Our community is very active with charity events like this one, the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Qualicum Beach Rotary, run this annual event with a dinner and dance to raise funds for the needs in our community. We are very happy to have been a part of this event, this year.
Here are some pictures of the arrangements that we supplied to be auctioned off to help raise funds
Since we started we've always been passionate about art and flowers, some days it just flows or locations where we are placing our work, and the people, it can be who they are and how they gives us inspiration. This week we've been asked to put a piece into the Art Worx Gallery here in Qualicum Beach, it could be the gallery that gave today's inspired piece but most likely it's the owner Marlo, what a great caricature, personable and just fun to be around. Thanks Marlo and we wish all the best at tonight's show of more than 20 top artists in and around BC.
One of our great passions in our life is supporting underprivileged people. When we were in the planning stages of opening our boutique we really worked hard at trying to find a way to incorporate this philosophy in our shop. Whether people in need were living across the street or anywhere in the world, we wanted a way to give back to our community, locally or globally.
Having attended a local fair trade market I discovered the “African AIDS Angels”. To my great delight I found out that it was a few local women here in Qualicum Beach that get together weekly and handcraft these lovely angels using mostly donated items. Each angel is given a typical African name along with its English translation in honor of a child that is affected by HIV or AIDS. The sale of the Angels supports 4 different projects in South Africa and in Malawi. 100% of the sale of these angels goes to support these projects.
Needless to say I was thrilled to learn this. My husband and I have a tender place in our hearts for Africa, having traveled there three times to work among the underprivileged, and those suffering from HIV. These angels are a regular feature in our boutique and all the proceeds of the sales go to support this vital work.
We are also very conscious of supporting our local community whenever possible. We work with a variety of community organizations, from those that work with our homeless, and yes Oceanside does have a homeless population, to providing our expertise at different community events; such as our local chamber with their yearly Gala event.
This week we are supporting our local Rotary with all the supplies and roses for their dozen rose “ Attitude of Gratitude” fundraiser event. Fresh n Fabulous will be providing 350 dozen roses, yes that’s 4,200 roses. An astonishing amount! Impossible for a small boutique to provide! Not really. With a little effort and organization it all comes together and it works, and is just another small way that we can give back to a community that supports us.
Yes we have found our way to embrace the idea; "Across the street and Around the world… People helping People…." One of our Fresh n Fabulous passions.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. I feel like summer just zipped by and here we are into fall.Thinking about Thanksgiving reminded me of a story that a dear friend emailed me when we first opened our boutique. I loved that story. In a nutshell it goes like this:
A customer ,Jenny,stopped in a local florist shop to buy an arrangement for thanksgiving. She had no idea what she wanted and she really did not feel like celebrating thanksgiving as there were so many tragedies in her life lately that being thankful was the furthest thing on her mind. While proceeding to order the flowers the florist asked her about the type of arrangement's she would like. She stated that she strongly believes that flowers can tell a story and that each arrangement portrays a particular feeling. " Were you looking for something that convey's gratitude this Thanksgiving? Jenny blurted out "absolutly not!" Apologizing for her outburst she explained that nothing has gone right in the last five months.
The florist then stated that she had the perfect arrangement for her.. Just at this moment a regular customer came in to pick up her order. The florist excused herself and retrieved a massive arrangement of green bows and long-stemmed thorny roses only the ends of the stems were neatly snipped off and no roses. Jenny thought this was a joke but she heard no laughter. The florist was thanked profusely for the lovely arrangement that she had created again this year.
As the customer left Jenny asked the florist about the significance of that particular arrangement. The florist explained that that was the Thanksgiving special. Jenny could not believe anyone would pay for that. The florist then explained the signifigance of that arrangement . Three years ago her husband had passed away, her father was battling cancer, her son was into drugs. She had to assume all the responsibility for the shop for the first time and she had to spend the holiday alone. She had no children, no husband, no family nearby and to great a debt to travel. Jenny asked her "what did you do" The florist replied " I learned to be thankful for the thorns."
At this Jenny was confused. The florist continued to explain.... She had always been thankful for the good things in life , always enjoyed the flowers of life but it took the thorns to show her the beauty of God's comfort. Because of the thorns we treasure the roses.It makes them that much more precious. So now every time we see a rose we remember to appreciate the good times and the hard times, as we grow through both and become stronger for it.
With that Jenny ordered her own Thanksgiving Thorn Bouquet with a pledge to work on healing her heart. With that the florist encouraged her and said the first years arrangement is always free.
I love that story . It portrays so many things that we can all be thankful for because it all makes us who we are today.