UPDATE JULY 2017
Donors this year:
Friends and Family - flowers from their gardens.
Encore Floral - vases, cut flowers and flower food.
FOP Lodge 98
Chicago Style Pizza
Melissa Heller - Kansas City MO
Helene Arker - NZ
Ann Vessey - NZ
THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH
We have been able to give flowers to:
Park Place Assisted Living
Meals on Wheels
Second Impressions Thrift Store - to their volunteers
Bronson Childrens Ward
We also like to give Hot Wheels cars and trucks to the boys in the hospital!
We are always in need of fresh flowers to make life cheerier for people. Those who receive them are so appreciative and, for some, it is the first time in years that they have had such a wonderful surprise. The vases of flowers that were taken to a childrens ward were donated for the children to give to their mother's on Mothers Day - kids and parents alike were delighted!
Paper Flowers and Pinwheels
When live flowers are scarce we have been giving away paper flowers and pinwheels - you can see those in the top photo on the left. Also we have been able to gift coffee filter paper flowers - bottom photo on left.
Do you have flowers in your gardens that you are able to donate this summer and fall? Please consider planting some perennials in your yard or donating plants that we can grow here - that would be fantastic!
UPDATE JULY 2016
Dear Supporters, As spring approaches we are ramping up our gifts of flower bouquets in memory of my son Charlie, who loved to buy and sell, donning his hat and calling himself Charlie the Merchant. Although he is not here to make his own mark in the world, we are doing it for him.
Big news: the nonprofit has been established by my brother Paul and I, and we have many supporters. Helpers that I would like to recognize include Rita Heller for donating the website (www.charliethemerchant.org), Paul Heller and Jenny Wright for delivering the bouquets, Wedel's Nursery for donating the flowers, Trini Nichols for collecting hundreds of vases, Sign Crafters of Parchment for donating magnetic signs for my car, and Portage Printing for donating business cards.
Donors of supplies, cash, etc. include the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 98, Chicago Style Pizza, Bookends, the Briggs family, Decision Research, Encore Floral, Meijer, Robin Berry, Carrie Bazzett, Marian Heller, Denise Pepin, Linda Harrison, Jane Rutherford, Heib Chiropractic, and a host of others that I apologize for not remembering to name this time. All monetary donations are now tax-deductible!
Last month we passed a landmark, having delivered over 300 bouquets as gifts in our community since we began last fall. Some of our regular recipients include Rose Arbor Hospice, Bronson Hospital Inpatient Children's Ward and oncology ward, Heartland Nursing Home, the YWCA shelter, the Veterans Hospital, Mary Free Bed Rehab Hospital, VFW posts, and many other individuals.
Volunteers deliver prepared boxes of a dozen bouquets at a time. I believe that this has brought healing to our family, friends and the community, not only about my son but also about the others, our brothers and sisters here on Earth, whose Spirits may need a lift for whatever reason. As they say, it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. And that is our mission.
Again thank you to all for your help in making this happen.
We recycle and repurpose flowers that are donated to us from florists, weddings, memorial services, special events, black-tie galas, luncheons - anywhere the flowers have been previously used. We want to help change our environment by reusing the flowers that are donated to us - this way we can cut down on the amount of waste that goes into the trash and reuse the vases and containers that otherwise would be thrown away in the landfill. We reuse all parts of the donated arrangements - the flowers, greenery, wires, foam and containers - nothing goes to waste. Any flowers or fillers of the arrangements that we are unable to use in the new bouquets are composted.
We help the environment and our community by giving these lovely new bouquets to people in nursing homes, elder care facilities, hospice centers, shelters for battered women and children, children's hospital units, veterans and hospitals.
We try to find and fill a need to make someone's life happier.
If you know of a company that you think would like to donate their unsalable, but still beautiful, flowers, feel free to give them the link to CharlieTheMerchant.org
Some of the beautiful cut flowers that were donated by Wedels.
Recipients were thrilled to receive reworked bouquets that used
some of these gorgeous blooms. Thanks Wedels!