International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating women’s progression in society and their continued efforts for equality. This year, nonprofit organization Petals for Hope will mark March 8 by delivering 1,000 bouquets of tulips to frontline female healthcare workers to celebrate their work through the adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Petals for Hope work to repurpose flowers, such as those from flower delivery services (opens in new tab), in order to raise the spirits of local community members. The event is part of wider celebrations for American Tulip Day, which is taking place virtually this year on the 27 and 28 March.
The charity will be gifting the bouquets to healthcare workers, teachers, and both workers and women at shelters and transitional houses for domestic violence survivors. Brittaney Sard, the founder of Petals for Hope (opens in new tab), explains that the organization “typically repurpose event and wedding flowers, delivering them to those in need and composting them following their second life to work towards a more sustainable world”. Their gesture this Monday will go even further in an effort to honor women’s work through the pandemic.
Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
Women hold more than three-quarters of healthcare jobs in the United States, and close to 70% of all healthcare jobs globally, according to Catalyst (opens in new tab). With a large share of frontline workers battling against the COVID-19 pandemic being women, these ‘spring tulips’ are a reminder of hope in times of difficulty. Sard explains why she feels it’s important to utilize her organization to celebrate women.
“As a female founder who has also spent time working in male-dominated corporate settings, I have seen first hand the difficulty that can arise and the barriers that are in place for women. I don't want my future daughters or granddaughters experience this or to feel hindered or less capable because they are a woman.
We are just as powerful, capable, and strong as men, and we deserve the same opportunities. Working towards social, cultural, and political change takes time and we have to continue to bring awareness in order to get there.”
How will Petals for Hope fit into the wider Tulip Day Festivities?
The gesture made by Petals for Hope this International Women’s Day forms part of larger celebrations for the Gather Tulips festival (opens in new tab). The festival will be a great opportunity for any floral enthusiasts to learn more about the history of tulips and how you can care for your own flower beds at home.
For more ideas on how to celebrate International Women's Day, check out these female-centered Instagram accounts and audiobooks.