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International Lonely Bouquet Day slated for June 25 across the globe

It all began in 2012, when Emily Avenson, owner at Fleuropean, a small flower farm and design studio located in Belgium, had the simple idea to make people happy by spreading joy with flowers. She started leaving bouquets, which she’d created in her shop, in public places for complete strangers to pick up. She attached a small note to the bouquet explaining that she was simply looking to brighten someone’s day. She documented every bouquet and soon began inspiring other florists to follow in her footsteps.

In 2013, the first annual International Lonely Bouquet Day took place across the globe on June 30. Florists, flower-lovers, hobby gardeners, or anyone interested in participating, created bouquets, or a jar of wildflowers, or an artful arrangement, decorated it with a “Take Me” tag, and left it in a public place for a stranger to happen upon and adopt.

Photos and videos were taken documenting the experience and were shared with the world by tagging #thelonelybouquet across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The Lonely Bouquet Day went viral and free flowers have since been given away all over the world, from Mexico to South Africa, England to Australia, and the United States to Japan. What began as a grassroots movement became an international phenomenon.

The only true goal behind the movement is to spread happiness and goodwill, one flower at a time. The initiative is also a way to pay it forward, as it affects both the giver and the receiver positively.

DVFlora, headquartered in Sewell, NJ, has participated in the project since its launch and encourages its customers to also take part. According to its website, one of DVFlora’s sales associates put together a little bouquet of sunflowers and gerrondos, took a stroll during her lunch break and left the bouquet on a park bench. Not even an hour later, the company’s Facebook page was hit with a photo and a thank you message from a happy young lady who just happened to be having a bad day.

“The fact that such a simple act of kindness has taken off so greatly in a short amount of time says wonderful things about the impact of social media across the entire world,” read a statement on the company’s site. “It is an awesome way to not only get your shop some serious attention, but to get people all over the world excited about flowers!”

This year International Lonely Bouquet Day is scheduled for June 25, but people aren’t limited to just that one day and can participate throughout the year, to keep the flower power going. If you want to join in and make someone happy, here’s all you need to do, according to The Lonely Bouquet website:

• Gather a bunch of flowers, either from your local florist, from the garden, or straight from nature.

• Arrange the flowers in a small, recycled jar or tie them off with a bit of twine.

• Add a signature “Take Me” tag.

• Leave the arrangement in a public place for a lucky local to take home.

For more tools and information, go to www.thelonelybouquet.com.