The newly-arrived Syrian family holding flowers (Courtesy of RefugeeOne)
The newly-arrived Syrian family holding flowers (Credit: @oliviamaeromano)

A Chicago startup is teaming up with a refugee organization this month to provide funds, job training, and welcome bouquets of flowers to recently arrived Syrian immigrants.

Flowers for Dreams, an online flower delivery platform that donates 25 percent of its proceeds to charities, announced RefugeeOne, a refugee resettlement agency, would be their January benefactor. In addition, Flowers For Dreams is hosting a floral workshop for 25 to 30 immigrants later this month as entry level job training in agriculture, and donating flowers for refugees to decorate their homes.

“Our mission is to not only to spotlight worthy causes throughout the city, but to become a community partner, that in turn, helps the city of Chicago flourish,” said Steve Dyme, CEO of Flowers for Dreams in a statement. “RefugeeOne is a unique non-profit that we are proud to partner with during the month of January. The local organization helps refugees, who have experienced war terror and persecution, transition into a new life in the United States.”

A Syrian family arrived in Chicago this week (one of the first since Governor Bruce Rauner suggested a temporary halt of Syrian immigrants to Illinois), and members of the Flowers for Dreams team helped welcome them at the airport.

“It was very special for our team to be present at the moment this family took their first steps on American soil,” added Dyme. “It was an act of solidarity to show them that there are people here in Chicago who welcome and support them.”

Kim Snoddy, assistant director of development for RefugeeOne added that the family’s first concerns were about finding employment and living in isolation in a new country, but felt relieved at the welcome they received when landing in Chicago.

“RefugeeOne is honored to be selected as the charity of the month for Flowers for Dreams,” Snoddy added. “Through the bouquets of flowers that refugees will receive this month, they will not only know the beauty of this city, but that of its welcoming people.”

Note: The story has been updated with photo credit to Olivia Romano.