On October 23, Dümmen Orange, North America led four Petal It Forward events across the country. In Columbus, Ohio, where the company’s North American operations are based, the group distributed over 500 bouquets and 600 succulents to surprised recipients over the lunch hour. With the directive to keep one bouquet or succulent for themselves and give the other away, recipients were able to experience the joy of both receiving and giving plants for no particular reason.
The initiative is part of a nationwide effort called Petal It Forward organized by the Society of American Florists (SAF). This year, over 650 Petal It Forward events took place in all 50 states, plus Canada and Puerto Rico. Dümmen Orange joined forces with Timbuk Farms, who generously donated 600 succulents, and Flores Silvestres, who donated over 1,000 cut mum stems. Additional events took place with horticultural distributor McHutchison Horticulture in Wayne, New Jersey, with horticultural distributor Vaughan’s Horticulture in Naperville, Illinois, and Carpinteria, California, home of Dümmen Orange’s Cut Flower Product Manager, Christa Boerlage.
“We spread a lot of happiness,” Boerlage said. “And we were able to do so because of generous flower donations from our Petal-It-Forward partners: Flores Prisma, Flores Silvestres, La Gaitana Farms, Timbuk Farms, Mobi’s Floral, Maximum Flowers, Ocean Breeze Farms, Myriad Flowers International, and Hilltop Flowers.” Other partners for the events included Dreisbach Wholesale Florists, Hillcrest Garden, and Kennicott Brothers Co. All-in-all, over 15 organizations and dozens of employees made these four events possible. Boerlage added, “The events were successful due to great teamwork, and I would like to thank everyone for their donations and participation.”
“This was my third year participating in Petal It Forward and each year it gets better and better,” says Becca Barth, Marketing Coordinator at Dümmen Orange. “It’s a day everyone here looks forward to each year. I personally love seeing people from all over the industry come together to spread happiness. It’s magical to witness how big an impact a small, random act of kindness can have on someone’s day.”
Mike Pezzillo, Vice President of Operations at McHutchison, shared similar sentiments to Boerlage and Barth. “We saw the first hand effects of unexpected kindness, often emotional reactions characterized by surprise, hugs, and tears.” He adds, “The power of flowers is real and people from all walks of life appreciate kindness.”