It is such a simple idea, and yet it has had such a meaningful impact on a quarter million people across the country who are battling injury, illness and the aging process.
Today marks the 250,000th delivery by Random Acts of Flowers, the national nonprofit that improves the emotional health and wellbeing of individuals in healthcare facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness. The special moment is set to take place at Chicago’s Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, with rising pop star and winner of The Voice, Chris Blue, Joining volunteers in delivering the healing bouquets to oncology patients in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I never imagined how far reaching this would be when we started Random Acts of Flowers,” said founder and CEO Larsen Jay, who was moved to give back after suffering a near-fatal accident and personally experiencing the healing power of flowers during his recovery. (See the RAF story.) “We owe so much to the thousands of volunteers, the community leaders, our partners and our donors who share our vision to nurture a culture of care and compassion.”
Blue is one of those who shares the vision of Random Acts of Flowers, so much so that he is breaking away from working on his first album in New York with mentor Alicia Keys to make the 250,000th delivery.
“It fits with what I want to do with my music and who I want to be in life,” said Blue, who wowed The Voice judges and viewers alike with his incredible voice range and musical versatility. “I want to inspire people, to be the light and glue to bring people together. That’s what Random Acts of Flowers does every day, offering hope and light to those who are suffering and lonely.”
Numerous studies have shown flowers have a positive impact on patient recovery, with those who have flowers or plants in their rooms experiencing shorter hospital stays and reporting less pain, anxiety, and fatigue. Additionally, flowers have been proven to be a positive emotion-inducer, improving mood and long-term episodic memory in elderly patients.
Random Acts of Flowers was launched in 2008 in Jay’s hometown of Knoxville, Tenn. Its mission quickly spread across the country with additional branches opening in Tampa Bay, Chicago, Silicon Valley and Indianapolis, where a small team and thousands of dedicated volunteers work every day to remind some of the most vulnerable members of their communities that they are loved and cared for.
Nationally, Random Acts of Flowers serves more than 650 healthcare facilities, including hospitals, hospices, dialysis centers, chemotherapy infusion centers, senior living facilities, nursing homes and adult day cares. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, the premier academic referred hospital for northwest Chicago and north Chicagoland, is one of RAF Chicago’s newest healthcare partners. The 638-bed research hospital offers the most advanced care in its Level I trauma center, Cardiovascular, Orthopedic, Advanced Surgery, Oncology and Neuroscience Centers of Excellence.
SEE COVERAGE ON