Avenidas blooms from the seeds of now defunct Random Act of Flowers
InMenlo covered the local branch of Random Act of Flowers before it was forced to shut down due to high rent last March.
Carrying on that non-profit’s work of recycling and repurposing flowers from events — weddings, funerals, fundraisers — as well as from retail outlets where the flowers have reached their shelf life, are three offshoots: Flowers of Comfort, headed by Vicki Rasmussen of San Jose; Blossom Buddies, headed by Sheela Veerina of Los Altos Hills; and Avenidas Blooms, sponsored by Avenidas of Palo Alto. The resulting bouquets are delivered to local hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
We stopped in recently at Cubberly Community Center where Menlo Park resident Anne Krause (pictured, right) was busy arranging flowers on behalf of Avenidas Blooms. Anne had been involved with RAF when it was on Edison near J Floral Art and cites owners Jeff and Craig as “being fantastic in both donating flowers and vases.”
Anne, who also volunteers at Blossom Buddies, finds the work very rewarding. “First, there’s the companionship of the other volunteers,” she said. “Then there’s the artistic challenge of making making really attractive arrangements out of throwaway flowers, especially on those days when that resource is in very short supply. We never know what our supply will be on a given day.
“And for those of us who deliver the bouquets, there’s the reward of seeing the reactions of the recipients. On numerous occasions, we’ve had recipients burst into tears, or tell us that they’ve never been given flowers before, or that we’ve brightened their day in ways they can’t describe. Taken together, these things make the volunteer experience truly rewarding.”