olive tree blessing bags

Blessings in a Bag

In June 2021, Stuff by Hilary Covil1 Comment

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Suzanne Tarry bags up self-care goodies for essential and community workers.

Suzanne Tarry’s mission is simple: care for those who care for us. After hearing about the long shifts nurses, doctors and other essential workers were pulling last year, she felt compelled to help while her flower business, Dragonfly Designs, was put on the backburner due to postponed or canceled weddings.

Knowing that a little #selfcare goes a long way (like many of us, after a long day she enjoys soaking in a bathtub), she created Olive Tree Blessing Bags, a nonprofit that delivers bags filled with luxury personal care items to essential and community workers. The bags, which are tailored to both gals and guys, contain a thank-you note and everything from bath bombs to chocolate to hand cream.

“… I don’t know how to feed 1,000 people,” says Tarry. “I don’t know how to find housing for somebody that is living under a bridge. I don’t know how to administer medicines and solve somebody’s issues, but I can sure as heck support the people that do.” And there’s almost nothing chocolate can’t fix if you ask us.

Suzanne Terry

The nonprofit has delivered over 3,000 bags and counting to WakeMed facilities’ COVID and ER nurses, the Boys and Girls Club of Wake County and Raleigh Rescue Mission, among other homeless shelters, food banks and more.

But Tarry couldn’t stay away from the flower-arranging business for long. Olive Tree Weddings, a flower event company with the tagline “Blooms With a Blessing,” will officially launch in July with 100% of the proceeds going toward Olive Tree Blessing Bags. To her knowledge, the nonprofit—which combines her love for flower arrangement and serving others—is the first of its kind in North Carolina.

Tarry, who assembles bags and flower arrangements in her dining room on top of an old piano (or while doing laps around her dining room table, which is often covered with flowers), didn’t originally set out to have a career in flower-arranging, however. After doctors found a tumor the size of her heart in her chest when she was 19, she took a hiatus from school and changed courses careerwise, earning a business degree and then working for a retail and a wholesale florist.

 “I didn’t want to do anything that is going to be that stressful or cause that much stress or unhappiness,” Tarry reflects. “I just want to do flowers.”

She hopes Olive Tree Blessing Bags and Olive Tree Weddings will continue to bless—and pamper—essential and community workers once the pandemic has been long gone, touching the lives of those who give up so much for all of us each and every day.

“Heroes are not made out of COVID,” says Tarry. “Heroes are made from self-sacrifice.” Donate, sponsor or volunteer: olivetreeblessings.com

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