CEDAR CITY — Due to cancellations of large orders, a family-owned nursery that started in Oxnard, California, and has a second location in Newcastle has partnered with the United Parcel Service to donate and deliver thousands of flowers with packages throughout Utah and California.
Cherilyn Smith, marketing and business development manager for Milgro Nursery, told Cedar City News that they had thousands of flowers on their hands after large grocery store and retailer chains from all over the country canceled orders of indoor flowers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was leaving us with thousands of flowers in our greenhouses with really no avenue to move these flowers because no one else other than grocery stores can take hundreds of thousands of indoor potted flowers,” Smith said.
She said the nursery’s two options were to either throw out the flowers or to donate them, so she started finding ways to do the latter.
“When you go out into the greenhouses and see the rows and rows of flowers just starting to bloom, it’s really an amazing sight to see,” Smith said. “It’s really special knowing those flowers are going to be going into people’s homes and brightening people’s lives.”
Smith started donating flowers to nursing homes and businesses, but she said even after doing that, there were still thousands of flowers left.
“We delivered them to hospitals, schools, businesses, just anywhere we could think of to just help spread some joy especially where people are spending so much time in their homes,” Smith said. “Even after that it only amounted to a few thousand pots that we had donated and delivered, and so I was just talking to my husband one night, in tears. It’s so sad to think of these flowers going to waste.”
She gave her husband some of the flowers to give to his employees and coworkers with UPS, and that’s what sparked the idea of parenting with UPS to deliver more of the flowers.
“He talked to his boss, and after his boss saw the flowers distributed to their own employees and the happiness it brought them, he was like ‘Yeah let me get on the phone,’ and he called his regional manager,” Smith said. “They were so amazing and just hopped on board with the idea.”
Milgro Nursery began delivering flowers to several UPS locations, and approximately 30,000 flowers have been delivered with packages throughout Utah and Southern California.
Shevonne Adams, an employee at Milgro’s Newcastle location, told Cedar City News she receives several phone calls a day from those who have received flowers with their packages.
“A lot of them are on the verge of tears, just very thankful, and it seems like it just brightens their day,” she said.
Adams said she feels it’s a positive thing to do during a time that may be especially difficult.
“It’s really brightening people’s day,” she said. “It really makes me appreciative of who I work for and very proud of them.”
The flowers are delivered with a note from the nursery and UPS that explains Milgro’s mission to spread hope and joy and expresses appreciation for medical workers.
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