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Texas nonprofit brightening lives during COVID-19 with solar-powered flowers

Helping Hands of Hutto started making flowers out of tin cans, painting the flowers and lighting them up with solar-powered lights to brighten lives during COVID-19.

HUTTO, Texas — In July, Wayne Cunningham stumbled across an artistic idea on Pinterest: tin can flowers. 

Cunningham and Jackie Padhaisky broadened that idea to insert solar-powered pathway lights into the modified cans as a way to brighten people's days and nights during the pandemic.

Cunningham and Padhaisky founded Helping Hands of Hutto in 2019. The nonprofit does a variety of work from fundraisers for people who are victims of a disaster, to dressing up as the Easter bunny and visiting kids. 

This latest project of solar flowers adds a splash of color to their palette.

"It's only two of us making these flowers, but I can tell you: we come home from work every day, and we sit down on the couch, and we're cutting flowers every day," Padhaisky said.

Padhaisky and Cunningham use about three to four tin cans (soup cans, bean cans, tomato cans, etc.) per flower: cutting the top of one, cutting down the sides of another and fitting each inside one another to make layers of pedals and designs. 

Then, they paint the flower with spray paint in their backyard. Each flower takes a couple of days to finish in order to allow the paint to dry.

"I love them," Laura Moody, a Hutto resident who has bought three, said. "They're cute, they're all recycled stuff. I think they're really, really cute and they look great in the backyard at night."

Cunningham and Padhaisky cannot charge a price for the metallic flowers because Helping Hands is a nonprofit. However, they suggest a donation of $15 for a small flower or $20 for a large flower.

WATCH: Texas nonprofit brightening lives during COVID-19 with solar-powered flowers


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