As documented cases of the coronavirus multiply each day, the elderly are some of the most affected by the pandemic. Locked away in their homes, with nothing but the news to keep them up to date, most of them haven’t seen a friendly face or gesture in weeks.
Heart to Heart florist and gifts, a small town business located about 40 miles from College Station, found a way to bring a smile to the senior citizens stuck inside their houses and the surrounding nursing homes this past week. The flower shop took calls from locals and people across the United States wanting to donate money for flower arrangements for the seniors in Madisonville.
After having a wedding canceled due to the coronavirus concerns, the shop was left with two floral coolers filled with blooming flowers that owner Mary Stanton said she was afraid would go to waste if they didn’t think of another solution.
“We saw two needs: coolers full of flowers and a town full of elderly in need of encouragement,” Stanton said. “My friend had contacted me about a cool idea she did about getting her flowers out, and we thought we could put our own twist on it.”
With an original list of 30 seniors, it wasn’t long before the shop scrambled to find even more locals to deliver to. Stanton said she expected her community to show their support, but she never anticipated the amount of orders the shop would receive.
“We reached out to the local churches and other community-minded residents who helped compile our list,” Stanton said. “We really tried to think of people who wouldn’t normally receive flowers, including a handful of men.”
Within minutes of making an announcement on social media, shop florist Wendy Hunt said the phone was ringing nonstop. She knew it was time to roll up her sleeves and get to work.
“I soon realized how much more it would mean to these dear people who were facing loneliness from not seeing those they love,” Hunt said. “Why not brighten their day by using our flowers that would wither away? It made my heart happy to know that those who were receiving them would be blessed.”
The deliveries took nearly four days to get through, but with each stop the smiles kept getting brighter and brighter, Stanton said.
“People not only called the shop but reached out to us through social media outlets just wanting to be a part of what we were doing,” Stanton said. “In response, we received many thank you’s by phone and hand written notes.”
Vivienne Chambless was one of the many flower recipients and said she was in shock when the delivery came to her front door.
“It was so unexpected,” Chambless said. “Of course I love flowers so it was certainly appreciated.”
Since receiving her flower arrangement, Candy Bennett said she has loved getting to walk past the beautiful gesture.
“This whole thing was a lovely experience,” Bennett said. “It was so thoughtful of Heart to Heart to think of me and to do this for the city of Madisonville.”