Western Chester County Life Spring /Summer 2019

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Western Chester County Life|

Local non-profit, Petals Please, uplifts spirits By Rachel Cathell

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etals Please is a non-profit, all volunteer, green recycling organization with the sole purpose of spreading joy to the elderly through the repurposing of flower arrangements. After retiring from a career in hospice, founder Beth Adams realized that the flowers created and delivered to patients could be done on a much bigger scale. She enlisted help from family friends and began breaking down large arrangements that were donated by funeral homes, weddings and event venues. The volunteers then rearranged the flowers into smaller bouquets, creating a perfect bedside gift for individuals in retirement homes, hospice and life care communities. Six months after the organization’s inception, they’ve created approximately 2,000 bouquets. This feat could not be possible without the volunteers who contribute to arranging and delivering, and completing other tasks needed to maintain the organization. Partnerships with local life care communities, funeral homes, event venues, brides and florists also contribute to fulfilling the mission of Petals Please. The arrangements donated from these facilities are otherwise discarded. “These beautiful and large flower arrangements unfortunately just go to waste after the event is over,” Adams said. “We give the arrangements a second purpose as a compassionate gesture to those who could use a lift of spirits.” Petals Please was proud to introduce a second layer to the organization, a partnership with Meals on Wheels. This partnership allows Adams and her team to deliver flowers to homebound individuals. The team also added on the concept of delivering compassionate arrangements to victims and survivors of tragic events. Currently, Petals Please is headquartered at the Downingtown

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United Methodist Church, where volunteers gather to create arrangements and prep deliveries. Adams and her volunteers, along with community groups, band together to visit delivery sites, a trip that reveals the biggest reward of all. The visits and arrangements create an experience for both the volunteers and the recipients. “The visits alleviate isolation and increase socialization for people that may not get many visitors” Adams said. For the volunteers, the visits are a rewarding sense of community service. “We’ve had families volunteer to deliver. It is a special feeling to see children make these visits and realize they can give back.” The development of Petals Please has been a learning process for Adams, especially the maneuvering of establishing a non-profit organization. Once that feat was tackled, she had to find donated space that could accommodate the process. She began the non-profit in her own garage, but quickly realized the space limitations were a problem. The organization is grateful for Downingtown United Methodist and Church of Christ in West Chester for donating space, however, they are once again growing and running out of room. Finding additional space is a priority as the organization moves forward. Petals Please is totally dependent on donations, so Adams is working to build awareness by hosting fundraising events. One event is called Flowers after Hours, where attendees learn to create arrangements with the one rule being to make one arrangement to keep, and the second to donate. The organization is planning an event to coincide with the first day of spring on March 20. Adams said, “Flowers After Hours is an event that is fun for attendees, all while doing a service.” Moving forward, Petals Please plans to build more partnerships with other community organizations to continue 2019 • Volume 4——