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People love sending flowers, but there are certain times of the year when flowers are sent more frequently.

Perhaps the busiest time of the year for a florist is Valentine’s Day, and if you ask any florist, they will tell you they are swamped during the month of February.

Photo: Pexels/Reshma Chowdhury

There are also times when the florist may recognize trends, including groups of people who don’t tend to get flowers. We would all appreciate getting a gift such as this, but when we don’t get it, it can make the day a sad one.

That is what one florist discovered when she noticed that widows did not get flowers on Valentine’s Day. It was usually a day of the year when they struggled, at least to a certain extent, because they missed the attention they would have otherwise received.

Photo: Pexels/Anton Mislawsky

Rather than just recognizing this fact, Ashley Manning decided to do something about it. She was in a position to do so because she owned Pretty Things by AE Manning in Charlotte, North Carolina.

She learned about the difficulty widows had when her son’s preschool teacher had a discussion with her. From that conversation, she realized that the teacher was a widow and that flowers would have brightened her day. According to CBS News,that is when the teacher got a Valentine’s Day surprise.

Photo: Pexels/Dominika Roseclay

Manning also took things further, launching The Valentine’s Day Widow Outreach Project, and since that time three years ago, it has really made a difference in people’s lives.

It didn’t simply stay with the one educator. It grew much bigger. She started reaching out on social media to find widows to send flowers to and people willing to donate to the cause. In the first year, flowers and gift bags were sent to 50 women.

She doubled her goal, and there were many people who helped to make it a success. Last year, the Valentine Widow Outreach served 400 widows with flowers and gift bags.

Photo: Facebook/Valentine’s Day Widow Outreach Project

It continues to grow, and in 2023, 800 widows were able to receive the gifts, as the outreach shared on Facebook. This isn’t just a matter of sending out flowers. Manning dedicates herself to it, planning and coordinating the work with hours of her own time.

Ultimately, she feels it is more than just labor. She feels it is a labor of love.