attend learning groups, travel, and enjoy my friends and family.”
NEWS FROM THE WORKSHOP
A POST-VALENTINE’S BOUNTY – On Tuesday, February 19th, we received 5,000 arrangements from our partner ProFlowers. Our volunteers worked double-time and overtime to get all the flowers out of the workshop and to people in Knoxville and the surrounding area.
LARSEN JAY AT THE DOGWOOD ARTS HOUSE AND GARDEN SHOW – On February 3rd, Larsen shareed the RAF mission and the healing power of flowers with the attendee’s at Dogwood Arts’ 2019 House and Garden Show.
2018 VOLUNTEER AWARDS – At our end-of-year celebration, we gave several awards to volunteers who went above and beyond last year. Congratulations and thank you to our honorees Anetha Grant, Mary Alford, Jo Niedens, Debbie Fettig, Connie Gates, and the Cerebral Palsy Center.
DAYS-OF-SERVICE – Groups from KUB, the University of Tennessee, 21st Mortgage Corporation, The Trust Company, PEO, Knox Garden Study Club, and Enterprise Holdings all joined us during the last few months for days-of-service and private flowers after hours at the workshop!
A VASE DRIVE A YEAR IN THE MAKING – Over the course of 2018, the #vasedrives coordinated by Franklin & Kyle Elder Law, LLC and Senior Solutions Management Group collected 1389 vases! Those vases became 1389 personal connections with people in our community, and helped bring us all a little closer!
HOLIDAY POINSETTIA DELIVERIES – On Christmas Eve, RAF staff and volunteers delivered more than 600 poinsettia plants to hospitals and assisted living facilities in our community!
THANK YOU TO ANTHROPOLOGIE – Our vase shelves and chalk walls got a little winter warm-up courtesy of some lovely hand-drawn display pieces from the Anthropologie store in Bearden.
To All,Thank You!
I was in the hospital for kidney failure. Your flowers lifted my spirits and my day.
Many smiles all day long!!
– Jim S.
Deliveries of Hope 100,000+ in Knoxville 399,000+ Nationwide
Vases Re-purposed 120,250+ in Knoxville 407,250+ Nationwide
Volunteer Hours 58,000+ in Knoxville 185,250+ Nationwide