Tom Brabec FS Sept 1 – Sept 30 2019

Somewhere in the Homewood-Flossmoor area, there is a very, very kind person who initiated a “pay it forward” activity, designed to bring a note of cheer to residents quarantined in their homes. While he, or she, wishes to remain anonymous, they collaborated with a local business, Homewood Florist, to set their plan in motion.

Kyle and Marty Arrivo, owners of Homewood Florist, sent the original “pay it forward” bouquet, and say they’ve sent nearly 60 such orders. (Provided photo)

Homewood Florist owners Kyle and Marty Arrivo happily joined the fun conspiracy, which began with the anonymous person ordering flowers to be sent to someone they knew in the community. Accompanying the floral arrangement was an unsigned card bearing the message, “Hope this brightens your day! Please pass it on.”

Kyle Arrivo said, “We sent the first arrangements in April and the ball started rolling. To date, we have had nearly 60 orders from people who received their anonymous bouquets and wanted to pass the cheerfulness forward. It is such a fun thing to do! People who received the flowers would call us and ask who sent them. I had to repeat over and over that the person wanted to remain anonymous because that was the fun behind the effort.”

Callers who wanted to pay it forward would often use a name which had already received an arrangement and Arrivo would suggest that they select someone who had not gotten one yet. “Everyone was just enjoying it so much,” she said. 

People have the option of sending out as many arrangements as they desire. There is a set price for the arrangements and Homewood Florist doesn’t charge a delivery fee. 

“The circle of recipients is getting larger,” Kyle said. “We started in the H-F area but it has expanded to Olympia Fields and Chicago Heights.”

Arrivo said the shop, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, had closed temporarily in April, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“But funeral homes we have served for many years began calling, because there were families having private services, and understandingly, they wanted to honor their loved ones with floral arrangements,” she said. “We are happy to be available for the pay it forward program. It is such a bright and cheerful endeavor!”

Homewood Florist is located at 18064 Martin Ave. Hours are currently 9 a.m. to Noon. (Hours or services may vary.) For further information, call 708-798-0326 or visit www.homewoodflorist.com.

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