The Flower Shuttle: Bringing Joy and Making a Difference
May 20, 2021
The Flower Shuttle, a local non-profit organized in 2006, recycles flowers to people living with sickness, terminal illness, poverty and disability who don’t normally get flowers. Originally inspired by an article in Oprah Magazine, organizers collaborated with Raleigh Moravian Church and its women’s ministry to start a community outreach project. Flowers that were being thrown away after special events, funerals and weddings from florists and floral departments are now recycled and delivered to hospitals, assisted living facilities, and organizations that support the underserved in our community.
Current President Eileen Taylor got involved about 4 and ½ years ago and has participated in every aspect of the outreach, from pickup and delivery to arranging flowers to coordinating and now leading about 60 volunteers. She is clearly someone who gets things done.
“We use space at the Moravian Church to do a lot of our work, and when we had to shut down temporarily due to COVID-19, our main priority was not to lose our supply of flowers,” says Ms. Taylor. “We quickly worked with our suppliers to arrange safe pickups, and we formed pods of volunteers who lived in the same area. Rather than meet at the church, we created teams (named after flowers) who could divide and conquer the work safely and efficiently. We’re now up to fifteen teams and going strong.”
Flowers are generously provided by regular weekly vendors (complete list available on website). The group relies 100% on donations of flowers, vases and funds to do their meaningful work, and there is never a charge for flowers delivered by The Flower Shuttle.
When the Mission’s Children’s Development Center started exploring ways to do something special for moms of the kids in their care, they learned about The Flower Shuttle. “It was just before Mother’s Day, and I knew they’d be swamped with requests,” says Betty Njaramba, a CDC staff member. “They immediately responded and delivered beautiful arrangements the next day. Our moms were thrilled. In addition, we’re talking with them about doing other activities with adults and children. We’re excited about this new relationship.”
THANK YOU to our new partner, The Flower Shuttle! To find out more about their valuable work in our community, visit theflowershuttle.com.