MacKinnon Jewelers Gives to RAF Pinellas Making it Possible to Deliver More Smiles!

Published on 20 February 2014 in News
Kim Thomas (author)

Kim Thomas


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(L-R) RAF Founder Larsen Jay, RAF Pinellas Director of Mission Fulfillment Monica Kok, RAF Pinellas Advisory Board President Pam Ora, Tom MacKinnon of MacKinnon Jewelers in Trinity, Florida, & MacKinnon Jewelers’ Associate Patrick Lainhart

(L-R) RAF Founder Larsen Jay, RAF Pinellas Director of Mission Fulfillment Monica Kok, RAF Pinellas Advisory Board President Pam Ora, Tom MacKinnon of MacKinnon Jewelers in Trinity, Florida, & MacKinnon Jewelers’ Associate Patrick Lainhart

Tom MacKinnon and his staff at MacKinnon Jewelers in Trinity found a way to turn their holiday celebration into a fundraising opportunity to support a local charity that delivers flowers to those who need something positive to smile about. MacKinnon Jewelers hosted “Jewels for a Cause” featuring a trunk show by the famous jewelry designer Phillip Gavriel, who donated 10 percent of every purchase from his line to Random Acts of Flowers Pinellas. Tom MacKinnon matched him dollar-for-dollar and thanks to the success of the Jewels for a Cause event, Tom MacKinnon and Patrick Lainhart of MacKinnon Jewelers presented a check on January 13th for nineteen hundred dollars to Random Acts of Flowers Pinellas. There to accept the check was the founder of Random Acts of Flowers (RAF), Larsen Jay and RAF Pinellas Director of Mission Fulfillment Monica Kok and RAF Pinellas Advisory Board President Pam Ora.

“I am proud to be able to give to this amazing charity organization,” said Tom MacKinnon. “It gives to all types and it brings smiles to everybody it touches – including all of us.”

“It’s a universal gesture,” said RAF Founder Larsen Jay, of the charity’s mission to collect and recycle donated flowers from weddings, memorial services, wholesale florists, grocery stores and churches, and even from individuals who have used flowers for a special occasions. True to RAF’s motto, “Recycling Flowers…Delivering Smiles,” the flowers are then refashioned into bouquets to deliver to local hospitals, hospices and assisted living facilities to those who need an emotional boost.

“I designed the program not to be based upon money, politics or religion,” shares Jay. “We are using what would otherwise be trash.” Larsen started the 501(c) (3) charity in Knoxville, TN with the mission to improve mental health through the power of giving flowers. After sustaining life-threatening injuries in July 2007 and being on the receiving end of cards and flowers, he realized how uplifting it was. When Larsen was finally able to leave his room, he noticed that many other patients did not have visitors or flowers – the very thing that helped him so much. Within moments the first “random act of flowers” delivery was made, with Larsen repurposing his own flowers and delivering them to patients in nearby hospital rooms. The memories of how a simple gesture touched his fellow patients compelled Larsen to form Random Act of Flowers in 2008. You can see a video of him telling his story at RAFPinellas.org.

If you have vases you’d like to donate, MacKinnon Jewelers has agreed to be a drop-off location. Find out how you can donate flowers, hold a vase drive or volunteer, by calling Random Acts of Flowers Pinellas Director of Mission Fulfillment, Monica Kok at 727-754-7974 Mon. – Fri., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. or email monica@RAFPinellas.org.

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