New Jersey nonprofit brings extra cheer through donated flowers

Mike DeNardo
February 17, 2020 - 4:00 am
Leona Davis runs Forget Me Knot Flowers from her Haddonfield home, delivering donated wedding flowers to residents in nursing homes, cancer centers and women's shelters in the Philadelphia area.

Courtesy of Leona Davis

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HADDONFIELD (KYW Newsradio) — A South Jersey nonprofit has given a second life to wedding flowers that would otherwise be tossed out.

The idea came to Leona Davis a few years ago when her daughter got married: Donate the wedding flowers, which would otherwise be thrown away, to people who would appreciate them. That's how her nonprofit Forget Me Knot Flowers was born.

For the last three years, she's taken wedding flowers that would have been discarded, rearranged them in vases, and delivered them to residents in nursing homes, cancer centers and women's shelters in the Philadelphia area. 

Each arrangement includes a note about love, with the name of the couple who donated them. "Sometimes we say on our cards, 'You are loved,'" Davis said. "It's a very simple but impactful message to those that maybe don't get a visitor so much, and needing a little bit of extra cheer."

"Little did I know the impact that this was going to have on those that were receiving these flowers," she recalled. "I saw their faces become alive and light up and there was so much gratitude in their hearts."

Davis, whose day job is as a music teacher at Bells Elementary School in Washington Township, runs her nonprofit out of her Haddonfield home. Volunteers spend Sunday mornings there arranging flowers, and preparing them for delivery. 

She estimates she's delivered 12,000 bouquets so far. "Every weekend, we go through hundreds of vases.  And typically we go back and get them. But sometimes they become the property of the residents."

So donations of vases  and time  are also welcomed.