Three Floral Organizations Helping Those in Need – Greenhouse Grower

Beacon Impatiens (photo: PanAmerican Seed)
PanAmerican Seed recently announced that its 2022 charitable donation reached more than $81,000 thanks to this year’s proceeds of Beacon Impatiens global seed sales. The donation was presented to two worthy organizations fighting low vision issues and macular degeneration, a disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Spectrios Institute for Low Vision (Wheaton, IL) and Macular Society (United Kingdom) each received a check on behalf of PanAmerican Seed and Beacon Impatiens.
Low vision is the loss of eyesight and vision capabilities that cannot be corrected through lenses or general surgery. While not blindness, as limited sight remains, low vision can include blind spots, poor night vision, and blurriness.
Both Spectrios and Macular Society support and empower people to optimize their visual capabilities and independence through the use of technology, prescriptive tools, and rehabilitative training. This issue was brought to the attention of PanAmerican Seed through one of its own employees living with low vision.
“The proceeds from Beacon Impatiens sales continue to impact and shine the light on lesser-known charitable organizations, and it’s great to see gardeners everywhere contribute to this annual donation,” says Sarah Makiejus, Marketing Manager for PanAmerican Seed. “We are honored to support two well-deserving organizations like Spectrios and Macular Society as they build awareness and help those in need.”
According to Dr. R. Tracy Williams, Executive Director for Spectrios: “We recently had a patient in our office who had sold his business, retired, and thought his life was over. After he left, he wished he visited us sooner because we were able to help him go back to work and do the things he loves. We hear stories like this every day. This donation will help individuals with low vision lead full, independent, and productive lives and enable us to keep our programs affordable, sustainable, and accessible to those in need.”
“We’re hugely grateful to PanAmerican Seed for this very generous donation, which will make a real difference to the lives of those living with macular disease,” says Cathy Yelf, CEO of Macular Society. “Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the developed world and has a devastating impact on the lives of those affected. It can often leave people unable to do the things so many of us take for granted, such as reading, watching TV, or even recognizing the faces of our closest friends and family. Donations such as this mean we can continue to provide vital support services to those affected, as well as fund groundbreaking research so we can beat macular disease for good.”
Beacon Impatiens, a series of I. walleriana with proven high resistance to impatiens downy mildew, brings flower-filled enjoyment back to shade gardens everywhere. As part of a dedicated mission to shine the light on worthy but less-widely known charitable organizations, PanAmerican Seed has committed to donating a percentage of its global seed sales to a new charity each year.
A new charity will be announced soon for the 2023 sales season. Stay tuned for the announcement and for ways to promote and contribute to this give-back effort.
The Society of American Florists (SAF)’s eighth annual Petal It Forward flower giveaway on Oct. 19 involved 579 participating businesses. Flower shops, wholesalers, growers, suppliers, and other industry groups handed out bouquets in communities across 49 states and Washington DC, as well as Canada, India, and Colombia.
The event sought to capture the powerful message of paying it forward and how flowers help reduce stress and evoke positive emotions. The concept is simple: participating businesses gift two bouquets to individuals throughout their communities, one to keep and one to pass along to someone else.
Spearheaded by SAF, the campaign is also a useful marketing tool. Some used the event to entice people into flower shops, and others partnered with influential community members including first responders, local businesses, and teachers. Others aimed to get flowers to those who otherwise couldn’t afford them or brighten the day of hospital patients.
Florists were eager to invite the community into their local shops with promises of free bouquets. Many set up buckets both inside and outside to attract people to their storefronts.
Fleurtacious Designs in Latham, NY, began distributing flowers from its storefront at 9:30 a.m. Kristina’s Flowers in Manning, IA, encouraged people to stop by the shop after 10 a.m. for two free bouquets. “Help spread kindness!” proclaimed the store’s Instagram announcement.
Similarly, in Canton, NC, Balsam Mountain Floral welcomed people into its store to receive two flowers with the message, “Spread the sunshine and make someone smile today!”
Many others headed into the busiest areas of their communities, showing up downtown, on main streets, at school drop offs, and shopping centers to brighten morning commutes with flowers.
George’s Flowers in Roanoke, VA, spread out throughout the Southwest Virginia community to hand out 5,000 bouquets at the region’s busiest areas. With its partners MKB Realtors and supplier TFS Roanoke, George’s was downtown, at local libraries, numerous shopping centers, the city’s social services building, and the community center of the Virginia Western Community College, according to a list published by the local television station WSET ABC 13 News.
Southside Flower Market in Grand Rapids, MI, found happy recipients at Breton Village Mall and neighborhood schools, while Flowers on Broad Street surprised strangers with flowers in downtown Fuquay-Varina, NC.
The campaign also had support from those in industry who don’t have retail storefronts. Farms, wholesalers, and suppliers all sought to contribute to the effort.
Syndicate Sales donated bud vases to eight florists in Florida, Indiana, Alabama, Michigan, Texas, and North Carolina to be used for the event.
Bill Doran Company, a wholesaler with 23 branches, posted pictures on Facebook of the boxes and boxes of flowers the company got in to support 234 retailers.
DV Flora, a wholesaler based in Sewell, NJ, with 11 locations nationwide, handed out 500 bouquets at an outlet mall in southern New Jersey. They also helped 46 retailers from nine states by providing discounted bouquets from Queens and Holland America.
Frank Adams Wholesale Florist in Portland, OR, worked with 18 growers and/or importers from California to Oregon and South America to offer customers who are also SAF members one free box of assorted flowers for the giveaway.
“Petal it Forward allows our industry to show people in real tangible ways the effects of giving and receiving flowers,” says Scott Isensee, General Manager at Frank Adams. “For me, when I see a person receive one of these bouquets and break into tears, that’s impactful. That person will likely include flowers and the benefit they bring in their life from now on, and in turn, may show others that joy by giving flowers or ‘petaling’ it forward!”
Dümmen Orange recently donated $100,000 to Yellowstone Forever, the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. This amount raises the overall total to $185,000 that Dümmen Orange has presented to Yellowstone Forever over the past two years.
Yellowstone Forever focuses on funding the park’s wide ranging support of the world’s first national park including sustainability efforts, the historic Yellowstone Wolf Project, Native Fish Restoration, Yellowstone Cougar Project, Bison Conservation and Transfer Program, and the Youth Conservation Corps, among many other park priorities. Donor support helps to fund these important projects and ensure the future of Yellowstone National Park for generations to come.
Yellowstone Forever has teamed up with Dümmen Orange to sell Yellowstone Petunias at independent garden centers and leading retailers throughout North America. This special variety of petunias was created by Dümmen Orange to commemorate the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, which was established in 1872. Royalties from the sales of Yellowstone Petunias benefit Yellowstone National Park, a place where visitors can observe wildlife, explore an extensive area of active geysers, and view the many natural wonders that exist in the park all year long.
The Yellowstone Petunias program has been popular with growers across North America since its debut in 2021. With major home improvement retailers and leading independent garden centers already offering them, Dümmen Orange foresees continued retail adoption of the program for 2023. This expansion comes at an important time as Yellowstone National Park’s need for assistance is greater than ever after a devastating flood in June 2022.
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