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Florist’s message to LI hospitals, nursing homes: ‘You are loved’

Florist’s message to LI hospitals, nursing homes: ‘You are loved’

Jeanine Amato donated 160 red roses to Momentum at South Bay Rehabilitation and Nursing in East Islip on March 20. Credit: Jeanine Amato Newsday is opening this story to all readers as we provide Long Islanders with news and information you can use during the coronavirus outbreak. All readers can learn the latest news at newsday.com/LiveUpdates Jeanine Amato says although technically the government considers her business nonessential, “my community thinks otherwise.” Amato, 45, owns Country Village Florist and Gifts in East Islip. Since the coronavirus outbreak, she’s been running operations on her own. Amato said she is trying to support Long Islanders during this pandemic the best way she knows how: providing blooming bouquets and colorful floral arrangements to those most in need of a smile. Every day during her drive to work — from Smithtown to East Islip — Amato passes Momentum at South Bay Rehabilitation and Nursing. The nursing home has restricted visitation until further notice. The staff at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore received 45 vases of flowers from Jeanine Amato. Credit: Jeanine Amato In recent weeks on her way to the shop, which for now does curbside pickups and deliveries only, she felt helpless passing Momentum every day. “It just made me cry every time I drove past it, just thinking about these poor people,” Amato said. “It just made me think, what can I do? I know there isn’t too much I can do." “But I’m a florist,” she said, “and I have flowers.” Amato is a board member of the East Islip Chamber of Commerce, and through that she knows one of the directors at Momentum. They discussed a plan, and with the go-ahead, Amato got to work: 160 red roses, each in its own vase with a handwritten note, penned by Amato […]

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