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Geneseo florist delivers joy to assisted living residents

Geneseo florist delivers joy to assisted living residents

Diana Holbrook and her son, Cory Holbrook, of Designs on the Boulevard in downtown Geneseo, show some of the 287 arrangements the shop has delivered to residents at local assisted living facilities. The larger piece in the photo is an example of what was given by the shop owners to the employees at the facilities. CLAUDIA LOUCKS GENESEO – It was a social media post that sparked an idea of how to spread some kindness for Diana Holbrook and her son, Cory Holbrook, owners of Designs on the Boulevard in downtown Geneseo. The mom and son team and their staff have delivered fresh flowers to every resident in the assisted living facilities in the Geneseo area. That’s 287 for residents and five larger arrangements, one for each group of employees at each of the five facilities.

Cory Holbrook launched their efforts on social media: “Things are absolutely bonkers right now; I don’t need to tell you that. I don’t need to give you more news on what else is going on either, but what I can do is give us some good news and some ways we can help. I recently read the quote ‘Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself’.”

That message struck a chord with Holbrook and he said, “Last week I got to see someone in an assisted facility situation receive flowers. I haven’t seen that in months.”

He did the whole routine — hands washed, mask on, filled out form and had temperature taken. ”The joy and excitement that washed over the person receiving the flowers really touched me,” he said. ‘I was choking up. You could see it in my eyes, I know it. Because everything got that real blurry way things get when you’re about to shed a tear.”

“I know some people find these masks to make things less personal, so I tend to go out of my way to wish others well while wearing one,” Holbrook said. “We don’t need to lose our humanity while trying to protect each other, that’s counter intuitive. So, I wished the two (people) reading newspapers on the couch on my way out a ‘great weekend and take care’ and got back in the van, sanitized and took off.”

That began a chain reaction that has brought smiles to all residents in local assisted living facilities…”Some of these people living in the assisted living situations may not have had a visitors for quite some time,” he said. “I can barely handle a Sunday alone, so I can’t imagine how difficult that must be.”

Last Christmas at Designs on the Boulevard, the staff created centerpieces for people who were not going to see relatives or other loved ones. “Guess what?” he said. ‘That’s practically everyone right now because of the pandemic. So, I thought let’s bump that up — right here, right now, scatter that kindness and share some sunshine and flowers with these people.”

His post continued: “Times are strange, […]

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