Why this Kamloops flower shop is handing out 500 free bouquets today - InfoNews

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Why this Kamloops flower shop is handing out 500 free bouquets today

Kathy Underwood, left, owner of Kamloops Florist Ltd. and volunteer Jenny Gessel hand out flowers as part of Petal It Forward.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Kathy Underwood
October 23, 2019 - 12:30 PM

A Kamloops flower shop is the only one in the province taking part in Petal It Forward, a North American initiative to create positivity and connection by handing out free bouquets.

Kamloops Florist Ltd. has prepared 500 bouquets to hand out today, Oct. 23, at different spots throughout town.

Head designer Alanna Gobkes says this is the first year the company has participated and notes they are one of four stores in Canada handing out free flowers. She says there are two floral shops participating in Ontario and one in Manitoba. The annual event is organized by the Society of American Florists, and she hopes to see more Canadian participation in the coming years.

“There are quite a few flower shops down in the States that are taking part in it but nobody up in Canada has really caught on so we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to sort of spread it around and let people know that Petal It Forward can be a great thing for communities,” Gobkes says.

Volunteers and employees have already handed out almost 200 bouquets to people at the Royal Inland Hospital and downtown on Victoria Street today.

“It’s not a promotion and we’re not accepting any donations,” Gobkes says. “This is a great opportunity to spread some positive emotions and connections between people.”

Gobkes estimates the bouquets cost about $5 each to make and are comprised of a carnation, mini carnation or eryngium thistle, filler and a sprig of greenery.

“They’re not huge, but they’re bright and cheery. It’s something nice to put on your desk or next to your bedside table. It’s always nice to wake up and smell fresh flowers in your room,” Gobkes says. “It makes you wake up with a smile on your face.”

Recipients are given two bouquets and encouraged to give one away to a stranger or loved one, which Gobkes says helps create community connectivity.

“The idea behind this is to make someone feel good that you don’t know, its connecting people,” Gobkes says. “People are willing to put themselves out there a little bit and put a smile on a stranger’s face.”

You can find the volunteers downtown and at the Royal Inland Hospital. They'll be at the Aberdeen Mall later this afternoon.

Credit: FACEBOOK / Kamloops Florist

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