Thursday, March 25, 2010

Walter Reed Flowers

March 23, 2010
The experience of the flower delivery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was numbing once again. The wounded warriors are brave beyond any belief. The joy and healing the flowers bring the patients and nurses cannot be explained. We delivered to sleeping children (our warriors are so young), married service members and nurse's stations. The staff loved the silk flower pens so I plan on making more. Barb and I left with our hearts full of care, concern and the satisfaction that we made an impact. We saw smiles and a lifting of spirits every time we placed an arrangement on a table next to a bed. Thanks to my volunteers once again for the beautiful creations everyone made for the March delivery. Thank you for bringing bouquets to the event we couldn't have done it without them.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday Night Freedom Petals Speaking Event

Hi Everyone,
Barbara K. and I attended the Western Fairfax Womens Group at the Community Center in Greenbriar. It was a 5 minute speaking engagement that one of my Cub Run Rec Center volunteer buddies invited me to. When we walked in at 7p.m. there were 7 bags/boxes of vases waiting for us. What a treat. The ladies had been saving their vases all week. It was a huge success and we even got a donation.
See you this weekend! Thanks Michele

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Flower Event

I am excited that here we are again. Lots of flowers coming in my door for this Friday and Saturday. Anne from Herndon Florist has donated Alstroemeria and Larkspur. Here is a picture of Grandpa Bevington, he organized all the vases at the last event!
See you there!

March 10th Update!

I received the confirmation from Mologne House and Walter Reed Hospital, our Freedom Petals delivery is on for 22/23 March. Yahoo!

I look forward to seeing some of you to create flower arrangements next week. Please reply to this note with day/time, if you can volunteer a few hours at my house for our monthly crazy and fun flower event. We will be conditioning flowers, taping vases, arranging them and cutting yellow ribbons for the bouquets on 19/20 March. My plan is to deliver 110 arrangements to Mologne House and 25 to Walter Reed Hospital.
Friday, 19 March 9am - 4pm
Saturday, 20 March 8am - 1pm.

Please don't forget your flower clippers, some of you may have left them at my house last month. If anyone is out at Michaels Crafts I still need yellow ribbon (March is tie a yellow ribbon theme), I have plenty of flags.
Please call me if you have any questions. Thanks for all your support by helping to water this garden. It has been a rewarding journey. I have great pictures in my Freedom Petals album from the February delivery to share.

I will need 3 volunteers (another car) that can help deliver our flower arrangements to our servicemen and women at Mologne House on Monday, 22 March.

Latest Updates:
1.) This week Anne Harvey (Herndon Florist) taught me how to use the sticky thin clear tape for the vases. It makes it so much easier to arrange flowers in water. Anne ordered Freedom Petals 8 rolls of tape, one of many Herndon Florist donations. Please check out her shop in downtown Herndon or call to order flowers for someone special. (703 437-4990). She has been an amazing partner.
2.) I also learned from Anne that an electric skillet is handy for melting glue and gluing the oasis to larger flat pots. Before I go out and buy one. Please check if anyone may have an old electric skillet not being used or in the yard sale pile. Let me know!
3.) This weekend I will work on finalizing my new glitzy BLOG (Chris created it). A link will soon be on the way for those more techie then me.
4.) March 11 I will be speaking to a girlscout unit meeting in Manassas (vase drives)
5.) March 15 I will be speaking to the Greenbrier Womens Club and soon the Greenbrier Garden Club. EXCITING!

See you soon and God Bless,

Freedom Petals Still Going Strong!

Hi Everyone,
I know everyone is enjoying the warmer weather! Can't wait for Spring, I have a few updates to share and I will bullet them to make it easier to read.
1.) I broke down all the remaining flowers from last week's event. The last large basket arrangement was spruced up and I delivered it to the Ruckert Shelter in Reston. They loved it!
2.) I spoke at a girl scout troop meeting in Landsdowne and had so much fun. Their leader is my contact at AdamsGreen funeral home. The troop will be conducting a Vase Drive for Freedom Petals and this will give them Community Service hours for their service badge. At the meeting they wrote thank you letters to the service members, I plan on give them to the red cross to hand out.
3.) Sent out confirmation notes to Mologne House and Walter Reed Hospital for our next delivery dates in March.
4.) Received a touching note and a financial donation from the Air Force Association - Minutemen (Acton, MA) in the name of Ron Mason. He is an Air Force Civilian and many of his employees are deployed soldiers.5.) I did some flower type research and the flower we never can remember is ALSTROEMERIA. They last 10 days in water.
6.) Spent all of today submitting an application to the Pepsi website ( they are giving out money to new idea projects that help our world become a better place. I think it finally flew with Chris's help. It should be on the website in April. Please vote for Freedom Petals.7.) See attached: a really cool document titled Language of Flowers. Sentimental tradition of flowers. Enjoy!
8.) TJ Max in Fairfax Square - near Safeway has floral clippers by Elizabeth's Garden. They have 1/2 and 3/8 cutting width. I bought the 1/2" stem cutting width. They were 3.99, a good deal. They worked great too.
9.) I will try to order the thin clear tape for our next flower arranging weekend. We will be using large water vases this time and the clear tape makes the flowers fall into place easier.
Take care and God Bless,Michele

How I got started:

In August 2009 I was pondering what I would do with my time of retirement and how I wanted start to give back to society. I thank God that I am so blessed; I have my health, a happy family - two beautiful children, a beautiful daughter-in-law and great husband. It is time to use my talents and GIVE to others.

So one day in September, I was reading a magazine and came upon an article about a woman who started a non-profit organization in 2000 that provides bedside bouquets for Hospice patients. I said to myself I could start a non-profit organization, too. But my personal mission would be to say thank you to our great men and women fighting the fight. Some simple way to say thank-you to our troops for sacrificing themselves everyday to protect our freedoms. Right here in the Washington D.C. area we have servicemen and women recuperating from very serious wounds from the War in IRAQ and Afghanistan. Creating flower arrangements to bring smiles petal by petal to our recuperating service members and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center/ Malogne House and Fisher House at Walter Reed Complex. WOW!


Where I am today:

I started with a special friend who volunteers for the Red Cross at Walter Reed Hosp. I explained my story and ideas and thankfully she ran with it, she made some critical contacts at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She shared with me two names that I needed to contact and I called both of them. It was so easy to share my passion for this project and it has ignited a little EXCITEMENT to say the least. We will be set up in the front door lobby at Mologne house, deliver small arrangement to Fisher House and will provide a little sunshine to the hospital patients as well.

So now for the rest of the story…………… This is a shared volunteer endeavor and I need everyone’s help at all levels of commitment. I truly understand how busy everyone is so I have very small tasks and others that will take more time to accomplish. But I know with family and friend’s helping hands we can get this rolling towards a January 2010 delivery and continue 10 months out of the year.