Knoxville-based Random Acts of Flowers brings smiles to thousands of faces

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Unwrapping bundles of flowers and turning them into beautiful, colorful bouquets, the creations made by volunteers at Random Acts of Flowers are sure to brighten someone’s day.

“It’s really a good feeling to know you’ve helped make someone happy,” said volunteer Barbara Sharpe.

“It brings smiles to people, to their faces, and I was able to see that with my aunt and the other people at her assisted living facility,” said volunteer Tammy Scarbrough.

For many volunteers, this cause hits close to home, including Sharpe, who decided to help after seeing a commercial.

‘It had featured a woman from my church receiving flowers from Random Acts and I thought, ‘That’s pretty nice, I think I can do something like that.’ I love flowers and I love helping people and I needed something to do with my time and I really love doing it. It’s a wonderful mission,” said Sharpe.

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The flowers comes from florists, grocery stores, receptions, funerals, and more. The flowers come to the Random Acts of Flowers warehouse where they’re recycled and rearranged. From the warehouse, the flowers head to spots like local nursing homes and cancer centers to help cheer up patients and residents.

“For everyone who gives something they get such a tremendous reward back,” said Random Acts of Flowers Executive Director Jennifer Sheehan. “In every aspect of the job there is joy.”

The joy is being felt by many people. Last year Random Acts of Flowers brought smiles to more than 13,000 people in Knoxville and more than 100,000 people nationwide.

Volunteering with Random Acts of Flowers is simple. For more information visit the organization’s website.

Random Acts of Flowers fun facts

  • Random Acts of Flowers was founded in 2008 by Larsen Jay after he was involved in a fatal accident. He received lots of flowers from relatives which aided his long recovery, but when he was well enough to walk, he noticed there were other people who did not receive any flowers. He wanted to spread that simple gesture of kindness to them.
  • RAF recycles and repurposes flowers into beautiful bouquets and brings them to people in health care facilities in the area. RAF recycles and reuses every part of the donated flower arrangements, including ribbons, wire, foam, buckets, baskets, vases, moss, and stands.
  • RAF doesn’t choose who receives the arrangements. They rely on nurses and health care workers to tell them who doesn’t receive flowers or visitors often.
  • Their four core values are fun, passion, accountability and excellence
  • Medical research has shown patients with flowers or plants in their rooms have:
    • Shorter hospital stays
    • Lower ratings of pain, anxiety and fatigue
    • Lower systolic blood pressure
    • More positive feelings
  • There are many ways to get involved including donating money, sourcing donated flowers, deconstructing and preparing arrangements, creating bouquets, recycling vases or holding a vase drive, and helping with a special event.

WATE 6 On Your Side spent Thursday with Random Acts of Flowers arranging and delivering bouquets as part of our Day of Service initiative. If your organization would like to request a Day of Service, click here.

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