ROANOKE VALLEY, Va (WFXR) — 5,000 bouquets of flowers were handed out in the Roanoke Valley on Wednesday for the annual “Petal it Forward” event. It occurs across the nation and even in Canada– the intent is to brighten your day and bring a smile to someone in the community.

George Clements is the founder and part owner of George’s Flowers, he explains that each person is given two bouquets– one for themselves, and one to gift to someone else.

“They get the emotions and the good feelings of receiving flowers, plus they get that really good feeling of giving a gift,” said Clements.

The event is organized by the Society of American Florists (SAF), who hope to share with people the power of plants.

“88% of Americans surveyed from the Society of American Florists said that giving that gift is even better than receiving,” said Clements.

George’s Flowers teamed up with MKB Realty and TFS Roanoke to make the event happen. Volunteers bundled up to go into the community and hand out flowers, but Amanda Ostrander with MKB Realty says they are happy to help.

“We’re a local realtor firm and giving back and being in our community is the number one priority,” says Ostrander.

Preparations for “Petal it Forward” began about two months ago. Clements says the partners work together to cover costs, hydrate flowers and pack up bouquets.

“It’s pure joy, it’s contagious, it really allows us to give back to our community,” said Ostrander.

People were stationed at 11 different locations around the Roanoke Valley on Wednesday to hand out the bouquets…. giving community a reason to smile. Residents enjoyed having the chance to spread joy, like Alice Hunt, who says she is giving her second bouquet to her neighbor– who recently had a birthday.

“I just think it’s an excellent idea to be able to enjoy a bouquet in my home as well as to be able to give it to someone else,” said Hunt.

For the first time this year “Petal it Forward” got an early start and brought flowers to faculty and staff of several schools as well as Fire and Police Departments.

Although 5,000 bouquets were more than they have ever given out in the past, Clements is hopeful that next year will be even bigger.