When did you get involved with RAF?
I became involved about a year ago shortly after attending Tampa Bay’s spring Derby event.

What attracted you to the RAF mission?
I loved the idea of recycling flowers and vases. Further, the delivery of RAF bouquets to the elderly, veterans, and other patients is an extension of the work I did as a Deacon at my church in Pennsylvania.

To you, what is the most important thing that RAF does?
RAF provides healing through the beauty of flowers and a smile for not only patients and the elderly, but also for the countless Volunteers that make all that happen, There is a silent understanding that should someone not come in for several days, a phone call check should be made. Our Volunteers thrive on the joy working with flowers brings to others and themselves!

What motivates you to stay involved?
I am motivated by the reactions from those that receive our bouquets (I love helping with the deliveries!) and the knowledge that RAF makes such a difference in so many lives. I am equally motivated by the dedication of Tampa Bay’s Board, Staff and Volunteers in each step of bouquet production. I am continually amazed!

Is there someone in your life who supports or inspires your involvement with the RAF mission?
My family and friends support my involvement with RAF’s mission because they know I truly enjoy the mission of providing hope, with a sprinkling of compassion and joy, through a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Do you have an anecdote, memory, or story about RAF that really touched you?
My favorite deliveries are to our local VA facilities. As a Veteran myself, I tend to seek out female fellow Veterans (I don’t get to visit many). During one of our Christmas 2017 deliveries, I met a lady who was overcome with gratitude by her little coffee mug arrangement I delivered–needless to say, I was too. She agreed to a picture but not before putting on a knit hat with a huge pompon on top and tightly holding the RAF arrangement. I have that picture on my phone as inspiration for every arrangement I assemble or deliver!

What do you like to do when you’re not contributing time to RAF?
I love loving people. Little things like a smile, holding a door open or simple conversations in shopping lines impacts others’ lives because it’s unexpected! I have many friends and associates I treasure and family that inspire me. I love spending time just enjoying all of them!

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
RAF Tampa Bay, is a fantastic group that is truly making a difference in Pinellas County! We are so blessed with dedicated staff that work countless hours in office and in the community to make what we do happen. Tampa Bay also has the best Volunteers possible from our drivers, vase washers, cardboard recyclers to all the Volunteers that deconstruct & assemble flowers, help manage the warehouse space and deliver arrangements. The Board is a group of truly caring individuals who love the mission! We are so grateful for each & every person that contributes what they can each day at RAF! Certainly, I am proud to have spent this past year working alongside of them!