published Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Chattanooga Salvation Army partnership blossoms into 'flowers for hope'

  • photo
    Erin Higdon arranges flowers while kicking off the Flowers of Hope program Friday at the Salvation Army Citadel Corps and Community Center.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

To GET INVOLVED

To volunteer with Flowers for Hope or suggest a person to whom the Salvation Army should deliver flowers, call 423-756-1023.

Source: Chattanooga Salvation Army

Sometimes a bouquet of flowers is all it takes to brighten someone's day.

At least that's what the Chattanooga Salvation Army is counting on. Volunteers spent Friday preparing hundreds of bouquets, writing notes of encouragement and delivering the flower arrangements to needy and homebound local residents.

On Friday volunteers passed out flowers to the residents of Jaycee Towers and also gave bouquets to former Salvation Army volunteers who are now elderly and have a hard time getting out of their houses.

"We deliver flowers to folks to bring them hope and cheer," said Kimberly George, the Salvation Army's director of marketing and development.

The organization launched the new program, called Flowers for Hope, this week, and will continue to gather and give away flowers every Friday through the end of summer. The team will deliver to a different group of people each week.

The flowers are donated by area Bi-Lo stores and are at the end of their sellable shelf life, George said. Instead of tossing the fading blooms, Bi-Lo has agreed to let the Salvation Army pick up and repurpose the arrangements.

"It was a simple partnership," said Daryl Massey, district director for Bi-Lo. "This was an easy way to give back. These flowers have an immediate impact on one's happiness, and it is a simple way for Bi-Lo to give back to our neighbors."

Eight area Bi-Lo stores are participating in the program, Massey said.

George wasn't sure how many flowers the team received Friday, but by 10 a.m. they had unloaded dozens of buckets of bouquets and volunteers were busy snipping off thorns and rearranging the flowers into mini-arrangements.

Cindy Hindman was right in the middle of it all Friday. She's been volunteering with the Salvation Army for about two years and is excited about the new program.

"A lot of these people we're going to are very appreciative of these things," she said.

The local Flowers for Hope program is based on a pilot flower delivery program first developed in Johnson City.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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