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Sacramento Florist with a Giving Nature

Most florists have a giving nature and Nykole Woodward is no exception, but her giving is exceptional.

When a local charity, Crisis Nurseries, asked her to allow them to place a collection jar in her shop (Arden Park Florist & Gift Gallery in Sacramento, CA) for donations, she readily agreed. The charity provides a safe place for mothers and children (ages birth to 6 years old) who need temporary shelter and are. At first, they simply collected the money twice per year. "Most of the time it was about $65 and some change," Nykole said. "I liked what the charity was all about and I just knew we could do better than that for them."

Like every florist, Nykole receives several requests every year to donate items and services to various charities. She decided to concentrate on assisting Crisis Nurseries and offered to donate flowers for a silent auction fundraiser. She also donates fresh arrangements to be placed in both "safe" houses every week along with her business cards. Next, she made her shop one of the places where people could drop off clothes, toys, and toiletries to be used by Crisis Nurseries.

Finally, she placed a notice on her website that asked her customers to donate money to the charity every time they ordered flowers. Nykole's shop matches customers' donations.

"I trained the staff to always ask if customers would like to donate a nominal amount to the Crisis Nurseries and my customers have come through just as I knew they would," Nykole said. "We haven't received any complaints. Most people are happy to make a donation."

The collection jar is still in the shop, but the shop's collections have increased to several hundred dollars every year.

Although Crisis Nurseries has become the shop's main charity, Nykole said she still assists with a few others, including school functions and events. "Naturally, if a good customer asks me to help with a different charity or special event, I will do what I can," Nykole said. "But almost everyone understands now that the majority of our time and efforts go to the Crisis Nurseries. They provide a needed service and we are proud to be associated with them."

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