The Power of the Flower


Local non-profit, Petals Please uplifts spirits.

Rachel Cathell

Petals 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 the help from family friends and began breaking down large arrangements donated from 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 since the organization’s inception and they’ve created approximately 2,000 bouquets. This feat could not be possible without the volunteers that contribute to arranging, 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. Beth said, “These beautiful and large sized flower arrangements unfortunately just go to waste after the event is over. 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 Beth 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 United Methodist Church. In this space volunteers gather to create arrangements and prep deliveries. Beth 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 entire experience for both the volunteers and the recipients. “The visits alleviate isolation and increase socialization to people that may not get many visitors” said Beth. 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 Beth, 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. Beth 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 therefore Beth is working to build awareness by hosting fundraising events. One event in particular is called Flowers after Hours where attendees learn to create arrangements with the one rule being; 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 20th. Beth 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 spreading flower power to those who need it the most. The organization always welcomes donations and volunteers. Volunteers can find themselves doing many things, “we like to match our volunteers with a topic that they are great at, for example some make arrangements, others do clerical duties and some help with new ideas and promotion” added Beth.

Petals Please accepts flower donations with a free pick-up option. Donations in high demand are glass or plastic containers and tea-cups for small arrangements, floral supplies, preservatives, financial support and wine packing inserts, which make delivery much smoother! For more information on Petals Please, visit www.petalsplease.org.

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Copyright © 2020  Rachel M. Cathell 
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Wilmington, Delaware