Kindness in Bloom: A Random Bouquet Makes Patients’ Days

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Ever wonder what happens to all those gorgeous flower arrangements that adorn various events like weddings, galas or fundraisers? In Indianapolis, they now get a second life brightening hospital rooms and bringing smiles to faces of local patients.

Random Acts of Flowers, a national non-profit based in Tennessee, is expanding to serve Hoosier patients at a number of local hospitals and senior living facilities, including several within Indiana University Health. The organization does exactly what its name suggests – surprising patients and seniors with bouquets designed using recycled flowers from other events.

The organization began in 2008 when founder Larsen Jay was recovering from an accident that nearly took his life. During a long hospital stay, he was surprised and overwhelmed by the community support he received, often in the form of floral arrangements. Touched and immeasurably cheered, Jay wanted to spread the happiness, so he piled his wheelchair with bouquets and went room to room, leaving smiles blooming in his wake. A year later, Random Acts of Flowers was born.

We spoke with Alison Kothe, executive director of Random Acts of Flowers Indianapolis, and she explained that flowers are gathered, arranged and delivered by volunteers. She says individual hospitals may direct their team to a particular floor or group of rooms, and from there the volunteers are turned loose to deliver a random burst of color and joy.

“I think this is an important service because there is growing evidence that proves flowers can truly help a patient heal,” she says. “There is a direct correlation between emotional wellbeing and physical wellbeing. They feed off one another. The receipt of an unexpected burst of color as well as an unexpected act of kindness from a perfect stranger with a warm and caring smile is a perfect formula for giving someone a spiritual boost.”

To learn more about Random Acts of Flowers, read about their Indianapolis expansion here. And if you’re interested in learning about other ways to make a direct impact on the lives and care of patients, please contact us.

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