Positive power of flowers
IMAGINE hearing a knock at the door and opening it to find someone there with a big, beautiful bouquet of flowers.
But it isn't your birthday, or an anniversary.
Or any other special occasion, for that matter.
Actually, the bouquet is yours simply because you deserve it, and Brisbane-based foundation The Flower Project thought it was a great idea.
So much so, that the charity, born mid-2011, performs this day-brightening gesture about 15 times a week in the Brisbane area.
And it all happens because the people involved in the project believe it's a cause worth pursuing.
"The types of people who receive the flowers are the types who very rarely get them," founder and managing director Shannon Yeardley said.
"So we want that experience to be really special and to last for a long time."
By "type" of person, Shannon means people who have lost someone dear, or those rarely seen because they dedicate their lives to caring for the sick, the handicapped or the elderly.
Luckily for the Sunshine Coast, The Flower Project will be making its way to our region very soon.
Shannon said she had been looking at potential areas to set up new teams, including one in Maroochydore and another in the Coolum-Noosa area.
The ambition, however, is to make the floral charity a nation-wide project in the next two to three years.
Though Shannon said setting up a good model in south-east Queensland in the immediate future was vital.
It's simply a matter of finding people and businesses on the Coast who want to lend a hand or two.
"We really need people to help us out," Shannon said.
"There's so much interest.
"We're really just waiting for the right team to present themselves."
Volunteer co-ordinator Di Moes said anyone ready to help out would find it to be an incredibly rewarding experience.
"100% of the (donations) are re-gifted," Di said.
"It's just so different - it creates a beautiful, positive energy.
"(We're) just trying to engage people, and recognise that we want the foundation to be as beautiful for the recipient as it is wonderful for the volunteer."
Shannon said that while The Flower Project certainly brightened a lot of days, the point was to recognise the thousands of people who - every day - continued to devote their time, unrecognised.
However the number of people who receive bouquets each week is directly linked to the number of volunteers and also the businesses involved.
"In terms of how we actually pay for the bouquets, we're supported a lot by local businesses," Shannon explained.
She was quick to highlight, though, that The Flower Project's business partnerships were a little different.
"When we partner with businesses we don't do it like the traditional donation, where you may never see the donation again," she said.
"We like the business to become a part of the project.
"I think it's important people feel a part of the whole appreciation business."
Any business interested in supporting The Flower Project can hold a Flower Project Week.