Flower Arrangement, Volunteer

Random Acts of Flowers – Silicon Valley

How would you feel if someone hand delivered a fresh and beautiful made bouquet to one of your family member who stay in a hospital or assisted living when you and your family were living too far away or too busy to visit as often as you wished?

當你的家人因病住進醫院或有老人家住在安養院, 而你和其他家屬因為住的太遠或是太忙, 無法如願常去探望, 這時若有義工替你送上一束美麗的鮮花給你的家人, 我想收到這束花的人, 應該會很開心吧??!!

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) did just that!!!  They recycle flowers and vases donated from local flower shops, retail stores, weddings and parties, and volunteers will then deconstructed and rearranged them to create beautiful bouquets, and hand deliver each of them to individuals in healthcare facilities.

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) 的宗旨很簡單, 就是讓不常有親友探望的病人或老人知道, 還是有人關心他們的. 這個非營利組織回收來自當地花店或超市, 婚禮或喪禮的花材和花器, 義工們會整理花材和花器, 然後發揮每個人的創意和美感, 將這些回收的花材, 變成美麗的花束, 然後送到醫院或安養院, 親手將每束花送到病人手上.

RAF currently has 4 locations in the country – Headquarter in Knoxville, TN; Chicago, IL; Pinellas, FL; and Silicon Valley, CA.

目前RAF在全美四州有設據點 – 田納西州, 伊利諾以州, 佛羅里達州, 北加州.

RAF Silicon Valley is located in Menlo Park and is celebrating its First Anniversary with 8000 bouquets delivered into 4 hospitals, 23 senior care facilities, and 3 community health organizations.  Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10:00 to 12:00 is the Orientation.

RAF 矽谷據點位在Menlo Park, 四月份正在慶祝一週年, 一年來已經送出八千束鮮花到四家醫院, 二十三家銀髮中心和三個社區健康組織.  每個月的第一和第三個星期三的上午十點到十二點是義工訓練.

IMG_7309I invited my talented friend Roberto to attended the orientation today.  We had so much fun.  Sara, the program manager told us the history of the organization, where the flowers and vases came from and where they are going to, what they need volunteers for, and what they have done so far.

我邀請我在Filoli上插花課認識, 很有插花天份的朋友Roberto和我一起去今天的義工訓練, 能夠和志同道合的朋友一起做一件事, 真是美好.  莎拉 (活動經理) 告訴我們這個非營利組織的由來, 花材和花器從哪裡來, 插好的花束上哪去, 義工們可以幫忙哪些事項, 目前他們完成的階段.

Then we start by helping out deconstruction the flowers they have pickuped this morning.  We went through different type of flowers, clean them up, keep the good condition ones and separate them by color.

接著我們把其他義工今早送來的回收花材檢視挑選, 修剪, 只保留狀況不錯, 還可以存活五天的花材, 然後按顏色分類.

IMG_7320IMG_7321We have a florist come to show us how to choose a right size and shape vase, choose two to three different shades of colors with some greens, how to arrange them in hand, and then cut to the length of the vase, and drop it in.  Then write up the card with the name who donate the flowers and who arrange the flowers.

然後有位花藝設計師來教我們怎麼選擇花瓶, 選擇二到三種同色系但不同深度的花, 先握在手上, 剪成花瓶的高度後插入, 在略做調整, 最後將捐贈花材的廠商名字和插花者的名字寫在卡片上後, 就算完成.

IMG_7314Finally, it’s our turn.  We get to do the fun part, play with flowers!!!!!

最後就輪我們了. 有這麼多不同的花材讓我們挑選, 選擇太多也會讓人一時之間不知從哪下手呢!!!

IMG_7324IMG_7328IMG_7317IMG_7326I made two bouquets.  I don’t think I had the talent but they are not picky which is good!!!

我插了二束, 我覺得我還真的沒什麼插花天份, 好在他們的要求也不高就是了.

Volunteer weekly schedule:

Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30-12:30 is Floral donation pickup.  From 12:30-3:30 is Deconstruction.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-12:30 is Floral arranging.  From 1:00-2:30 is the Delivery to healthcare facility.

Fridays from 8:30-11:00 is SF Flower Market pickup.  From 12:00-3:00 is Deconstruction.

Saturdays & Sundays are closed.

Since RAF Silicon Valley is only one year old, they have only two staff members to run this location so the hours are limited but they are hoping to change that in the near future to allow people who want to help after work.

Here are ways you can help:

1. Donate your time, be a volunteer

2. Donate money Now or put RAF on your Trust as a beneficiary (Tax ID#26-3006360)

3. Donate vases or flowers (if you are having a wedding or funeral or you own a floral shop)

4. Shop at AmazonSmile by going to your account > Change your Charity > Search for Random Acts of Flowers > Select Random Acts of Flowers

5. Ask your company to Hold a vase drive; Sponsor an event or initiative; Bring your group on a team-building day; Speaking engagements.

6. RAF will receive a $1 contribution from FTD for every specially marked bouquet purchased between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 (remember to use EBATES to get 12% cash back).

If you want to do some volunteer work, you can check out Volunteer Match, create your own profile (location, skills, interests), and it will pop up current volunteer work that match your profile setting, then click on “I Want To Help”, someone from the organization will contact you.

1/23/2018 Update:

Dear Random Acts of Flowers Supporters,

Since opening two and a half years ago, you have helped bring the simple mission of Random Acts of Flowers to life in Silicon Valley. Because of your commitment of time and resources, RAF has been able to improve the health and well-being of over 29,000 people in hospitals, hospice and assisted living centers.

Undoubtedly, you have changed many, many lives in this community – transforming fear, anxiety, and loneliness into happiness, hope and the awareness that we are never alone.

Our mission has flourished here, yet this branch has struggled against financial challenges driven by increasing facility rent and other operational expenses. The local RAF board members have worked closely with the National RAF team to explore every opportunity to decrease costs, increase our funding base and/or other alternatives to continue our mission – but to no avail.

Unfortunately, we have come to the collective conclusion that the Silicon Valley Branch is not sustainable over the long term given the rising cost structure and the small, but generous donor base that has so passionately supported us. For this reason, the decision has been made to shut down our operations this spring. We will be making some changes immediately to maintain deliveries to those hospitals and nursing facilities that represent our core community in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Please accept my sincere appreciation for each and every one of you. I am so proud of all many smiles we’ve delivered and the lives we’ve positively changed. Although today’s announcement is a sad one, I’m convinced with your help we can hold our heads high and be proud of how we nudged this community with compassion and kindness.

Thank you again for your passionate support of Random Acts of Flowers.

Sincerely,

Larsen.

LARSEN JAY

FOUNDER / CEO

Random Acts of Flowers

“Recycling Flowers…

Delivering Hope and Encouragement”

Office: (865) 248-3045

Cell: (865) 384-2656

Larsen@RandomActsofFlowers.org

Sewing, Volunteer

15th Annual Sew For Love 義工活動

IMG_3220Michelle是我在2010年, 新手學裁縫的啓蒙老師, 她可是我誤打誤撞遇到的好老師. 雖然我買縫紉機的商家也有裁縫課, 但是都是大班制 (超過十個學生), 大家一起做同樣一個作品的方式, 我不喜歡, 因為做的作品不一定是我想要的, 雖然說是學縫紉技巧, 但是我想從我要做的作品上學, 不然做好了不用也挺浪費的啊.  我到處找老師, 後來幸運的在一家布料店問到有老師教課, 不但每次都是小班制 (1-5人), 而且自己選擇自己要做的東西, Bingo!!

Michelle有三四十年與裁縫相關的經驗, 所以她對縫紉技巧, 裁縫機的功能, 與教學方式都很了解, 她很有耐心, 風趣, 上她的課真是開心啊!! 她平時上課按小時收費 (2010年那時是$15/hrs, 不知現在是多少, 請自行去電詢問), 沒裁縫機的可以跟她租 ($5/class), 自備材料 (事先準備) 和要做的作品照片或圖案.  如果是你的第一堂課, 頭二小時她會先教最基礎的縫紉機操作方式 – Learn basic sewing skills, machine operation, sewing terms, sew a straight seam, how to read pattern instructions, trouble shooting sewing machine tension, and needle knowledge.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 3.56.01 PM她平時在不同的布料店上課, 請自行打電話去問上課時間.  一般來說, 每一件作品 從頭到尾平均需要六小時才能完成, 當然也要看你的經驗, 學習速度, 作品難易度而有所增減.  如果你不知道你一開始想做什麼, 她的網站上也有一些適合初級的建議作品可以參考.

我有二三年沒碰過我的縫紉機了, 今年初因為整理家裡, 狠下心把幾年前瘋狂購買的各種布料, Pattern, 做包的肩帶, 磁鐵扣等等給整理出來, 只留下一部分我想我會用得到的. 我先通知幾位愛好裁縫的朋友來挑選, 剩下的我全打包裝箱, 然後想來想去就讓我想到Michelle, 因為我知道她參與很多跟縫紉有關的慈善義工活動, 捐給她是最好的選擇.  跟她聯絡上後, 她告訴我這週末有一個義工活動, 我想我也很久沒裁縫了, 何不趁這機會去幫幫忙.

553337_10153188238365625_2886152518712650312_n今天早上9點我帶著我的縫紉機去到San Jose市區的一個教堂, 看到好多人已經開始忙了.  99%是女性, 年紀從十歲到七十歲都有 (18歲以下需要有成人陪伴), 大家分配工作, 會車的人就負責縫紉機, 不會縫紉的人可以幫忙Cut fabric, Pin fabric, Stuff cube, tie blanket, iron, etc.,  反正你一定有可以幫到忙的地方.

IMG_3219 IMG_3218 IMG_3217 11001838_10153188238535625_8328382377707946704_n 10991086_10153188238765625_8845227045660265639_n 10931149_10153188238645625_8536139547196060297_n

10428620_10153188238825625_2310991495609755151_n現場有準備水和一些點心, 還有摸彩活動 (要購買彩卷, 也是捐獻的方式).

11000819_10153188508175625_1599556571358725307_n今天沒趕上的朋友, 明天還可以去幫忙; 如果這次沒辦法參加的人, 也可以考慮每個月的第一個週日, 到Michelle’s Studio幫忙, 總是有做不完的Projects need your help.

Michelle’s Studio  1910 Camden Ave, San Jose  407-406-3102  請事先去電報名預約, 因為位子有限.