KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Residents at Avenir Memory Care were in for a surprise Thursday when they were surprised with flowers by volunteers with Random Acts of Flowers. The organization delivered arrangements to the facility in honor of “Paint the Town Purple” week.
Volunteers prepared the arrangements Thursday morning, using repurposed flowers to create 50 arrangements to be delivered in honor of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Paint the Town Purple” week.
Random Acts of Flowers executive director Ally Slavick explained that the organization is passionate about memory care issues and serves 35 memory care facilities every year. She said the arrangements brighten up the day for everyone involved.
“Being able to deliver a bouquet of flowers to somebody that wasn’t expecting it, especially during a time when they may need it most, whether they are, you know, feeling a lot mentally, physically, emotionally… It’s something joyous to be able to spread a little bit of kindness through something as sweet and small as an arrangement of flowers,” Slavick said.
Random Acts of Flowers board member Gabrielle Blake is a social worker who sees exactly how important the arrangements can be to those living with Alzheimer’s.
“I’m a geriatric social worker and so, so many of the clients, they don’t have people that come in and visit with them. They have people who come in and are taking care of them, and sometimes our volunteers are the only person that they see during the day that aren’t poking and prodding them or asking them for their temperature. So it’s a nice little connection and it’s a nice way to remind them that there’s someone out there that cares about them,” Blake said.
The organization began in 2008 after founder Larsen Jay, was in a near-fatal accident. According to the organization’s website, while he was recovering, he saw how much visitors and floral arrangements helped him recover, and how fellow patients did not have the same support. He repurposed his own flowers and delivered them to other patients from his wheelchair. One year later, Random Acts of Flowers was incorporated.
Every year, the organization delivers around 17,000 flower arrangements each year to residents in all sorts of healthcare communities, Blake said. Since it began, Random Acts of Flowers has delivered hundreds of thousands of flowers with the help of hundreds of volunteers, she added.
If you would like to learn more and get involved, visit www.rafknoxville.org.