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The power of flowers: Local floral shops 'Petal It Forward' with free bouquets

Although "Petal It Forward" aims to show people that it's a pleasure to receive flowers, some find it's even more fulfilling to give them.

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Sanford Health employees receive flowers as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — Joy was in the air on Wednesday in Bemidji, not just because it was over 40 degrees and sunny, it was also national “Petal It Forward” day.

Petal It Forward is an annual and national effort organized by the Society of American Florists designed to help people experience a day with smiles and happiness. Although the organization aims to show people that it's a pleasure to receive flowers, some find it's even more fulfilling to give them.

Two local flower shops, Netzer's and KD Floral, joined forces along with hundreds of florists across the country to commemorate the holiday on Oct. 19.

The Bemidji shops set up stands at Heroes Rise Mobile Coffee Trailer, Lower Hobson Memorial Union at Bemidji State University and in the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center with 360 bouquets to participate in the random-acts-of-kindness effort.

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Staff from Netzer's and KD Floral hand out 360 bouquets of flowers as part of a "Petal It Forward" event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

“We’re giving people free bouquets today,” Fisher Jambor with KD Floral said. “One to keep for yourself and one to give to someone else to spread joy and share flowers with the community.”

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Fisher Jambor, right, hands a visitor flowers as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

Organizers said that flowers can mean a million things, including a way to say “thank you” or “I’m sorry,” however on Wednesday, the flowers didn’t mean anything at all because making someone's day better was simply good enough.

Petal It Forward is a way to illustrate the positive health benefits of giving and receiving flowers. Especially in the last couple of years with the coronavirus pandemic and the toll it took on people's mental health. Science has proven that flowers reduce stress and anxiety and make people happy, according to the SAF website.

“The (Society of American Florists) created this event to promote the positive impact that flowers have on mental health,” Netzer's Floral owner Amy Nelson said.

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Amy Nelson, right, hands a visitor two bouquets as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

According to Jambor, some were skeptical as he and Nelson stood in the Sanford lobby handing out the bouquets.

“What’s the catch?” One man asked. He soon found out the only catch was that he had to pass one of the bouquets to someone else.

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Amy Nelson, left, hands a visitor two rose bouquets as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer
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A Sanford Health employee receives flowers as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer
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Fisher Jambor, right, hands a Sanford employee flowers as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer
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Amy Nelson, left, hands a Sanford employee flowers as part of a “Petal It Forward” event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

Maggi is a reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer focusing on outdoor and human interest stories. Raised in Aitkin, Minnesota, Maggi is a graduate of Bemidji State University's class of 2022 with a degree in Mass Communication.
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