The gorgeous, colorful flowers grown by members of the Northwest region’s Hmong community have been dazzling people at Pike Place Market, neighborhood markets and other locations for decades. This year, a bouquet purchase for Mother’s Day will not only bring joy to a cherished mom, it will bolster local schools as well.
Supporting schools in need
Friendly Hmong Farms is selling Mother’s Day flower bouquets as a fundraiser for the Seattle Schools PTSA. The produce and flower CSA that opened in 2020 to support Hmong growers and Washington’s extended Hmong community and has sponsored several fundraisers since then. For Mother’s Day, Friendly Hmong Farms will donate $10 to a chosen Seattle school and $10 to support Title I schools across the district for each bouquet sold. Cost is $59 for one, $100 for two.
Deadline for ordering Mothers Day bouquets is April 30.
Elevating the Hmong community
Event organizer and CSA leader Friendly Vang-Johnson says she hopes the event boosts schools during a time of financial crisis and, at the same time, elevates the work and presence of Hmong families in the eyes of the broader Puget Sound community:
“After being here for almost 40 years producing these iconic flowers that everyone knows and loves, we are largely invisible,’ Vang-Johnson says. “As Seattle families, especially white families, continue to espouse support for BIPOC, eliminating anti-Asian sentiment (and supporting) inclusion, diversity, and justice, buying flowers from our fundraiser is a concrete way of putting values into action.”
Vang-Johnson says the farm event was designed to give PTSAs a fundraiser “that is a light lift.”
The farm collaborative will handle the operations and logistics of ordering and delivering bouquets, says Vang-Johnson “so that (PTSAs) can engage in more advocacy, because that is where the real money is to address systemic gaps in public education.”
Not just for those with kids
She believes the Mother’s Day fundraiser is a great way to get a broader swath of Seattlites to support public schools whether or not they have kids in the system. It also seeks to raise awareness on issues facing Title I families in Seattle Schools and the district’s current budget problems.
“There is a significant funding shortage in the largest school district in the state, one of the most wealthy and progressive, liberal cities in the nation,” Vang-Johnson says.
Purchasers of Friendly Hmong Harms Mother’s Day bouquet’s will be able to pick up their flowers Saturday, May 7, at one of 18 schools throughout the district. Delivery can be arranged for a fee. To learn more, go to friendlyhmongfarms.com/sps-fundraiser.
Want to add add a homemade gift to your homegrown boutquet? Check out this easy kid craft!