Volunteers – Your First Day!

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What to expect your First Day of Volunteering

Thank you for volunteering with the Power of Flowers Project! We are excited to have you join our team!

Volunteers like YOU—whether you work every week or at random intervals—are the heart of our project.

We are a casual, friendly group who loves to play with flowers and believes strongly that what we do makes an important difference in the lives of others.

What and where:

  • • Our workshop is located on the grounds of Tewksbury Hospital campus at 365 East Street, Tewksbury, MA.
    • Come in your “grubbies” or use one of our aprons if you are dressed in anything you value. We have plastic gloves to protect manicures but the work can get messy on clothes.
    • A name tag will be provided. It helps us all get acquainted quickly and remember your name.

Getting started:

You will have a mentor the first day that will introduce you to the other volunteers and show you around the facility. On your first day we want you to discover the fun of making the arrangements and, if possible, accompany the volunteer who delivers the flowers so you can see firsthand the reaction of the recipients.

  • • Your mentor will show you where to get clippers, apron, a turntable and a cup to arrange in. We work at waist-height worktables with rubber mats under our feet to minimize back strain.
    • We can accommodate volunteers who cannot stand for long periods—just ask!
    • Flowers to work on will be sorted in buckets and arrayed on counters and around the floor if we have a lot of them.
    • Our arrangements are generally kept fairly small, symmetrical and low for ease of transport. This also makes them less likely to tip over on bed stands and trays, where many recipients keep them.

A few words of advice:

  • • We were all new to this at one point. We were all terrified we would ruin something or make hideous looking arrangements. We all thought everyone knew what they were doing except us.
    • We all thought we might be doing something wrong and everyone was just too polite to tell us.
    • We all thought everyone already knew each other and wouldn’t want a newbie breaking into their little club.
    • We all thought it would be presumptuous to ask questions and make suggestions.
    • We were all wrong.

Typical Flower Session

We have a white board that has all the tasks listed that need to be done. We also keep track of the number of bouquets produced on the board.

There will be an experienced Power Volunteer designated for the day as well. This person will answer questions and keep things running smoothly throughout the day.

• We make individual arrangements in compostable cups holding a small square of floral foam
• If you have arranged flowers before, dig right in. You’ll notice the arrangements tend to be approximately eight inches around and high, but anything you do within those parameters is fine.
• For inexperienced arrangers, we have a streamlined approach to arranging that will have you cranking out bouquets within your first hour. Your mentor will walk you through the process for as long as you need help.
• We ‘shop’ for flowers among the buckets and greens for each new arrangement
• No Hoarding! Bring what you think you will use for each arrangement to your workspace and you own it until you have finished your arrangement. Then go shopping for your next arrangement.
• If someone asks if you’re planning to use a particular flower in your stash, feel free to say yes and no one will be offended.
• Likewise, if you see a flower out on the table and suspect it has been abandoned; feel free to ask if you can use it.
• We all learn from each other, so if you see someone making an arrangement you like, by all means imitate it
• When you finish your arrangement, spray it with the hydrating solution (Crowning Glory) out on the table and stick one of our flags in the center of the arrangement. Place it in one of the trays we use for delivery, grab your next cup and go for it.

End of Session and Clean Up:

• The work sessions are usually 2 to 4 hours long. Feel free to leave anytime you want during the session. This is a volunteer organization and we understand that you have a life with other things that take priority.
• General work room clean up involves drying your clippers and putting them away on the shelf along with your turntable, if you are using them.
• Tables are cleaned and wiped down with paper towels.
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• The mats are lifted off the floor and placed on the tables, and then the floors are swept.

If there are other things that need to be done they will be listed on the whiteboard.

These might be:

• Washing Buckets
• Taking Trash Out
• Delivering Bouquets
• Picking up a flower donation
• Packaging recycled containers for resale

Above all – Have Fun!

Volunteers – Your First Day (PDF)