RALEIGH, N.C. – Every day, flowers from grocery stores, weddings, funerals, and events are put in the trash. But, what if these flowers could be recycled and given back to the community? One foundation in Raleigh is doing just that.

The Flower Shuttle began back in 2006 and brings together people from all across the Triangle who help arrange flowers and donate them to people in need.

Organizers first sought help from Raleigh Moravian Church, which agreed to support the program as a community outreach project. The church and its Women's Ministry gave $700 in seed money and helped turn the foundation into what it is today.

Now, 14 years later, roughly 2,500 arrangements are donated every single month to those in poverty or living with sickness, terminal illness, and disability. Their mission is to provide flowers to those unlikely to receive them otherwise.

“I think it’s really important, especially during the pandemic when people are so isolated, to give them a bouquet of flowers — to give them just a little joy,”  says Jenny O’Brien, volunteer coordinator for The Flower Shuttle.

COVID-19 has posed some challenges for The Flower Shuttle. Typically, all 40 plus volunteers would meet at Raleigh Moravian Church once a week to arrange hundreds of flowers. Now, due to social distancing mandates, volunteers have had to break up into small groups --working in backyards and garages.

Regardless of the changes, the volunteers have kept their momentum strong, continuing to donate thousands of flowers to people all across the city.

The Flower Shuttle is only made possible through donations. If you have any spare flowers or vases following an event, or would like to volunteer -- please contact theflowershuttle@hotmail.com.