San Francisco

Florist Offering Free Bouquets To East Bay Commuters Today

This morning, East Bay commuters can smell the roses without having to stop.

As part of Petal it Forward, an event hosted by the Society of American Florists (SAF), J Miller Flowers and Gifts is dispatching volunteers to locations in Oakland, Piedmont and Walnut Creek to distribute bouquets to morning travelers.

Each recipient will receive two bouquets—one to keep and another to pass on.

This marks the second year that J Miller has participated. The SAF started the event in 2016 as a way to spread goodwill through bouquets. This year, more than two hundred florists around the country will participate. 

Video: Society of American Florists/YouTube

“The premise is to give it forward,” said Valerie Lee Ow, owner of J Miller Flowers. “It’s a random act of kindness, sharing the joy and happiness of giving and receiving flowers.”

When she spoke to Hoodline, Lee Ow had ten volunteers wrapping bouquets in a seasonal pumpkin patch located behind the floral shop. This morning, those same volunteers will pass out bouquets made from flowers donated by twelve different vendors at the San Francisco Flower Mart.

Volunteers assemble bouquets at J Miller Flowers. | Photo: Cirrus Wood/Hoodline

Volunteers come from the Piedmont Garden Club, the Lafayette Garden Club, and from Walnut Creek, Orinda, Piedmont, and Oakland.

Between 9am and 11am, Petal It Forward teams will be at the Piedmont Police Department, Piedmont City Hall, Oakland Fire Department, Jack London Square, and other locations.

“So many people are out there hurting and having a bad day, and flowers are a universal language of friendship,” said volunteer Jeannie Roberts.


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