‘Flowers from and to the heart’ | Interfaith Caregivers | July 22

A surprise gift of flowers is a delight – especially for someone who is lonely or down-hearted.

“Flowers From the Heart” is a special way in which, at this time of year, many such people in our community receive gifts of joy and kindness from generous gardeners with help from volunteers with Interfaith Caregiver Volunteers (IVC).

Here’s how it works. People with an abundance of flowers in their garden (or from a wedding or memorial service) are invited to put as many of them as they like into the buckets that are on the front porch of Eagle Harbor Congregational Church,  any weekday morning until noon.

IVC volunteers then arrange the flowers into bouquets and deliver them to persons – many of them shut-ins – who are coping with disability, illness or injury, or need a bit of cheer for other reasons.  The recipients include those living in their own homes and those in care facilities. The program will continue into early September.

The bouquets gladden the hearts of their recipients, as well as those who deliver them. Invariably, they are met by big smiles. Recipients often exclaim:  “How did you know I really needed something like this,” or “You have made my day.”

Some also respond with cards such as from one woman who wrote:

“Thank you for the beautiful flowers. They really cheered me up;” or another: “I just had to take a minute to write and thank you for the beautiful bouquet of flowers you brought me yesterday. Thank you so very much for thinking of me.”

IVC hopes that this year the number of people receiving bouquets can increase, as it has in prior years. This can happen if even more caring neighbors donate flowers.

All who do so can themselves smile in realizing that their gifts bring happiness and beauty into the lives of their very grateful recipients.

Meanwhile, IVC continues to receive increasing numbers of requests for volunteer assistance that, in various ways, can help seniors and others in need to maintain their independence, dignity and quality of life.

Here are a few recent examples:

• An elderly woman with cancer needs someone to drive her to and from an important chemotherapy treatment.

• A young Mom and her child need a ride to medical appointments in Silverdale.

• A woman confined to a wheel chair needs a volunteer (or two on a rotating basis) to take her grocery shopping once every two weeks.

• A lady struggling with health issues needs a bit of help with housekeeping in her apartment.

• A senior gentleman needs a volunteer to drive him to attend a book club for visually impaired persons.

• A volunteer is needed to visit with a man who is recovering from serious illness, so that his wife may attend her monthly needlepoint group.

• A woman suffering from serious illness and depression needs a female companion to visit her and take her out of her tiny apartment for a drive, or coffee, or other activity.

Through our volunteers, IVC seeks to say Yes to all of the many requests like these. In so doing, we enhance and brighten the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

As the needs are growing, more volunteers are needed. If you would enjoy the satisfaction of helping someone in need, please give IVC a call at 842-1441

Dick Goff is a board member of  Bainbridge Island Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers

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