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Since spring is right around the corner, I suggest a "Seeds of Hope" get-together. While you create potted gifts for those less fortunate, you’ll strengthen your friendships, nurture your creativity, and undoubtedly share some giggly moments as well.
First things firstDecide who you want to help, and how. You’ll need to designate a charitable organization to receive the fruits of your efforts. This may require a little research on your part. The Yellow Pages are a great place to start. Call local nursing homes, retirement villages, or family shelters, to find out if they are receptive to this type of charity. Generally speaking, many organizations are eager for people to help put smiles on the faces of their residents.
For the party activity, be creative and use your imagination. Here are two suggestions, with instructions below:
- Donate cheery potted plants or flowers to nursing home or retirement home residents.
- Give children and adults in family shelters something to look forward to, by donating an assortment of colorful pots and all the essentials for planting.
The simplest way to share your party plans is to call your girlfriends and give them the details. But, if you prefer written invitations, purchase blank note cards with a floral theme. On the inside, write the date, time, place, organization you are benefiting, and perhaps a little verse such as this:
Please come find a spot
To paint a pot or two
The ingredients are gathered
All we’re missing is you!
Setting and set-up
The perfect spot for this gathering is outdoors. Try to gather all types, sizes and shapes of potted flowers and plants for decoration. You can even bring your favorite indoor plants out for a few hours to help set the stage.
A few days before the party, purchase enough clay pots to have at least one or two per guest. A four-inch or six-inch size works well. Paint the pots in a cheery base color using craft paint. (You don’t want to waste valuable party time waiting for the paint to dry). Leave time for a second coat if needed.
The day of the party, set up a couple of "activity stations" to help with traffic flow. These could simply be folding tables. Keep dirt in its own zone (less mess for you later). Make sure each station has enough elbow room to prevent accidental breakage of pots or spillage of dirt.
If you are giving potted plants or flowers as your charitable donation:
- At one station, place dirt in a shallow container alongside the flowers or plants to be potted.
- At another station, place all the items needed to decorate the pots (glue, buttons, faux gems, felt, ribbon, bric a brac, permanent markers, etc.)
- Ask each guest to decorate a pot and plant a flower in it, so it’s ready to be distributed to your special charity organization.
- At one station, place dirt in a shallow container, baggies, seed packets, and colorful string or ribbon.
- At another station place all the items necessary to decorate the pots (glue, buttons, faux gems, felt, ribbon, bric a brac, permanent markers, etc.).
- Ask each guest to decorate a pot or two. Place a baggie full of dirt (tied with a colorful ribbon), and a seed packet inside each pot to make them ready for giving.
Simple, fresh and festive finger foods work well outdoors, and are in keeping with the "garden" theme. Try cucumber sandwiches, brie and apple slices, fresh fruit kabobs with chocolate dipping sauce, baby carrots and spinach dip. Mimosas or wine spritzers are lovely for a daytime event or ice tea and lemonade would make great non alcoholic choices.
Clean, empty clay pots and saucers can double as serving pieces when lined with pretty cloth napkins. Use an assortment of pot and saucer sizes.
After all that hard work creating something nice for others, make sure your guests take home a little something too. Mini potted flowers make perfect favors. Violets are great for giving; they can be purchased already potted or you can place them in tiny two-inch pots. Tie a ribbon or lace around the rim for a decorative touch.
If you decide to plant some "Seeds of Hope" with your girlfriends, be sure to let me know how it goes! Have a great time creating your clay pot masterpieces while slinging some dirt with your girlfriends!