This article has been revised to correct the date of the upcoming fundraiser.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — There are many reasons you might send someone a bouquet of flowers. Celebrations, life events or just because.
A Sioux Falls woman is using flowers to change the way the community supports women who have experienced a miscarriage.
A bouquet of flowers can send an array of emotions. A bouquet from Evermore Blooms has a specific message for every recipient.
“Bring these moms together, remind them that they’re not alone in this, and just to hopefully just bring light to this conversation. So that you so that these moms don’t go through it alone,” said Chelsey Schnell, Founder and Executive Director of Evermore Blooms.
Before she began the non-profit, founder Chelsey Schnell received a bouquet of flowers from a coworker on the anniversary of her first miscarriage in 2017.
“I remember texting my husband, shortly after and saying, Wow, what would it look like if there was an organization in place that sent flowers to moms on those really hard days, like the anniversary of her loss, or what would have been her due date, because a mom never forgets those dates,” Schnell said.
In 2020, she decided to do just that with the help of a grant from her church.
“Initially, it was just we were going to use our grant money, send as many bouquets as we could locally. And then it just, it just kind of exploded. The response from people supporting this idea and encouraging this idea was just overwhelming,” Schnell said.
Her goal was to provide others the same love and support she felt during one of the darkest times in her life.
“I just felt like those flowers came directly from Jesus, like, it was like, I had never felt so cared for. So intentionally. And I just hoped that we could replicate that even to just one other mom. And the fact that it’s grown to what it has is pretty incredible,” Schnell said.
Evermore works alongside local florists to create and send these bouquets. They cover the costs of the bouquets with fundraising and selling items in their store.
“To provide something that spoke when there weren’t any words, even if it’s, you know, happy occasion, a sad occasion, I do think you can say a lot with flowers,” Dix said.
Jamie Dix is a local florist in Sioux Falls, she’s worked with the organization since 2020.
“We include a wooden flower in each of the bouquets, that is the Evermore Bloom, that is for mom to keep and hold on to to know that the you know, the love for their baby will never go away,” said Jamie Dix, Owner of Thistle and Dot floral design.
Since 2020, the organization has sent more than 500 bouquets to mothers across the country and here in Sioux Falls.
“There is there’s such a large community of us, not only in the Sioux Falls area, but around the world that are in this club that we never asked to be in. And we don’t want to be in but the reality is, is we’re here,” said Gracia Harmsen, mom & volunteer.
Gracia Harmsen volunteers with the group. She joined the organization shortly after receiving her own bouquet.
“Over the past many years, I’ve had seven miscarriages. Every baby was a baby I knew and loved I held every single one,” Harmsen said.
She says she’ll never forget the day her flowers came.
‘It was a Tuesday and I could not get off of the couch. My body remembered everything like it does. And the doorbell rang. And I went outside to find a beautiful bouquet. And I collapsed into the fetal position on the icy steps,” Harmsen said.
Now, she works with the organization in hopes or creating a more open conversation about miscarriage and to show support for those grieving.
“A loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter if it was at four weeks or 34 weeks. It was the loss of a baby. And it’s valid. And it’s okay to grieve that and you very well may be grieving that for the rest of your life and that’s okay,” Harmsen said.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
“It’s so important for women in this world, and even men, dads in this world to feel seen and known and know that they’re not forgotten and that their babies aren’t forgotten.”
Evermore Blooms began their fundraising efforts for 2024 at the start of the month. Their biggest event Brunch and Blooms will take place on March 23, 2024.
The event will feature bouquet making, speakers and is meant to honor and remember the babies lost to miscarriage.