CARLE PLACE, N.Y. — As widely reported, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were two of the most intense and destructive storms ever to strike the United States, with Texas receiving the brunt of Harvey’s rain-soaked fury and Florida experiencing Irma’s incredibly powerful winds and dangerous storm surge.
Millions of residents and many businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region and the southeastern U.S., as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, were affected by the storms. Among those hardest hit, were retail flower shops, many of which found themselves in dire need of assistance. Immediately following the storms, BloomNet®, an international wire service and world-class business solutions provider, teamed with several floral industry associations, taking the lead in generating much-needed support for retail florists in Texas and Florida.
Recognizing that relief efforts for hurricane-impacted florists would yield greater results if the entire floral industry participated, BloomNet collaborated with the American Institute of Floral Designers and its AIFD Foundation, as well as with the Texas State Florists’ Association and the Florida State Florists’ Association. Two separate relief funds were established urging florists nationwide to contribute to the funds, whether they were part of the BloomNet network or not.
“Through the Hurricane Harvey Florist Fund and the Hurricane Irma Florist Fund, BloomNet is committed to taking a proactive role in assisting retail florists during this very challenging time, doing our part to help florists rebuild their shops and their lives,” said Mark Nance, AAF, President of BloomNet. “We’re pleased that, in addition to proceeds from these funds going to florists, BloomNet will match donations made by BloomNet Florists, now through December 31, 2017.”
Complementing the financial relief efforts, BloomNet has implemented a hurricane assistance plan for flower shops in Texas and Florida, working closely with shop owners to help get their businesses up and running again. As part of this effort, BloomNet has been providing shops with items such as floral supplies, fresh flowers, vases, new marketing materials, and computer equipment.
“Throughout these catastrophic events, one thing became clearly evident – the floral industry is not just a business. It is a remarkable community, a close-knit family of loving and caring people who are resilient and come together to support each other for the greater good. It is a beautiful testament to our industry and to the amazing people who enable our floral industry to thrive,” said Lisa Carmichael, Vice President of Marketing & New Business Development, BloomNet.
Lynn Lary McLean, AAF AIFD PFCI TMF, Chief Executive Officer of The AIFD Foundation, stated: “The AIFD Foundation is primarily dedicated to the education of floral designers worldwide. Through the catastrophic component within the structure of the Foundation, we extend our commitment to the floral industry through two hurricane relief funds, calling upon the entire florist community nationwide to do what they can in helping to rebuild the floral industry in both Texas and Florida.”
Dianna Nordman, AAF, Executive Director of the Texas State Florists’ Association, stated: “We thank BloomNet, The AIFD Foundation and retail florists all over the United States for their energy, resources and generous financial support. TSFA is very grateful for all you are doing to help the florists of Texas in this time of need.”
Angela Tully, AIFD FSMD, President of the Florida State Florists’ Association, stated: “On behalf of our Association and the florists throughout Florida, we want to express our thanks to BloomNet, The AIFD Foundation, and to our fellow florists and industry companies in other states far and near. Your tremendous kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated during this difficult time in the Sunshine State.”
To donate to the Hurricane Harvey Florist Fund and the Hurricane Irma Florist Fund or to apply for a Hurricane Florist Fund Grant, go to: aifdfoundation.org/
As the leading floral industry service provider, BloomNet, Inc. (www.bloomnet.net), a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., is focused on continually exceeding the expectations of its select community of Florists. Retail Florists across the nation and around the globe rely upon BloomNet as their trusted source for unique personalized service, comprehensive florist care, innovative programs, and quality products designed to increase their viability. BloomNet is committed to working side by side with our Florists to foster industry education, build community, and develop long term relationships built on trust, commitment, and dependability.
About AIFD and The AIFD Foundation
Established in 1965, the American Institute of Floral Designers is, today, the floral industry’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and recognizing the highest standard of professional floral design. The mission of AIFD is to advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership, and to recognize the achievement of excellence in this art form. The AIFD Foundation was established as an umbrella organization for all future funds and projects, with a single group of trustees having responsibility for all activities. The Foundation’s mission is to provide financial support for educational purposes, scholarships, projects and programs that facilitate the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of floral design and related fields.
The Texas State Florists’ Association, founded in 1914, is a professional trade association for all branches of the floral industry including retailers, wholesalers, growers, manufacturers of floral products and supplies, brokers, shippers, importers, interior plantscapers, and others who service the floral industry. TSFA’s mission is to cultivate Member Success and a Strong Floral Community. The varied membership, bound together by common interests, also includes students, retired florists, university professors and researchers. TSFA represents and serves the floral industry in Texas and has members in twenty-six other states, Mexico and Canada.
The Florida State Florists’ Association, founded in 1922, is a not-for-profit educational trade association of florists and related industries dedicated to helping both new and veteran florists provide better service to customers, as well as to one another. FSFA is committed to providing education to both members of the floral industry and the public. FSFA’s objectives are to: cultivate friendly relationships; promote mutual understanding and foster the solidarity of all of its members; promote the interests of and educate both its members and the public in the floral industry; and encourage high ethical standards in business and professional conduct.