Blooms for a Cause
“I love that flowers can make such a difference in a normal day,” says florist Destiny Pinson, owner of New Orleans-based floral and lifestyle studio Doris Ione. “Even a single bloom can spark joy, and I love that. I like my arrangements to just be ‘happy,’ to bring joy to whomever they encounter.”
This Valentine’s Day, Pinson is hoping to spark joy in many people as she will be selling hand-made flower arrangements to benefit Hagar’s House, a sanctuary for women and children in New Orleans.
Residents of Hagar’s House will be crafting the arrangements themselves with guidance from Pinson. Then they will host a pop-up flower stand at First Grace United Methodist Church on the morning of Saturday, February 13. The church is located at 401 Canal St. All proceeds will benefit Hagar’s House.
“Hagar’s House is headquartered at First Grace Church and has a special place in my heart as that is where I rented my first-ever studio,” says Pinson. “First Grace is such a wonderful community and brings so many inspiring, kind, great-spirited people together.”
It has been more than five years since Pinson worked in that studio, but she says she kept thinking of a way to give back to the community in some way, with flowers, of course.
“When I decided to do a Valentine’s Day pop-up, my immediate thought was Hagar’s House,” she says. “I had read an email that included a testimonial from one of the residents who said she was so grateful for such a comfortable and safe place to stay. She also said she wanted to pursue floral design. That really touched me. As soon as I read that, the idea was born of working with them and having a little workshop, teaching the residents of the house how to make the bouquets to sell. I loved the idea of not only a benefit but a service to some very deserving people.”
Hagar’s House is an organization under the First Grace Community Alliance (FGCA) umbrella. The mission of FGCA is to work with and for people in need, especially women and their children, by meeting food, housing and other emergency needs. FGCA does this through two primary programs: Hagar’s House and Project Ishmael, a pro bono immigration legal program for children.
Hagar’s House’s holistic programming focuses on physical health, emotional health, spiritual health and social justice. It is an intentional community that is actively engaged in undoing the root causes of poverty. Residents set goals and determine their own path for meeting those goals, while participating in a savings program in which working residents save 70% of their income. Ideally, they will have $3,000 saved by the time they move out.
Pinson has owned her business for seven years and her work was recently featured in Flower magazine. It’s named after her two grandmothers, Doris and Ione.
“They’ve made such an impression on me and helped make me who I am, and they constantly provide me with inspiration,” she says.
Pinson is excited about this charitable endeavor and all the beautiful bouquets that will be made.
“Not only will they be really pretty and made of colorful springy flowers, each one will be different, and they will all be handmade by the residents of Hagar House,” she says. “Another exciting and special thing is that all of the proceeds will go to them directly.”
Hagar’s House Mission
The mission of Hagar’s House is to serve as a sanctuary for women and children by providing an open and empowering residential community, resource coordination and a safe space to transition into sustainable housing.
Hagar’s House address: 3401 Canal St, New Orleans, 70119
Phone: (504) 210-5064
How Readers Can Help?
Volunteer needs include: childcare, children’s programs, bicycle maintenance and repair, house maintenance, tutoring or homework help for both adults and children, yard work, gardening, cleaning and fundraising.
Please contact Hagar’s House to inquire about current needs if you are interested in organizing a drive. They also welcome volunteers who offer one time or recurring programs and services. Residents have expressed interest in fitness programs, healthy eating courses, and adult art programming.
Interested volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief statement of interest, your general availability, your resume and your contact information
And you can buy a bouquet.
To do that: