Paying it forward with flowers
What happens to all the beautiful wedding bouquets and special-occasion flowers after their one-time events are over? That’s the question that inspired April Churchill of Weymouth to create the Reflower Project, a South Shore-based flower repurposing service that serves the Boston area.
“The inspiration came when I started bringing my children to visit the nursing home where my sister works and our children would make cards and do Irish step dancing for the residents,” says Churchill. “Seeing how much joy it brought them reminded us how simple it is to bring happiness to those who need it most.”
Churchill thought it would be wonderful to bring flowers to the people in the nursing home so she started contacting local stores and memorial services to ask for donations. It didn’t take long before she had an abundance of flowers to work with.
The Reflower Project is run by Churchill and her two sisters, Ann and Alexis, who re-purpose one-time event flowers and deliver them to community centers, homeless shelters, nursing homes, elder centers, cancer centers and food pantries. The flowers they work with are generously donated from local florists, charity events, wedding planners and bridal parties, as well as some local flower retailers and wholesalers. They schedule a convenient time to pick up the flowers at the venue, refresh and repurpose the flowers, often making smaller bouquets in mason jars, and deliver them to local nonprofits.
Since establishing the Reflower Project in 2015, Churchill and her sisters have delivered thousands of beautiful bouquets to locations such as Rosie’s Place, DOVE, Father Bill’s in Quincy, Norwell Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice, Interfaith Social Services in Quincy, the Weymouth Food Pantry, Weymouth Elder Services as well as local cancer center support groups, fire and police stations and public libraries. “My children and nieces have helped me deliver the flowers and have come to recognize the joy of giving,” says Churchill, who hopes to continue to spread happiness and joy to those in the community who need it most.