The Society of American Florists’ international goodwill initiative, Petal It Forward, will be held Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
Started in 2015, thousands of floral industry members have organized their teams on one day in October to take part in Petal It Forward, where participants hand flowers or bouquets to an unsuspecting stranger, urging them to keep one and share the other with someone else. The event is a powerful way to illustrate the positive health benefits of giving and receiving flowers.
Given the isolation brought on by COVID-19, the event was needed more than ever last year. Florists in 44 states plus Canada and Colombia participated in 2020 and shared joy during a challenging time while adapting their Petal It Forward activities to COVID-related restrictions and concerns.
Napanee Blooms in Napanee, Ontario, participated in 2020, with a big social media push. One of their Instagram posts said it best, “We are all feeling it today, it’s stressful, overwhelming and scary. Petal It Forward, please take a rose on us, and take one to give to a friend, family member or neighbour. We could all use a little boost. ❤️”
Blooms in Hand in Verona, New Jersey, took it a step further: “We will be delivering bouquets all over the area. For every bouquet we deliver or have picked up, you will receive a 2nd to pass on to a friend!” They also decided to make a donation from the event to a local food ministry.
Other florists like Don’t Toss the Bouquet in Patchogue, New York, took the opportunity to deliver two bouquets to random doorsteps, telling their Instagram followers to keep one and give one away to “spread a little love exponentially.”
Many florists in 2020 also surprised teachers with bouquets to thank them for their hard work during the pandemic. In some areas, florists were petal ambassadors for their local police and emergency responders. And some colleges even got in on the good vibes, with Hope College Athletics distributing flowers around their campus.
Stay tuned for more details on the 2021 event at safnow.org.
Jennifer McNally is the interim editor of SAF NOW.