Simplified: Evermore Blooms is a Sioux Falls-based nonprofit created to show support – via anonymous bouquets of flowers – to women who've suffered a miscarriage.
Why it matters
- It's possible that as many as 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage at some point, founder Chelsey Schnell says, though the exact data is hard to track because some miscarriages happen before a woman knows she's conceived.
- Those women often feel isolated in their grief, Schnell said. And while public discussion about the impact of miscarriage is becoming more common, many women still aren't comfortable talking about it.
- Evermore Blooms also gives women a space to share their stories about miscarriage in a way where no one else will see them (without explicit permission). The specific focus is on supporting women who lose a child at or before 20 weeks gestation – which fits with the medical definition of miscarriage.
"Those women, who maybe haven't even told anyone they are pregnant yet, and then they lose their baby and don't have anyone to talk to ... our heart is really to help that mom who feels invisible," Schnell said.
How did this nonprofit get started?
Schnell had the idea back in 2017, two years after her first miscarriage, the loss of her daughter, Ava Grace. She later suffered a second miscarriage – her son, Orion Job.
- On the anniversary of Ava's loss, someone anonymously sent Schnell a bouquet of flowers after seeing a social media post about the grief she was feeling.
"They included a sweet, beautiful message of how proud my baby would be of me for sharing (my miscarriage experience)," Schnell said. "It just was so impactful."
Fast forward to 2019, Schnell was working at Embrace Church, and the church hosted a challenge where they offered up to $2,000 in funding for parishioners to test an idea to help the community.
- Schnell pitched her idea for delivering bouquets to moms who had experienced loss.
"The whole room went silent," she said. "Then someone in the back ... they just said, 'Chelsey, you have to do this.'"
Embrace helped with the funding once Schnell gathered a team of people to help and raised $1,500 in additional funds. And in March 2020, Evermore Blooms delivered its first bouquet in Sioux Falls.
How does it work?
Anyone can submit the name of a person who's had a miscarriage on the Evermore Blooms website.
The nonprofit team then works with a florist to ensure a delivery on the date specified – often the anniversary of the loss or on the lost child's due date.
Each bouquet also comes with one wooden flower, intended to be a keepsake that lasts far longer than the flowers themselves, Schnell said.
The woman who receives the flowers doesn't know who sent them or who submitted her name in the first place.
What's the impact been since?
Evermore has delivered more than 100 bouquets across 28 different states.
The nonprofit also sells merchandise – including t-shirts – as a way to raise money to support the purchase of flowers. Merchandise has been shipped to 47 different states.
How can I help?
If you want to send a bouquet to someone who has miscarried, you can do so on the nonprofit's website.
- You'll also find more info about offering financial help (via direct donations or store purchases).
Evermore Blooms is also hosting a fundraiser brunch event on March 19 at the Convolo in Sioux Falls. Details here.