What started as gesture on Valentine’s Day to her son’s widowed preschool teacher has turned into giving hundreds of widows flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Now Charlotte florist Ashley Manning is gearing up for her third year of the Valentine’s Day Widow Outreach project, which has since become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Why it matters: Holidays like Valentine’s Day can be especially painful for widows, and Manning wants them to know they’re not alone.
By the numbers: Manning, who owns Pretty Things by A.E. Manning, provided flowers 121 people and gift bags in 2021 and 400 people in 2022.
- Her goal for 2023 is 800 nominees, and she hopes to raise $50,000 to fund the project. As of Friday, 442 people had been nominated, with $28,528 raised.
How it works: People volunteer their time to help assemble and deliver hundreds of bouquets and gift bags around Valentine’s Day, and the recipients are nominated. Arrangements and gifts will be prepped on Feb. 13 and delivered on Feb. 14.
What’s next: Manning hopes to see the project expand to every state. She is currently mentoring women in Mooresville, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.