Community steps up with flower donation drive for nursing homes
GREENFIELD — To spread cheer to the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities who don’t have visitors on Christmas, Floral Affairs on Deerfield Street has run a donation drive every year, allowing the shop to bring the residents flowers.
This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of residents who won’t have visitors for the holiday is about three times higher than usual. But the shop’s customers have donated as much as is needed and then some, making this the drive’s most successful year yet.
Becky Guyer, owner of Floral Affairs, has held the donation drive for about six years now, she said. She coordinates with the facilities’ staff members to determine how many people won’t have visitors for Christmas — usually about 100 across the five local nursing homes and assisted living facilities — and takes donations for about two or three weeks before Christmas.
This year, she wasn’t sure if it would be possible. Because of the pandemic, she is the only florist working at the shop, and she didn’t think she would have enough time. Plus, the number of nursing home residents who won’t be having visitors is much higher — about 300 — and so the project would take even more work.
Guyer debated for several weeks whether to do the donation drive, but decided last week to give it a go.
“I just decided that, if any year, this was the year that people had to have those (flowers),” she said.
She publicized that she was taking donations on Friday, giving herself less than a week to collect donations and arrange and deliver the flowers.
Since then, the donations have not only matched the larger scale of the project, but even exceeded it. With the extra money, Guyer said, she will be able to create extra arrangements for each nursing home’s communal areas, as well as give a flower to each resident as she had planned.
“This community has just been amazingly beautiful with their willingness to give and help and be part of it,” Guyer said.
The five facilities that Floral Affairs works with are Charlene Manor Extended Care, Poet’s Seat Health Care Center, Buckley HealthCare Center and The Arbors Assisted Living, all in Greenfield, as well as LaBelle’s Rest Home in Shelburne Falls.Donations can still be made until 10 a.m. on Thursday. For those who miss the donation period but still may be interested, Guyer said she runs a similar donation campaign for Mother’s Day.Reach Max Marcus at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-930-4231.