CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – As the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community continue to mourn the loss of three UVA football players, D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler, many organizations are stepping up to do their part to help the community heal.
The Dogwood Tree, a flower shop in Charlottesville is giving away free flowers in hopes of helping the community grieve.
“I think the flowers are just a symbol of hope. People use them to bring themself comfort and to share in their grief and joy in being together and being able to carry on and persevere,” said co-owner, Sarah Bowen.
One of The Dogwood Tree’s wholesale partners, KD & Company out of Richmond, donated 1,500 flowers to help the store to put together bouquets.
The bouquets are now being offered to customers for free, whether it’s for themselves, a loved one, or to place at a memorial somewhere on UVA grounds.
“We are really trying to do whatever we can to feel some sort of normalcy and so for us, the easiest way to do that is to use the resources we have and give these flowers away so that people know we stand with you and that we are UVA strong,” said Bowen.
Another organization that’s showing they’re UVA Strong is the UVA Alumni Association.
The organization has put together a virtual fundraiser to show its support for the shooting victims and their families.
“UVA Strong, the fund is inspired by the community. It’s a response to the outpouring of love and support and the goal is to be able to provide care for families, victims, survivors and provide services for students and of course to honor those who died in the tragic shooting,” said President & CEO of UVA Alumni Association, Lily West.
Whether through placing flowers outside of Scott’s Stadium or on the Beta Bridge, or by making a monetary donation, the UVA and Charlottesville community are standing strong and standing together.
“It has been incredible. The strength of this community continues to humble us,” said West.
“We just want to do what we can to let the whole community know that they are supported,” said Bowen.