Hand Flowers Out at a Nursing Home

#13 and #38

This week, after crossing “Leave flowers on a stranger’s doorstep” off my “Kind Acts & Volunteering” bucket list, I decided it would be flower week.  Another item on this bucket list was to hand out flowers at a nursing home and to make sure that I got enough for everyone.

After thinking about it, I wasn’t sure if there were policies on bringing real flowers into a nursing home or if some of the residents might have bad allergies, so I decided it would be best to buy fake flowers, which I think are often equally pretty and last forever. I know my mom enjoys buying fake flowers a lot more than real ones!

I drove to the dollar store and picked up several bouquets of red (for the males, or females, who like that color, I figured) and pink (for the females) flowers. In total, the flowers came to about $11, which I know is not a lot of money, but I hoped that I would be able to hand out enough for everyone.

I initially planned on handing them out that day, but it was already around 4:00 p.m. and I ran into a bit of a problem. Although I brought scissors with me to snip the bouquets into individual flowers, I didn’t realize that the fake stems were made of metal. I accomplished cutting one flower off, but realized that cutting the rest would take forever.

Luckily, when my dad got home later, I asked him if he had anything that would better be able to cut metal and he said he did in the garage, then helped me cut off all the flowers.

That night, I was actually able to use a few as a mini going away gift for one of my best friends who left for London/Wales to spend the rest of the summer with her boyfriend who lives in London and then to attend a university in Wales for the year via a study abroad program. Our parents, guys we’ve dated, etc, have always joked and called us each others girlfriends, since we are often together so much, so I figured the flowers would be the perfect ironic gift for the occasion! I also made her a card.

The next day, I looked up nursing homes who might have the same or a smaller number of residents than the amount of flowers I had, though I figured if I couldn’t find one, I could just buy more flowers. I called one nursing home nearby that seemed to be a match and asked what their visitor policies were and if it would be okay to come in half an hour. The activities director, who also said she had gone to my college, wound up being really nice & said it would be perfect timing, since the residents would just be leaving a show in which an Elvis impersonator came there.

Although I have a GPS, she explained to me that there was a detour near the nursing home and gave directions, which I wish I had listened to better; I’m bad at directions as it is, but figured I’d be fine with a GPS. Yet she was right that it got a little complicated. The GPS continued to direct me in the place cars weren’t allowed to drive (duh! I should’ve thought of that) and then it began torrentially down pouring so hard that it was difficult to see the road.

Eventually the down pouring stopped and I was able to maneuver around the detour, but I had to apologize for being a little late!

It was such a nice feeling seeing how grateful the residents were for their flowers and the activities director told me they don’t get a lot of visitors often, so it was the perfect treat for a rainy day. Even if she was just being kind, it was a really great feeling. One woman with a lovely Italian accent kept asking, “You brought these for ME? These are really for ME? Why thank you! Thank you!” It really made my day.

A few years back, I olunteered at an adult day care center and I remember one time asking my mom if she could come back when she came to pick me up, because we were playing bingo and having a lot of fun. Going back to the nursing home reminded me of how much I enjoyed interacting with the residents and I asked the activities director if they needed volunteers. Even if I don’t get to do it before summer ends, I guess I can also cross #13, spend time in a nursing home, off my bucket list for now, but I definitely hope to go back there.

So has anyone else had a similar volunteering experience or want to add this one to his or her bucket lists? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Oh! And just a reminder that I’m hosting an August giveaway right now, so if you want to enter to win some prizes, please check out the “August Giveaway” page, or the post two down from this one 🙂

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48 Responses to Hand Flowers Out at a Nursing Home

  1. cryifithelps says:

    This is a wonderful thing that you have done! My father is in a nursing home right now, a double amputee, diabetic and Vietnam Veteran. I live 3 hours north of the nursing home where he is, and my heart aches as I miss him daily. I can only hope that there will be someone as wonderful as you to brighten his day when I cannot be there. This is an awesome deed! 🙂 *Blessings*

  2. You were such a blessing to those that received flowers from you. We honestly cannot truly see or feel the love they are overwhelmed with in that moment of receiving. You’re an angel!

  3. helenscribe says:

    How wonderful of you to think of this, and carry it out, despite all the hurdles. It shows great focus and compassion. Thank you for bringing out this spark of civilized engagement. Well done!

  4. There was one point when my computer consulting business was young and not generating much profit that I decided to work as a housekeeper in a nursing home. I had been hanging around them for ages because my Mom was a nurse, and I had thought it a good way to feel out if a health care career was right for me. While working as a housekeeper, I volunteered in the activities program interviewing and writing biographies of the residents.

    I loved learning about the lives, loves, and times each resident had experienced almost as much as seeing how proud and happy they were when they got the “Hot Off The Presses” newsletter first! I found myself able to be more caring and more patient, and have loved writing biographies every since!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful experience!

    • Aww what an awesome job/volunteer opportunity! That must have been so much fun and I agree that seeing how proud they are talking about their lives is a wonderful feeling. Sounds like you had an awesome experience too 🙂

  5. helenscribe says:

    Wonderful way to engage in a caring manner with people and get payback too. Everybody has a story within. Getting to the nub of that story, listening attentively, then re-telling it, gives acknowledgement and makes it a two-fold gift. An inspiring example. Thanks.

  6. Topaz says:

    How awesome! People in nursing homes are often forgotten about. I’m quite sure you made a great impact.

  7. gene3067 says:

    Nice. You made these people’s week! This is the best idea yet!

  8. Amit Shukla says:

    gr8. wonderful idea. this will be a memorable one for them

  9. KraftedKhaos says:

    What a lovely idea! Just a thought… you might be able to approach a florist and ask them if they have flowers, that are past their prime and cannot be used in arrangements to sell, that they would possibly consider giving to you for free (or a very small cost) so that you could take them to residents of nursing homes. It’s just a thought.

    We waste and throw away so much stuff that can still help out or bring joy and happiness to others, all in the name of a tax write-off. I think it’s sad.

    Good on ya for doing such a kind thing. Maybe if/when I get some wheels, I can do something like that. 🙂

  10. btg5885 says:

    Christine, what a wonderful idea. When my mother-in-law was in a long term care facility, just visting with her and the people at her table helped them greatly. Just ask a few questions and let them answer. I applaud your efforts. Take care, BTG

  11. hejafred says:

    I want to do this with my children! Your posts are always such an inspiration.

  12. Pingback: Meant To Be | Unwritten Thoughts

  13. I am so impressed that you have all these good ideas and then actually follow through on them, finding alternate solutions to snafus along the way. Many of your actions show how something that is so small to many of us is huge to someone else. Congratulations on all your efforts.

  14. partonsvite says:

    Love this project!!! So cool!

  15. My kids were younger we went to a nursing home and sang Christmas carols. Remember how thankful they
    were. You just reminded me that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to do something nice for one of these Treasures in our society. Blessings on you and for the inspiration you’re giving others. PS I Paid for someone’s parking The other day. that was fun thanks for the suggestion!

  16. Graceful Chaos says:

    Oh I love this! Thanks for finding my blog which led me to yours. I need a bright spot and love this thoughtful bucket list you have going. Brings a smile to my face!!!

  17. I volunteered in a nursing home for around a year, just once a week- the residents were always so greatful for such little things even just the company way much appreciated!!

  18. angiekat says:

    Love the idea of creating a day (flower day, specifically) just to brighten it for others! You inspired some great ideas! Love what you are about–making a positive difference while living your life and generating a smile is sometimes all the difference! BRAVO!
    p.s. thanks for the follow–:)

  19. milambc says:

    Awww, your card to you friend is so cute!

    I have to echo what others have said. Not only are you doing such wonderful things in completing your bucket list, but in sharing those stories, you inspire others and make them smile. I know I always do every time I read one of them! 😀

  20. angelssendinghope says:

    Hi Christine,
    I’m new to your blog and I found this post to be very nice. What a great idea..

    As part of Angels Sending Hope Inc. we reach out to nursing homes to participate in our program. We have 6 nursing homes right now that have residents make cards during their activities time every week and mail them to individuals who contact us and need some encouragement and support.

    http://www.angelssendinghope.com

  21. maverickbird says:

    Hi Christine I loved this post.I am sure you brightened their day.Such a wonderful act of thoughtfulness.
    BTW thank you for liking and following my blog.I am happy that I discovered yours and now following it.Look forward to more inspirational happy posts from you.

  22. Karric says:

    OH my god! You are so adorable!

  23. Pingback: Kind Acts Bucket List | Turquoise Compass

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