Three days until Mother’s Day, 100 plants, 1 busy city centre street… The goal? To raise as much as possible for Tearfund with our own wee pop-up shop. How hard could it be? Harder than it looked, it would seem. The first hurdle we overcame was sourcing a supplier. Therese from Nightpark Nursery in Kildare came to our rescue. Her nursery was a wonder, with a beautiful selection of plants, as well as the added bonus of newly born piglets to marvel at, when business had been finished.
We had lots of lovely people stop by over the three days. Stand outs included a family of three children, their mom and their enormous Irish wolf hound – Dante. Each of them left with a plant of their own. Another was a young woman who bought 12 euro worth of plants, gave a twenty, and insisted we keep the change – “I’d be spending so much more if I’d bought my mum flowers in town… And she hates cut flowers, so she’ll be delighted with these”, and the personal trainer who stayed with us for an hour while he waited for a friend, and by the end he was encouraging passersby to pick up a plant too.
Friday evening turned into a late one as we chatted to Welsh and Irish fans on the way to a match in the Aviva; putting a smile on their face by blasting everything from Ed Sheeran to Thin Lizzy (we like to think that it was the good atmosphere, and not the fact that they’d had a drink or two already which meant they turned out to be a generous bunch).
The volunteers from the residence were wonderful through it all. Special mention to salesperson extraordinaire Sara, who stayed long beyond the call of duty and Marta and Ozlem who were heroes as ever, learning new flower wrapping skills in the process.
The sales from the three days, combined with sales from other YWCA centres meant that we were able to present over €500 to Tearfund. We know that money will go towards start up grants for businesses in Ethiopia, something that is making a real difference in the lives of real women; which we guess is what the YWCA vision is all about.
We think the main thing that stuck with us from the experience was the kindness of people, and how it’s always worth the little efforts to put a smile on someone’s face and to improve the lives of someone else, somewhere else. Let’s wait and see what our next fundraising trick will be.