Due to the onset of COVID-19, we had to make a few temporary changes to our much-loved Flower Empower program to ensure the safety of all of our wonderful staff and volunteers.
We want to continue to bring comfort and cheer wherever we can during these challenging times. Even though we can’t be together, we are still a community that cares very deeply for each other and we all miss the Flower Empower connection.
We have been able to expand our program by allowing long-term volunteers within the most up-to-date health guidelines to create bouquets at home and sharing them with neighbors, friends, or essential workers. Thanks to Westerlay Orchids’ generosity, Flower Empower has also been able to share a bounty of orchids with many other community organizations in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, with healthcare workers, grocery store employees, teachers and many other service workers.
So far, we have been able to deliver over 15,000 orchids and counting!
In case you missed it, you can watch the Flower Empower Virtual Luncheon film that premiered on June 25 here. We hope you enjoy it.
Flower Empower Program Overview
Flower Empower is just one of Dream Foundation’s many programs that benefit the community and help Dream Foundation to fulfill our dream-granting mission.
Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower program is a Santa Barbara-based, volunteer-driven program that delivers floral bouquets, fresh-baked cookies, fine chocolates and cards that are hand made by school children and other groups and individuals to people in hospices, cancer centers and their homes. Volunteers prepare dozens of arrangements using donated flowers. Flower delivery referrals come from cancer centers, nurses, social workers, hospices, elder support organizations and the community at large.
Since its inception in 1994, the program has served thousands of community members by providing more than 100,000 bouquets, cookies (homemade by longtime Flower Empower Supporter, Robin Himovitz), artisanal chocolates (provided by Chocolats du CaliBressan) and cards.
In 2018, the Flower Empower program logged 3,536 volunteer hours resulting in the creation and delivery of 8,938 bouquets.
To refer a flower recipient, contact Dream Foundation by email (email@example.com) or phone (805.564.2131) with your name and phone number, the name and address of the person you’re referring, and why you believe they should receive flowers. Perhaps he or she has lost a loved one, is recovering from surgery, has received a devastating diagnosis, is having a first or last chemo treatment, is in the hospital or a rehabilitation facility. A flower recipient can be anyone within Santa Barbara County that is in need of cheer.
Photo Credit: Kelly Sweda Photography
Our Flower Empower Partners
Santa Barbara County is rich in agricultural history. It’s the largest high-quality cut-flower producing region in the state and country. Local growers are generous in providing donations of beautiful cut flowers and plants to the Flower Empower program.
In addition to bouquets, flower recipients enjoy fresh-baked cookies, homemade and donated by the Himovitz Family, and artisanal chocolates, donated by Chocolats du CaliBressan (Jill-Marie and Jean-Michel Carre.)
Chocolats du CaliBressanThose of you already familiar with “Le CaliBressan” from France can now enjoy Jean-Michel’s delicious artisan chocolates created fresh right here in the United States! If you are not already acquainted with us and our chocolates, please explore the surprising imagination of Chef Jean-Michel and his wife Jill. Website: http://www.chococalibressan.com/
Ever-BloomEver-Bloom's flower-growing tradition can be traced back 15 generations, to 1699 and the Cornelius family of Holland. Every generation since then, for 288 years has grown flowers or fruit and vegetables. Website: http://www.ever-bloom.com/
FlorabundanceFlorabundance is located in Carpenteria where the mountains of the Los Padres Forest meet the Pacific Ocean, just south of Santa Barbara, California. The fertile flower growing conditions coupled with favorable temperatures ensure a steady harvest of California grown fresh cut flowers and foliages. Our flower packaging techniques are highly developed allowing us to offer a 100% quality guarantee. We invite you to tour our newly improved site, sign-up for our newsletter, and shop online in our store designed for the floral professional. Florabundance is known for excellent and knowledgeable customer service. Website: http://www.fabulousflorals.com/
Maximum NurseryOur commitment keeps Maximum Nursery on the cutting edge. The environment, our customers and our employees are our keys to success. Maximum Nursery Inc, the "oldest" grower of gerbera daisies in the United States of America has been in the forefront in producing high quality gerberas for over 30 years. Website: http://maximumnursery.com/
Myriad FlowersMyriad Flowers is located along California's Central Coast about 5 miles south of Santa Barbara. With 14 acres of Rose greenhouses, 4 acres of Pompon greenhouses, and 20 acres of field flowers, Myriad Flowers sits on three separate locations throughout the Carpinteria Valley. Along with the Roses and Pompons, upcoming crops of Tulips, Iris, Miniature Carnations and Misty Blue will be soon be added to our current field production of Gypsophilia, Statice, Solidaster and Sunflower. Website: http://www.myriadflowers.com
Trader Joe’sIt's not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value. Website: http://traderjoes.com/
Westerlay OrchidsFounded in 1978 as Westerlay Roses, Westerlay Orchids is a family-owned and operated commercial grower of orchids located in Carpinteria, California. The company was started by Joe Overgaag following his emigration from the Netherlands to Carpinteria, and later he earned the distinction of being among the first in the nation to widely apply hydroponic growing technology to flowers. Website: http://www.westerlayorchids.com/
Flower Empower Network
We are also looking for florists across the country and volunteers in the Santa Barbara area who would like to donate their time and floral arrangements, and deliver them to Dream recipients and their families.
If you are interested in volunteering for Flower Empower in Santa Barbara, or joining the Flower Empower Network, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower recipients’ joy is enough to justify our work, but the healing power of flowers is proven to have a positive effect on health and well-being. Several studies confirm the positive impact that flowers have on the emotional wellness of medical patients including:
- Patients who viewed plants had shorter hospitalizations than those patients without plants. (Therapeutic Influences of Plants in Hospital Rooms on Surgical Recovery, Kansas State University, February 2009)
- Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues at home. (Home Ecology of Flowers Study, Harvard University, September 2006 )
- Seniors who received flowers re-engaged with members of their communities and enlarged their social contacts to include more neighbors, religious support and even medical personnel. (Flowers & Seniors Study, Human Development Lab at Rutgers University, 2001)
Photo Credits: Kelly Sweda Photography and Kiel Rucker Photography