By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Curbside Chronicle vendors will offer people in Oklahoma City a chance to purchase flowers for special women in their life this Mother’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.
The program has expanded its product line to include local artist-designed wrapping paper and flower bouquets.
For Mother’s Day, Curbside vendors are trained and paid to build bouquets practicing job skills like teamwork, communication and how to follow detailed instructions.
The vendors will then sell the arrangements around the Oklahoma City area at various pop-up shops, using their 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 Forgotson, Curbside Chronicle director. “For vendors, it’s an additional training and employment opportunity.”
Vendors wearing green Curbside Chronicle vests will be easy to spot while selling a limited number of bouquets on sidewalks, in public spaces and at intersections throughout the Oklahoma City area from May 9-12.
All proceeds from bouquets purchased from individuals will go directly to that individual who is working their way out of homelessness.
The Curbside Chronicle will also have pop-up booths located at DNA Galleries in The Plaza District, Leadership Square in downtown Oklahoma City and Citizens Bank of Edmond in downtown Edmond.
All proceeds from booth purchases will support The Curbside Chronicle’s mission of employing and empowering men and women transitioning out of homelessness in Oklahoma City.
Flowers can be pre-ordered at CurbsideFlowers.org before May 6 and picked-up at one of the pop-up booths. Small bouquets are $17, medium are $48 and large arrangements are $96.
“These flowers are both a symbol of love and can also demonstrate that you care about people in our community who are without a home,” said Forgotson. “You can make your gifts extra special this Mother’s Day by giving the gift of empowerment to someone in Oklahoma City who is working to make their situation better.”
The campaign is sponsored by Fowler Automotive, Citizen Bank of Edmond, Verbode, the Wheeler District, and the Shakir Family.
Earlier this year, on January 9, the Curbside Chronicle received 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 is the initial payment toward a brick-and-mortar flower shop that will employ people transitioning out of homelessness year-round. Curbside is seeking additional donations to make this happen, but hopes to open the flower shop this fall.
The flower shop will operate like a traditional flower shop, but will provide supportive employment to those working their way out of homelessness.
On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12 at 11 a.m., the Curbside Chronicle will host Flowers & Sours at the Oak & Ore, 1732 NW 16th Street, in the Plaza District. For more information, call 405-606-2030 or visit the Facebook event page.