“Flowers feed the soul.” Florist gives back to community during Petal It Forward

Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 5:46 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A local flower shop gives back to the community with free flowers. Several people with George’s Flowers were handing out bouquets at several locations throughout the Roanoke Valley Wednesday.

The Petal It Forward initiative was started in 2015 by the Society of American Florists.

CEO Kate Penn says the day was purposefully planned on a Wednesday to boost morale for the rest of the week.

“It came after looking at statistics that showed that while 80% of people reported that receiving flowers makes them happy, even more, 88% said that giving flowers makes them happy,” said Penn.

Over 500 florists across the county are participating - Including local floral shop George’s Flowers.

“It’s to give you the feeling of what it is like to receive flowers, plus the great feeling of how it is to give a gift,” said the owner of George’s Flowers, George Clements.

Clements has given out thousands of bouquets in the Valley over the past 5 years.

“Flowers feed the soul; flowers make people happy,” added Clements.

Clements plans to beat the record of giving out 5,000 bouquets last year by giving out 7,000 this year.

George Flowers partnered with MKB Realtors for the third year in a row. CEO Kit Hale says he enjoys the reaction when giving out the bouquets.

“They look at us like what’s the catch? Some of them, no thank you, no. And there is a catch; we give you two. The only catch is, Petal It Forward with one of them.” said Hale.

Some residents were happily shocked when they realized the flowers were free of charge.

“I think it was a really sweet surprise. I wasn’t expecting this just walking around downtown.” said local Hannah Wood.

Most locals announced they already have plans for the second set of flowers.

“We’re going to get something to eat and maybe the waitress might enjoy the bouquet.” beamed local Tammy Hazelwood.

“I would just encourage everyone to see what it’s like to give someone flowers, who doesn’t sit to doesn’t expect it at all really. It really is a beautiful thing to experience,” stated Penn.