Jennifer Arey and Julie Jackson from The Petal Connection made a presentation on their non-profit’s program at the November 30, 2016 monthly PlacerSustain meeting. The Petal Connection is a 100% volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect beautiful floral bouquets to local hospice patients and seniors in need of a little joy. They have 140 volunteers that repurpose flowers to create bedside bouquets using flowers and vases that are donated from local grocers, florists, corporate events, weddings and community members. The Petal Connection partners with hospice and care facilities throughout Sacramento and Placer counties.
Jennifer Arey is President and founder of The Petal Connection. As a way of teaching her children to give back to their communities, and after her beloved grandmother entered hospice, Jennifer launched the first Northern California “flower repurposing” organization (originally under The Bloom Project) in October 2013. In August 2015, she and her amazing volunteers founded The Petal Connection as an independent nonprofit organization focusing resources solely in the Greater Sacramento Region. Jennifer started her career as an elementary school teacher, and has spent the last decade giving back to her community through her volunteer work, church leadership and fundraising for the local K-8 schools nonprofit foundation board. Jennifer is married to Dennis and has two sons in college.
Julie Jackson is Secretary and founding Board Member of The Petal Connection. She is the Chief Operations Officer for Optima Healthcare Insurance Services, Inc., a brokerage firm that manages a successful Hawaii captive insurance company. For the past 19 years, Julie has served on the board of California Healthcare Insurance Company, Inc., A Risk Retention group as Assistant Secretary. Julie is involved in outreach ministries at her church and assisting with a family business. Julie is married to Chris and has a son, who graduated from college and a daughter who is currently in college.
The reuse of flowers in this fashion is a wonderful example of the value of recycling and reuse generally. Any community endeavor that has attracted 140 volunteers is extraordinary, and is a testimonial to the strength of a community that is working together in an ethic of service. The Petal Connection is run entirely by volunteers, and until recently was occupying commercial space in Rocklin for free. Now that rent is owing the non-profit needs financial support. See their website to donate and volunteer.