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Coming off of a successful Valentine’s Day season of flower sales, Curbside Chronicle vendors are hard at it again, this time selling flowers for Mother’s Day coming up Sunday.

The organization will be selling the bouquets through Sunday. A small bouquet is $12, a medium is $30, and the large bouquets are $65.

Curbside Mothers Day flower sales 2018 Rene, Rhonda, Jamie
Crew of Curbside vendors works fast to put together bouquets being sold for Mother’s Day. (L-R) René, Rhonda Ezell, and Jamie Shaw. BRETTDICKERSON/OKCFreePress

The bouquets are hand-assembled by Curbside vendors who are trained by The Plant Shoppe in designing bouquets.

Go to the Curbside website to find specifics about the popup shops in the Plaza District, at Stella Nova, and Leadership Square.

A pop-up shop will also be open Sunday at Frontline Church at NW 10th Street and N. Robinson.

The sales are in addition to their usual Curbside Chronicle magazine sales on street corners.

Freedom

We talked to vendor Tee Mathis just after she sold a bouquet to local restauranteur Shannon Roper at the popup shop in DNA Galleries in the Plaza District.

What does she like about being a Curbside Chronicle Vendor?

“I like the freedom,” Mathis said. “You can set your own hours and days. It’s up to you how much money you make.”

Originally from Tulsa, she said “the people here are generous” which has given her the opportunity to have the Homeless Alliance help her get into an affordable apartment in a neighborhood where she feels safe.

What it is

Curbside Chronicle is a “street paper” meaning it is a publication to help people earn their way out of homelessness and into recovery.

It is a project of the Homeless Alliance that raises the budget for Curbside through generous donors to the nonprofit.

Harold "Butch" Treece, Curbside Chronicle vendor
Harold “Butch” Treece, Curbside Chronicle vendor. (file photo) BRETTDICKERSON/OKCFreePress

Curbside staff then give training and support to vendors who wear their signature green smocks and sell the magazine-type publication on street corners.

Vendors pay a small fee for each copy and then sell them for a profit.

The flower sales are extra efforts that bump the Curbside budget that allows the organization to help even more vendors.

Building Bouquets

Earlier in the morning, we caught up with Curbside staffer Marty Peercy as he was coordinating the bouquets being assembled.

The crew of vendors had been working at the temporary site near NW 12th Street and N Pennsylvania since around 7 a.m.

“It’s been good. It’s been an exciting week,” said Peercy.

Curbside Mother's Day flower sales 2018 McBride
Vendor David McBride fills one of the water buckets as flowers arrive. BRETTDICKERSON/OKCFreePress

“Last year the Valentines Flower Sales were in my first week, but now I feel like we are better prepared after going through the second year and now this sale,” he said. “I’ve learned a bunch.”

Vendors Jamie Shaw, Rhonda Ezell, and Rene (who didn’t want to give her last name) all engaged in sort of a dance as they moved down the line of flowers and then backed up and moved around others.

They each had a smile and a pleasant look on their faces as they saw their creations coming to life in their hands.

Others were busy filling buckets with water and preparing for the next shipment of flowers from sponsor wholesaler Oklahoma Flower Market.

Composting, recycling

Peercy said that one thing he noticed in the last round of flower sales was how much waste went out the door to the trash.

Curbside Mother's Day flower sales 2018 Peercy
Marty Peercy, one of the few full-time staff members at Curbside Chronicle explains the process of assembling the bouquets. BRETTDICKERSON/OKCFreePress

About two inches of the base of flowers have to be cut off so that when they are put in water they will drink and stay fresh once they are purchased.

Paper and cardboard are used to transport the flowers from the wholesaler, too.

So, this time around Curbside connected with Fertile Ground, a composting organization that picks up compostable material and turns it into quality natural compost fertilizer.

Peercy said they are saving the clippings from the flowers, the cardboard, and paper to be recycled and composted.

Sponsors

Sponsors for the flower sales are Fowler Automotive, Tyler Media, the Plant Shoppe, Oklahoma Flower Market, and the 8th-grade class of Westminster School.

The Westminster students carry out projects throughout the year that generate some income. The class then saves the money and decides what charitable cause they will help with their donation.

As part of Westminster School’s community service learning curriculum, the eighth-grade students focus on increasing their understanding of poverty.

The class collectively decided to partner with an organization in the community that is helping people earn money and end their homelessness.

This year they chose Curbside Chronicle to start the Mothers Day flower sales.

Learn more

To learn more about Curbside Chronicle, go to our story about the organization and what they do.

Small staff, big impact – Curbside Chronicle fights homelessness

UPDATE: 2018-5-11, 2005 hrs. Bouquet prices and sizes were corrected.

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