My name is Patti Michaud and I became a volunteer to this wonderful place.
In December of 2014 my best friends husband passed away suddenly on Christmas day. Several months went by while I watched her suffer in pain. Unfortunately, for my friend because of the stress of her husbands death she herself was admitted to Trinity Hospital. She was extremely depressed and badly dehydrated ( she said too many tears) . I called her the 3rd day in the hospital and to my surprise she sounded so good. She was so happy someone sent her flowers. I asked her who, she read the card and it said RAF and was signed by the volunteer who created this beautiful arrangement for her. Ironically, when I went to visit her I spotted someone who was delivering the flowers and asked about volunteering. From that moment I decided I wanted to do something that made people happy, I do other volunteer work but some of it is very sad - helping to feed the poor. This type of volunteering makes me happy, when I walk out I know I made someone happy and let them know there are people like those volunteers at RAF are out there and do care
It is an honor to be involved with RAF of Pinellas County as a board member and treasurer. We are a wonderful charity with a beautifully simple mission. We0 provide flowers to people in need of a smile and for someone to show them that they care...delivering smiles one delivery at a time!
I am so humbled and honored to serve on the board of Random Acts of Flowers Pinellas. I work in a retirement community and can see first hand what the results of the randomness of the flowers arriving means to our residents. It is something so simple but speaks volumes in the smiles that are left on the faces of the residents. Something as simple as a flower and a minute to say hello can bring an important ray of hope to someone.
At first, I wondered why I was going to volunteer working with flowers. I have zero experience arranging flowers. But, like most people, I love them. It took no time for other Random Acts of Flowers volunteers to share their knowledge & various tips. Within minutes of arranging for the very first time, I was in Love! I loved all the flowers, I loved making arrangements, I loved the other volunteers, and I especially loved knowing that my attempts at creating arrangements were going to bring such joy. I've volunteered over the years at area assisted living facilities, so I know that in Pinellas Co., FL, there are so many elderly living alone in asst. living, having lost their spouse, and with no family in the state or nearby. I thought about some of the elderly I've known over the years & I could easily imagine how genuinely thrilled they would be to receive flowers, especially if they were in the hospital or recovering from an illness without loved ones to soften their heartache. I never imagined that I would become a recipient of a marvelous bouquet of Random Acts of Kindness Flowers. 6 months after I began volunteering for RAF, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the most stunning floral arrangements, and filled with so much love & support, was from RAF Pinellas. I will always remember the power of that feeling, when you are suffering & scared, to know that people are thinking of you & sending you positive thoughts. I'll always remember RAF Pinellas & our volunteers for thinking of me. I've now returned to volunteering arranging with RAF. A few weeks ago, my teenage daughter & I delivered to an assisted living home where we've volunteered for 12 years. To be able to witness the thrill & true joy of the residents when they saw a floral arrangement was made & delivered just for them, well, I can't wait to be able to spread that kind of joy again soon by delivering more RAF!!! My volunteer time at RAF Pinellas is always my favorite time of every week!
I began volunteering for RAF when I retired from working with Hospice. I taught teens how to arrange repurposed flowers to take to our patients. It was called Petals for Patients. Seeing the looks on their faces when they received flowers touched my heart. Flowers put a smile on everyone's face...Thank you RAF for giving me the opportunity to continue touching the lives of patients and the elderly.
I am a single mother of 3 who has spent the last 15 years fighting for my life. I have battled 3 rounds of cancer- surgeries and treatments and major lung problems- including MRSA pneumonias and asthma. I spend 2-3 weeks in the hospital at least twice a year. In Feb of 2012 I was hospitalized with a MRSA flare and severe bronchitis and was struggling to recover. I had been in the hospital for over 2 weeks and was pretty lonely. 2 of my daughters were off in college and the last one was in high school- and I was there alone. I wasn't bouncing back the way I normally did, and was getting discouraged. I was looking out the window on a pretty bleak February day when my nurse came in with the most beautiful vase of peach and yellow roses, and there was a card that said "courtesy of the Brewer family" on the back and an explanation of the mission of Random Acts of Flowers.
I can't begin to tell you how much those flowers lifted my spirits and revived my "fight"...the flowers continued to brighten up my home for over a week after I was discharged- but they have continued to brighten up my heart for much longer than that. It's hard to explain how something so simple as some brightly colored blooms can create a complete attitude change in someone who is tired and physically in a place where they are no longer in charge of their own care.
I learned that Random Acts of Flowers takes donated flowers from events, weddings and funerals and recycles them to bring joy and encouragement to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and rehab centers. As someone who has been a recipient of that joy and encouragement, I can't thank them enough- and am so grateful to Larsen Jay and his army of volunteers for bringing hope to my heart!
I have been priveleged to be a volunteer for over a year with RAF and have loved every minute. This is a terrific organization which spreads smiles to those in need. What you may not know is how wonderful it feels to do a random act - the reward is so much greater than the small effort it takes to perform. I urge everyone who has a few hours a week available to look into joining us. You'll be glad you did!