After prom season ended because of the coronavirus closing local schools, The Flower Bed owner Lauryn Rogers and friend Reilly Williamson found themselves with an abundance of flowers on their hands.
Rather than simply take the loss and move on, the duo plans on making the best of the situation.
The Flower Bed is giving those flowers to those who give back to the community. Anyone who can confirm donations of at least $20 to the Hudson Family Foundation, the Jason Dufner Foundation or the Bruce Pearl Family Donation this week can pick up a free floral arrangement Friday.
In addition, anyone who can produce a receipt showing a purchase of $20 or more from a locally owned business this week can also receive a free floral arrangement.
The Flower Bed also plans to donate all the money it raises on Friday to the Hudson Family Foundation to help local children in need.
Rogers said the truck will be set up in downtown Auburn in front of Therapy Boutique on East Magnolia Avenue at 11 a.m. Friday, and they’ll hand out flowers until supplies run out.
“I preach to my kids about shining your light, and a lot of times they don’t know how to do that. A lot of people feel like it’s got to be a huge amount of money or this big, huge thing that goes on in the city,” Rogers said. “I think people love to know that they’re giving toward others. I think anytime someone can provide an outlet for others to do that in their own way is a special thing.
“The flowers just bring me joy and happiness, and I just think as a world we need that all the time.”
Rogers and her husband, Bradon, began brainstorming with Williamson once it was evident not all those who ordered the flowers would wind up wanting them. The group decided to partner with several local foundations and also help local businesses that may be suffering from a drop in business.
“There’s a lot of pain in the community right now on a few fronts. There’s a lot of children and a lot of families who depend on feeding their kids from the schools they attend. A lot of these families that run these local businesses, they’re dependent on their clientele. They’re heavily dependent on those that come in to keep paying their bills,” Bradon said. “While we don’t depend on this truck to pay our bills — it’s just kind of a fun project for us — we want to use what we’re doing to bless others.
“We have to use the flowers somehow. Why not use them for some good?”
If public health concerns arise and local businesses decide to close Friday, the Rogerses will still contribute any money raised even if they do not set the truck up downtown. At the end of the day, they are determined to give back to the community no matter what.
Lauryn said she’s been amazed at the feedback she’s received since announcing the plans Sunday. She said that most responses have been from people promising to help, which she felt reflects the attitudes of so many in the community.
“I think knowing where whatever they spend — whether it’s $10 or $20 — is going is making a lot of people interested,” Lauryn said. “So many of my friends are Christians and love the Lord. That’s kind of the light that I want to shine for people. This is a way that not only you can serve your community, but you can just bring joy to Him.
“That may be a little out there for some people, but my faith is a big part of that and for Reilly, too. Everybody’s feedback has been amazing. I’ve been blown away.”