$10,000 to build flower farm for at-risk youth

The Ellen Show Surprises Englewood's Southside Blooms. The money will allow the organization to hire young people in need of a job or community service project and "get them off the streets and into the flower industry," Southside Blooms' founder said. 

When Quilen Blackwell got a direct message from a producer of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," he thought it was a scam. 

Southside Blooms, a farm-to-vase florist nonprofit, is a small organization on the South Side founded by Blackwell. There was no way the show had found out about his work, he said.

Once he got over "his spidey senses," he looked up the producer on LinkedIn and was flown out for free to talk about his work on the show on May 31. On an episode hosted by comedian Leslie Jones, Blackwell received a surprise check for $10,000. He jumped from his seat, doing a quick two-step before raising the jumbo check above his head and cheering.

Read the complete article at: blockclubchicago.org 

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