YOU CAN HELP: Flower fundraiser to help farming families

(Photo courtesy Hmong Association of Washington)

Need some more brightness after all these smoke-hazed days? Beautiful flowers like that can help – but they don’t just magically appear at local markets. They are grown on small farms. And like so many, those farmers have been hard-hit in these times. So they’re having a flower fundraiser, with online orders through tomorrow, and a Saturday pickup spot in White Center. Explains Cynthia Yongvang of the Hmong Association of Washington, who emailed to let us know abut this: “Our fundraiser would benefit both the Hmong flower farmers who are struggling financially during this pandemic and also our 4 very small communities (Mien, Hmong, Khmu, and Lao) in the Puget Sound area by providing rental-assistance relief to families in need so that they won’t be displaced during this time.” The order form is here, and it explains, “This weekend, based on the farmers’ selection of flowers, the mix bouquets will include sunflowers, dahlias, lilies, phlox, statice , snapdragons, gladiolus and greenery for $25, with $10 of every bouquet going to our rental assistance program.” Orders will be accepted until 3 pm tomorrow (Thursday, September 17th), with pickup options (also listed on the order form) including 9 am-noon Saturday in White Center.

9 Replies to "YOU CAN HELP: Flower fundraiser to help farming families"

  • Where do you pick them up in White Center? September 16, 2020 (2:15 pm)

    Issues is it doesn’t say where in White Center you pick up the flowers.

    • WSB September 16, 2020 (2:53 pm)

      I’m sure that info will follow the order. This is by preorder only so far as I know.

    • HH September 16, 2020 (7:35 pm)

      The form says: “Some of our pick up sites are private residence and others are in public area so you will receive the specific pick up address one day prior to pick-up via email.”

  • AWB September 16, 2020 (5:11 pm)

    I am very happy to hear about this opportunity to help out our local Hmong people and the United Communities of Laos.  I am hoping the flower sale will be a great success!  Many of the flower sellers at Pike Place Market are actually Hmong from Laos.  Also for sale at the Market are the beautiful, colorful story cloths or Paj Ntaub made and embroidered by the Hmong showing intricate Hmong designs and scenes of their lives in Laos. For those who do not know, Hmong are mountain people who originated from southern China.  They were violently oppressed by the Chinese communists and when eventually driven from their homes, Hmong traveled with their families to lands where they could live free from oppression.  They walked to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, settling in the misty mountains.  Hmong valiantly fought alongside the French against the Japanese during WW2.  Then, they fought with the Americans before and during the Vietnam war.  Over 50 thousand Hmong fought against the communist invasions of Laos and Vietnam. Their military involvement saved the lives of over 10 thousand American soldiers during the Vietnam War!  When American pilots were shot down in Laos, Hmong were known to go out and rescue and tend to them until a plane or helicopter could come and retrieve the pilots.  They are a fearless, brave, resourceful people who literally gave their lives for freedom.  Many of them became refugees in Laos, time and time again, having to move when the communists invaded and destroyed their villages.  In mid May 1975, after both Vietnam and Cambodia had fallen to the communists, Laos fell as well.  The communists declared the Hmong as ‘enemy of the people’ due to their involvement with the Americans, and vowed to exterminate them.  The Americans sent in planes to evacuate as many as they could and to take them to Thailand.  But thousands died while traveling south towards the Mekong river, where some were fortunate enough to cross to safety.  The fleeing Hmong were hounded all the way and were shot, killed or taken prisoner at the Hin Heup bridge and at the river as they tried to escape.  Many drowned, as they did not know how to swim.  The survivors lived in refugee camps in Thailand for months to years, not knowing if they would ever be able to return to their beloved homes in the mountains.  As it turned out, this was not possible.  Some Hmong were fortunate enough to get sponsors through individuals and American churches to come here to the United States, the home of the people they pledged their loyalty to.  They became American citizens who are committed to their communities and country.In 1961, James William Lair, the  CIA paramilitary officer met with General Vang Pao, the leader of the Hmong guerrilla army about the possibility of the Hmong fighting the Lao and Vietnamese communists, and disrupting the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the communist’s main supply route to their soldiers in Southern Vietnam.  The Hmong enthusiastically agreed and did not ask for anything in return.  They only wanted training, and the supplies necessary to give them the ability to fight for freedom.  The word, Hmong means “Free People”.  They exemplify one of the most important things we value here in this country, freedom.  These people are true American heroes, and it is time we do what we can to help them.  Please join me by ordering flowers and showing them our support and appreciation.Included here is a picture of a Hmong story cloth showing  Laos during the Vietnam War.  In the center top is Long Tieng, the main military base where the majority of Hmong were living at this time.  This scene shows the mass exodus of Hmong which started mid-May 1975.  You can see the Hmong people, wearing black, and the communist soldiers wearing green.  The capital City Vientiane is shown in the center just above the Mekong river.  A refugee camp in Thailand is shown in the lower left corner, and you can see Hmong being interviewed at tables to finally take planes to America, France or other countries which accepted them as refugees.  I am currently writing a book that will have Hmong characters in it, and everything will take place right here in Seattle.  Learning about the Hmong people has been a humbling and transformative experience for me.  I know how fortunate we are to have some of these generous and courageous people right here in our own communities.  For those who want to learn more, there are quite a few good books for both adults and children at our local public libraries.  And of course, you can head down to Pike Place Market and White Center this Saturday to meet some of these wonderful people in person!

    • caityg September 17, 2020 (8:51 am)

      Thank you so very much for this narrative history of the Hmong! I would like to shout out a book (which I’m sure is well known to you) that illustrates the clash of cultures between the Hmong and American western medicine:”The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman, which details the agonizing true medical journey of a Hmong baby with epilepsy in the hallowed halls of the American healthcare system, set in Merced, California.

      Kindest regards, Caity

  • Ann Adachi September 16, 2020 (7:22 pm)

    My friend who lives in north Admiral hosted one of these Hmong flower & vegetable sales at her front yard on Sept 11 & it was a huge success. Sold out 43 bouquets & 8 boxes of vegetables in less than 2 hours! Not only were the flowers gorgeous & reasonably priced, it was such a positive, affirming event especially given all that’s going on in the world. So happy to be able to support the Hmong farmers! I believe she’s hosting another one in a couple of weeks. 

  • Gianna September 16, 2020 (7:39 pm)

    I suggest you contact nursing homes and assisted and independent living facilities in Seattle area, like Aegis (West Seattle) University House ( Fremont), and give them info and order forms for them to distribute to family members and residents. They order Birthdays and Entry Hall arrangements. Tjis could really help out everyone.

  • Keri September 16, 2020 (9:02 pm)

    One of the best things about living in Seattle are these flowers.  Every occasion we have we head to Pike Place or the farmer’s market for a bouquet.  They are always gorgeous, always very affordable and always handed over with a smile.  We are placing an order for many bouquets. 

  • CJ September 17, 2020 (8:20 pm)

    Super bummed to miss the order.  Are any of the farmers going to be at our Sunday Market?  

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