ONE BUNCH A DAY. BETTER FOR THE PLANET. EASIER FOR YOU.
ONE BUNCH A DAY. BETTER FOR THE PLANET. EASIER FOR YOU.
As an online florist in Sydney, we are experts in making beautiful bunches of flowers and doing quick turnaround, same day flower deliveries. But what we’re also experts in, is making people smile. Which is why we couldn’t be happier to be working with Meals on Wheels to deliver smiles and flowers to older Australians in Sydney this Christmas. Read on to find out what we’re doing, and how you can get involved…
How is Little Flowers supporting Meals on Wheels this Christmas?
Sarah: We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Meals on Wheels since 2017, donating any spare bunches we had. It felt like a great thing to do, as we never want a bunch to go unloved. But it was very ad hoc. And then, last year, we did something a little different and offered customers the chance to donate a bunch, with the knowledge that, for every bunch donated, Little Flowers would match it. It was a bit of a Secret Santa! It was really well received and, we delivered just over 100 bunches to older Australians along with their meals. It felt great to be making a difference with our customers. We’re repeating the initiative this year and we’d love to break the 2022 record!
What was it like giving out the flowers and how did clients respond?
Maryanne: Our clients were overwhelmed by the generous donations. Some of them have no family and receive very few, or no gifts, at all, and our volunteers might be providing the only social interaction they have around Christmas time. So when we delivered Little Flowers last year, they were ever so grateful and touched that someone was thinking of them. That they weren’t forgotten, that people do care. They talked about it for weeks afterwards. We received several phone calls and some of the clients were very emotional. This is what it is all about, giving even the smallest of things but meaning so very much. It’s quite emotional for us, listening to that, so delivering Little Flowers makes our day too.
What sparked the Little Flowers x Meals on Wheels initiative?
Sarah: When I was at uni I had a job in a residential home for older adults. It was honestly one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I’d take Doris to the opticians in her wheelchair; chat to Tom about the news over an occasional, late night, Special Brew; bonded with Dot, who was never married and so referred to herself as an ‘unclaimed jewel’. And I met a gentleman called Jack Skirrow, who was writing his life story, which he shared with me. The social connection was part of the job and that made it the best combination – of not actually feeling like a job, and also feeling like I was having a positive impact. I took a lot of things from the experience, which was almost 25 years ago now. The importance of keeping some independence as we get older. The importance of social connection, which we all know about now, after lockdown. But most of all, I learnt about the importance of making a difference.
I was inspired to start the Christmas initiative last year because it was in the wake of the pandemic. Many of us had spent Christmases away from loved ones and had a taster of what it feels like to be on our own. My old friends came to mind, and evolving our relationship with Meals on Wheels seemed like the right thing to do.
Sending Little Flowers is about sending a gesture. Connecting. Supporting. It felt like a beautiful way of continuing some of the nicer things that Covid and the lockdowns had taught us. The importance of supporting each other, of not feeling alone, and helping to nurture a sense of community.
Tell us more about the work meals on wheels does, your clients and volunteers?
Maryanne: We provide nutritious meals to the elderly, people living with a disability and their carers. This is so important to provide nutrition to support healthy ageing and are all produced compliant with the Australian Standards. But it’s more than that – we also provide peace of mind to family members by doing welfare checks. and give companionship to reduce loneliness and minimise social isolation when we deliver the meals, so we’re providing a connection back to the local community.
We have 222 clients registered with us alone in Randwick, and 250,000 people nationally (Australia wide). The lifestyles vary from family orientated to people who have no family or people to care for them. Our volunteers give them a daily bit of social interaction and they do form a bond of friendship.
There are 42 volunteers including 7 board members, who all donate their time to deliver meals to our clients. The volunteers enjoy this immensely because it gives them a feeling of accomplishment to give back to the community and make someone’s life a little brighter by providing nourishment and social interaction.
How would you like to see the partnership evolve over the coming years?
Maryanne: We are blessed to have Little Flowers so thoughtful to involve Meals on Wheels in this wonderful project. We would love to continue to be a part of this and it would be amazing to grow this donation on a larger scale to give to so many beautiful people and to promote Little Flowers as such a thoughtful and giving business.
How can people get involved?
Sarah: There’s a button just below for anyone who’d like to donate. We’ll be delivering flowers next week, as directed by Maryanne! And we’ll be doing our best to keep you updated on social media. You can follow us on instagram for updates: https://www.instagram.com/littleflowerssydney/ For anyone who’d like to know more about Meals on Wheels, their website is: https://nswmealsonwheels.org.au/
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