Create smiles is a youth service project where they do just create beautiful bouquets using recycled flowers from our local markets.

Photo of Chirag Vedullapalli
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Date Started

Nov 2017

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Hi, I am Neal. I am a middle schooler with a passion to create smiles in people's lives. I enjoy creating cakes, bouquets, bath bombs, cookie mix or anything fun stuff that can help bring a smile to people's faces. A year ago, I was scared to meet my neighbors after the new presidential race because of my color, race, and ethnicity in spite of being born in this country. I stayed home all the time feeling depressed. My parents were worried about me and they proposed me to do good. We went to the market and got flowers to create bouquets for our neighbors. They asked me to deliver it. When my neighbors got these flowers they had the biggest smiles on their face and I was able to let go of my fear of interacting with people in my neighborhood. I took a challenge to do 100 bouquets. I partnered with YMCA, Local Markets, and few friends to create 100 smiles in our neighborhood.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

My intent was to bring smiles and joy in peoples lives. The things we solved through this project as we were able to recycle the flowers from the local markets, give a service project for youth and make our neighborhood friendlier. We saw that people were talking with each other, watching the neighborhood and celebrating lives. Giving is the way to go!

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our Solution is all about recycling flowers from local markets to create flower bouquets through youth service project. On an average, a typical local market crushes $500 worth of flowers that can still be used for 1.5 weeks. Most youths are constantly looking for volunteer projects. We combined these 2 needs and created Create Smiles projects.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Our project has 3 simple steps: 1. Pick Up Flowers: We work local markets to pick up flowers when they are ready to crush it. I bring all the supplies for the service project experience. 2. Create Bouquets: Kids come to the event - they pick the vase, flowers, notes and ribbons. They put together a bouquet with an adult help. They put together a beautiful bouquet and write a heartwarming note for their neighbors. 3. Deliver Flowers - The kids take their bouquets and deliver to their neighbors.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Creating Smiles with Recycled Flowers

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

What we were able to do provide 45 kids with volunteer efforts to create 100 bouquets over 12 months and saved over 10K worth of flowers. All through recycle and repackage strategy.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We want to host 7 sessions this year to have another 100 kids to create 200 bouquets.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We need funding to purchase the supplies plus corporate sponsors who can sponsor these events. We can do 3 ways of engagement: 1. Local Non-Profits partners with Youth to create smiles in their neighborhood 2. Corporation & Youth partners to create smiles for their employees 3. Corporation & Youth partners to create smiles in their communities, hospitals and more

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We want to partner with other young people to take our blueprint and replicate in their cities and towns. We also want to have 2-3 corporate sponsors who can collaborate with us to surprise their employees with create smiles project.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Search engine
  • Recommended by others
  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Word of mouth


Join the conversation:

Photo of Old Friend

This is so cool and such a new idea! I never knew that they threw out so many flowers! Thank you for tackling the problems that are lesser known!

Photo of Chirag Vedullapalli

Thank you Leilani.

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