Have you ever wondered what you were going to do with the gorgeous flowers you received at a wedding, or after the passing of a loved one? For one nonprofit group in Knox County, Tenn., such beautiful blooms are being put to good use. According to NBC affiliate WBIR 10, the group Random Acts of Flowers, collects unwanted flowers from weddings, funerals or other special occasions and donates them to people who could use some cheering up.
Flowers bring similes to patients
It may seem like a simple idea, but for Larsen Jay, the founder of Random Acts of Flowers, seeing a bouquet light up a sick person's face is enough reason to continue with the initiative. Through the program, flowers are used to make new original bouquets that are then delivered to patients at local hospitals, those at nursing homes and people in hospice care centers.
To date, the group has collected more than 23,000 bouquets that have helped improve the lives of patients who need it most.
"When a stranger walks in the door, does something completely random and nice for them, brings a big bouquet of flowers and offers a word of encouragement and a smile, it really makes them feel good, makes them smile, and gives them a mental health boost," Jay told the news source.
After receiving such overwhelming support, Random Acts of Flowers recently announced it is expanding to set up home base in Knoxville and is opening two new drop-off sites in Florida.
Study finds fresh blooms boost moods
There may be a reason Random Acts of Flowers has seen such positive results. A study conducted by scientists from Rutgers University found older patients who randomly received flowers had improved attitudes and overall moods than their peers who did not get the kind gesture.
In fact, patients who had flowers delivered to their homes benefited from a desire to be more social in public places and were more likely to engage in activities after receiving the fresh blooms, when compared to individuals who were gifted with things like candles or those who did not receive anything. Looking closer, it was found 81 percent of seniors who received flowers admitted their depression symptoms waned after getting the surprise.