“You can purchase a gift for someone you know that is feeling lonely or send some succulents to a long-term care facility that is no longer allowing visitors,” said Jessica Girard of Growing Smiles Fundraising. (Submitted)

Community plant sale in Surrey to help support food bank and community groups

Growing Smiles Fundraising has created a new way to give back to the community during COVID-19

A Fraser Valley-based fundraising group that typically helps schools, sports teams and community groups raise money through plant sales has shifted its focus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Growing Smiles Fundraising is holding several community plant sales in B.C. throughout the month of May, including one in Surrey, all while supporting local food banks and other community groups.

“You can purchase a gift for someone you know that is feeling lonely or send some succulents to a long-term care facility that is no longer allowing visitors,” said Jessica Girard of Growing Smiles Fundraising. “We could all use a little support right now.”

How it works: folks go online and order plants like hanging baskets, assorted herbs and geraniums. Ten per cent of the sale goes to the local food bank or community group of your choice. Plants are then picked up at a later date during a certain time slot at a central location, using a no-contact, drive-through system.

In Surrey, orders need to be placed by 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, via the website growingsmilesfundraising.com. Pickup is on Wednesday, May 20 at a location to be announced.

“Right now, 10 per cent of every order is going directly to the Surrey Food Bank Society,” Girard said. “We are expecting a few schools and community centres to join the list as options that people can support as well.”

Growing Smiles, a division of DeVry Greenhouses, has organized fundraisers for more than 15 years, selling flowers, annuals, herbs and veggies in the spring and poinsettias and greenery in the winter. Groups buy the plants at wholesale costs and sell them to friends and family for a profit. Funds raised usually contribute to PACs, playgrounds, sports trips, grad ceremonies, dance tuitions, specialized surgeries and more.

Typically, the groups run the fundraisers themselves. However, with school closures, event cancellations and uncertainty caused by COVID-19, many of them had to cancel their annual spring fundraisers, so Growing Smiles Fundraising decided to create this new community plant sale fundraisers instead.

The community plant sale allows people to buy plants safely all while helping support the community. Additionally, greenhouses will avoid composting thousands of veggies, herbs, annuals and hanging baskets.

“It’s really uplifting to see the number of people choosing to give back to their local food bank and support the most vulnerable people in these times,” Girard said.

Growing Smiles Fundraising also has community plant sales scheduled in other areas of the province, including Langley, Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

with a file from Tom Zillich

RELATED: ‘I just want to survive:’ Greenhouses struggling with economic reality of COVID-19

Coronavirusfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

With schools closed and events cancelled, Growing Smiles Fundraising has switched its efforts to community plant sales which support local food banks and community groups. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Surrey to pay TransLink $30M in land, $9M in cash for work on cancelled LRT

Council considered staff report on city’s 2019 annual financial statements during Monday’s “virtual” council meeting

Surrey RCMP promise enforcement at unofficial show ‘n’ shines

Cars have been impounded at the site in the last two years

‘There’s no playbook for this’: South Surrey sports organizations await approval to return to play

Local associations planning for modified summer seasons as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Local Chinese Canadians aim to counter COVID-19 backlash

Few racist incidents on Peninsula, says Community Engagement Society

Surrey now has second urgent and primary care centre, in Newton, premier says

Premier John Horgan noted that some 90,000 people in Surrey don’t have a family doctor

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read