ASSINIBOIA - Do you ever wish you had just the right words to give someone a lift or the perfect way of showing your appreciation for a friend or neighbour? Then let the flowers do the talking on Good Neighbour Day.
Flowers speak; their vibrant colours tell stories, their scents evoke memories, and when shared with a friend, they say exactly what that person needs to hear without uttering a word.
The roses given on Good Neighbour Day also whisper another message – they open the door for conversations on mental health. While we might not know how to begin a difficult conversation, a rose is the perfect balance of elegance and boldness. It says, “I’m here for you. Do you want to talk?”
Good Neighbour Day was started by the previous owner of Moms Florist, Jo Girardin. At the time, Salvation Army was her business neighbour so they partnered together with the proceeds going to their charity. Erin Eberle, owner of Mom’s Florist, spoke about taking over the fundraiser.
“I purchased Mom’s Florist in 2015 and I felt there were many areas in Assiniboia that could benefit from such a positive fundraiser. Mental Health was significant for me, as I have had personal experience with it in my own life. It seemed a very fitting destination for the proceeds. Flowers make people happy; giving and receiving flowers make people even happier.”
Eberle encourages customers to pre-order their dozen roses by calling the store at 306-642-4277. Mom’s Florist is able to sell the rose bouquets for $20 each with the cooperation of Erin’s suppliers.
“We don’t get to choose the colours; the flower farms cut them for us to keep the costs down as much as possible. So the colours are a beautiful surprise, but most of the bouquets will be in red, and then there will be some in other colours as well. In this way we can allocate the most possible funds towards mental health education and accessibility in Assiniboia,” said Eberle.
Even if you do not pre-order before Good Neighbour Day, which is coming soon, walk-ins are welcome. “Buy a bundle of roses, and give each one away to your neighbours, friends, and family as a way to show your appreciation for them in your life! Good Neighbour Day is meant to promote gratitude, and to let others know they are loved and appreciated.”
“We need to stay on top of our own mental health and help others with their well being too. With the proceeds from Good Neighbour Day, we have been able to fund programs in Assiniboia and area. We hosted a large event recently at the Prince of Wales with motivational speaker, Corliss. It was a huge success,” said Eberle.
“We also had an online event during COVID lockdown. We have now formed a board, ‘The Mental Health and Wellness Team’ to help discuss and decide where the funding should be maximized. We have teamed up with other local fundraisers and together our group has the mission to keep mental health in the forefront of our growth as a community. We also have Mental Health Wellness starter kits available at Mom’s Florist. They can be picked up for no charge and they are full of information and ideas to help with anxiety or feelings of overwhelm.”
Good Neighbour Day continues to grow and blossom. It has become an annual event which many individuals look forward to, both for sharing and receiving love and kindness. In the last five years the fundraiser has grown from approximately 100-120 bouquets to 400-450. “Our community is amazing,” said Eberle. “We’re excited to see the idea catching on in other towns too. Coronach and Bengough pre-order their bouquets and the flowers are picked up at Mom’s Florist or delivered.”
Eberle encourages everyone to participate. “Take advantage of a great price on a dozen roses and start some meaningful conversations with people you care about. My hope for the fundraiser is that it keeps growing, and helps make people feel loved, welcome, and safe in our beautiful corner of the world.”