Heal With Flowers: Your Charity’s Way of Giving Back

Hospital: Woman Reaches for Flower Gift

It can be a hard job cheering up people in the hospital. Patients may get fleeting satisfaction and love from family visits, but a surprise bouquet of flowers can be just the thing to brighten their mood indefinitely. If you’re on a project committee of a charity that deals with people, you’ve got an opportunity to create some real happiness in some sad people’s lives.

Most charitable organizations are constantly looking for new worthy projects on which to spend their time and energy. No matter what group you work with, you’ll probably be able to find a tie-in with sending flowers to hospital patients. Childhood illness? Send fun bouquets in cheerful mugs to pediatrics wards. A food pantry? Send a bouquet to each new mother, congratulating her on the birth of a healthy baby.

Why Send Flowers?

According to a study by Rutgers University, flowers have an almost universally positive appeal for all people. Many studies have shown the value of happiness and good moods for healing and beating diseases, from cancer to heart disease. If flowers make people happy whenever they’re placed in a room, it makes sense to assume that giving flowers will help patients to heal and leave the hospital much faster. In a randomized clinical trial, patients were proven to have less pain and anxiety when plants and flowers are in the room. Clearly, giving flowers to patients has multiple advantages.

How to Start

Decide what type of patient you’re going to specialize in, and contact area hospitals to meet and discuss having regular flower delivery days from your organization. Research the cost of a basic bouquet to find the number of patients you can help each month. Find the turnover rate at the hospital and try to deliver flowers frequently enough that all new patients get a fresh bouquet, yet you’re not delivering to the same people over and over again. You can also order flowers online, arranging all the deliveries at once to the hospital rooms, or have them deliver the bouquets to one central place so your volunteers can deliver them in person with a smile and a cheery thought.

Study the charity Random Acts of Flowers if your group is short on funds but long on volunteers. This group gathers discarded bouquets from grocery stores, florist shops, funeral homes, and other venues. They break down the flower arrangements and rearrange the blooms into fresh bouquets, then distribute them to needy patients throughout the area. Break down their methods into usable steps and assign one step to each section of your committee. One group can line up donation sites, another can find hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice organizations that would welcome the flowers. The group rank and file can repurpose the bouquets and do deliveries, allowing everyone to join in the fun parts of the project.