Thousands of potted Easter lilies appeared on front doorsteps in Brampton this week – a special delivery meant to spread holiday joy as people are forced to find new ways to celebrate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Grace Canadian Reformed Church of Brampton received 2,500 lilies, Pastor Eric Onderwater said, which members delivered to homes on Wednesday morning while wearing gloves and masks, leaving them on doorsteps along with a small note.
Mr. Onderwater had the idea after hearing about other local churches giving out flowers in their neighborhoods. Wanting to do the same, he found a greenhouse that was able to donate the lilies thanks to a donor who covered a portion of the plant costs.
“I think this was just a simple way to say ‘you know what, there are people who care about you,'” he said of the deliveries.
But the act had another benefit: Were it not for the donor and the church, the lilies would likely have gone to waste.
Growers have found themselves in a tough position this year, with hundreds of thousands of flowers ready for the season but retailers cutting back on orders and outdoor centres not opening across the country. Greenhouses needed to find ways to use their blooms – and new buyers for them – or else the plants would end up in the compost and they’d be out income. Anonymous donors, along with charities and churches, have come to the rescue.