Curbside Chronicle pop-up shops to sell Valentine's Day flowers
People in Oklahoma City will be offered a chance to purchase flowers for their loved ones this Valentine’s Day while also supporting people who are working their way out of homelessness.
The Curbside Chronicle is creating flower bouquets that will be made and sold by vendors who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
The Curbside Chronicle, a program of the Homeless Alliance, provides both a voice and employment opportunities to people who are experiencing homelessness through the sale of its local magazine. In recent years, the program has expanded its product line to include local artist-designed wrapping paper and flower bouquets.
For Valentine’s Day, Curbside vendors are trained and paid to build bouquets practicing job skills like teamwork, communication and how to follow detailed instructions. They are then employed to sell the arrangements around town at various pop-up shops, exercising time management and social skills. After vendors are paid for their work, profits from sales are reinvested in the vendor program, funding essential services like case management for participants.
“For customers, it’s a quick, easy way to support someone working their way out of homelessness while getting a beautiful product in exchange,” said Ranya O'Connor, director of The Curbside Chronicle. “For vendors, it’s an additional training and employment opportunity.”
The Curbside Chronicle will have bouquets available for purchase at booths located at DNA Galleries in The Plaza District, Leadership Square downtown and Citizens Bank of Edmond in downtown Edmond Feb. 13-15. All proceeds from booth purchases will support The Curbside Chronicle’s mission of employing and empowering people transitioning out of homelessness in Oklahoma City.
Flowers can be pre-ordered at www.CurbsideFlowers.org and picked-up at one of the pop-up booths.
“These flowers are both a symbol of love to your significant other, and can also demonstrate that you care about people in our community who are without a home,” said O'Connor. “You can make your gifts extra special this Valentine’s Day by giving the gift of empowerment to someone in Oklahoma City who is working to make their situation better.
The campaign is being made possible thanks to the generosity of sponsors including Fowler Automotive, Citizen Bank of Edmond, Verbode, the 405 Center, Hakeem Shakir MD and the Cresap Family Foundation.
Future Flower Shop
In 2019, The Curbside Chronicle was presented with a donation from The Great Idea Challenge, a grant competition hosted by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in honor of their 50th anniversary. More than 80 entries were narrowed down to six winners, including Curbside.
The grant was the initial gift toward a traditional brick-and-mortar flower shop that will employ people transitioning out of homelessness year-round. Curbside is currently seeking additional donations to make this happen and has plans to open the flower shop late this spring. A location is expected to be announced later this month.