The Haddonfield nonprofit Forget Me Knot has repurposed wedding floral arrangements and delivered them to people in nursing homes, care facilities and local hospitals since 2016.
The organization was started by Haddonfield resident Leona Davis, who was inspired after her daughter got married and Davis wondered what to do with all the flowers.
“You see the flower bill and you think, ‘Oh my gosh, these expensive flowers are still going to be good at the end of the night, what are we gonna do with them?’” Davis recalled. Her daughter and her then-fiance suggested taking them to a nursing home, which Davis did.
Since then, Forget Me Knot has brought joy to those who received flowers and to the volunteers who helped out. Haddonfield Memorial High School senior Riley Mulligan volunteered for the past year with her grandfather, his girlfriend and her sisters, but only recently began bringing her basketball team to help with floral arrangements.
“We just mentioned it to the girls on our team and they were all really interested,” Mulligan said.
The team volunteered for a second time earlier last month.
“I think that it’s very personable,” Mulligan noted of Forget Me Knot. “While we don’t get to directly see the people it’s helping, we’re kind of getting to use our own creativity to make something to make someone else smile.”
“When we got there and started distributing the flowers, people’s faces were becoming alive,” Davis noted. “People were smiling and engaging with us in conversation, and I looked at my husband and I said, ‘I think we’ve hit upon something that’s really needed and is so beautiful.’
”My heart was becoming so full, to see all of this interaction.”
Forget Me Knot has grown since then, from just Davis and her husband working in their garage to a full volunteer list, The nonprofit currently partners with close to 40 care facilities across the South Jersey region.
“I always give the couple getting married an option,” Davis explained. “I want them to make a meaningful connection with where their flowers go. I want it to be meaningful for them as well as their families, so if they have a grandparent that’s living in a facility that’s not on our list, we always accommodate them.”
The meaningful gesture is also felt by flower recipients.
“I always like to emphasize, ‘This bride was thinking of you when she was planning her wedding,’” Davis pointed out. “That’s pretty powerful, you know?
“I think that mindset is very impactful and it can turn somebody’s day around.”
To get involved with Forget Me Knot or learn more, visit https://forgetmeknotflowers.org/.