South Texas remains very much in relief and recovery mode, with residents and business owners assessing damage and reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
Industry members around the country have responded to the disaster with generosity and fundraising efforts. The AIFD Foundation, working in concert with Texas State Florists’ Association, recently established the “Hurricane Harvey Florist Fund.” One-hundred percent of each tax-deductible donation will help rebuild the floral industry in Texas, according to Dianna Nordman AAF, TSFA’s executive director.
Officials in Texas now blame at least 60 deaths on the storm — one of those victims, Rochelle Rogers, was a florist in Katy, Texas.
According to news reports, Rochelle and her husband, Donald Rogers, a preacher, were “killed when they drove into floodwaters as they went to check on a family member … The couple was on the phone with 911 when their phone went silent, the AP reports. When officers reached their truck, it was completely submerged.”
The family has created a Go Fund Me page to offset expenses.
“Everyone has been a little fuzzy and it taken a while to regroup and reorganize,” she explained. “Most of the city spent Labor Day weekend cleaning and tearing out wet sheet rock…People have come together to help. One effort involved making kits with cleaning supplies to distribute to shops that got water damage.”
Other philanthropic efforts include:
- In a Facebook post, BloomNet announced its plans to support the AIFD/TSFA effort, encouraging member florists to make a donation to the fund, and asking florists to contact the company if they need help or support.
- Stemcounter announced Tuesday that it will match contributions to Compassion Services International dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000.
- Southern Floral Company offered design space to local florists. “We can set up work tables and dedicated cooler space for you,” the company wrote on Facebook. Southern Floral also worked with Deborah De La Flor, AIFD, PFCI, of De La Flor Gardens in Cooper City, Florida, to coordinate delivery on badly needed supplies, including toiletries and water. (Read more about De La Flor’s outreach.)
- In West Chester, Pennsylvania, Allison Barto of Kati Mac Floral Designs is donating $5 for every yellow rose purchased to one of five charities, including Texas Diaper Bank, Global Giving and the Red Cross.
Find out how other industry members have been helping.
The Society of American Florists has compiled a list of resources for florists who need to file an insurance claim.
Look for more updates on the recovery and ways to help in future issues of EBrief and Floral Management. Want to get the word out on an effort you’re coordinating? We want to hear about it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.