The power of flowers
Flowers can heal. They can say many things: I love you, get well, congratulations. They can provide a sense of comfort, warmth, and belonging. A single flower can bring pure joy and brighten someone's day.
Flowers can also heal by producing biological effects on the body that range from anti-inflammatory properties to cardiovascular benefits. Flowers have incredible power on the body and mind.
The Bloom Project, a partner of Legacy Health and Randall Children's Hospital, has been providing patients in hospice and palliative care and their families flowers since 2009. Legacy's hospice program – including in-patient facility Hopewell House – receives several dozen bouquets of flowers each week and, as an overflow partner for the past few years, Randall Children's Hospital receives bouquets for the children and their families, especially around holidays like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.
"When we receive overflow flowers at Randall Children's, I get to see the pure joy on a child's face when they get to pick their own bouquet," said Sally Kirchoff, in-kind coordinator at Randall Children's Hospital. "I once watched a little boy spend 15 minutes, inspecting each flower until he found just the right bouquet. It was a special experience and the flowers made him so happy."
With over 200 volunteers that come from all over the Portland metro area, The Bloom Project receives donations of flowers from many partners including local grocery stores, the Portland Flower Market, ProFlowers and several growers. Volunteers inspect every flower upon arrival and then create colorful bouquets ready for delivery.
"In the last year, we have been able to gift over 34,000 bouquets to patients and families," said Stacy Addison, project manager at The Bloom Project. "Being able to give this unexpected gift to a patient or their family is really special. For them to know that someone they’ll never meet is thinking about them during such a challenging time can be incredibly uplifting. It's like a random act of kindness."
Not only do flowers result in healing and lift spirits, they can also help health professionals connect with their patients. For many patients and families, the surprise gift of flowers can be a conversation starter about the weather, the flowers themselves, gardening … or how they are feeling. A flower bouquet can make a patient's last days full of comfort, conversation, and peace.
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Stanford Cone
Pictures courtesy of The Bloom Project.