'Blossoms for Barbara' delivers more than flowers to hospice residents

It’s crunch-time for the Clayton Valley Garden Club.  This group of givers have turned simple flowers into keepsakes that are about to rock the world for some very special Valentines this week!  

“They feel really good, and we do too!  We actually feel better about it than they do,” said Betty Armes of the C.V. Garden Club.  

Linda Karp started “Blossom’s for Barbara” in tribute to her mother who passed away in 2011.  It’s her way of helping hospice patients and families cope with a small token of hope.  In 2012 they delivered 50 plants to hospice care and it’s now grown to over 1,300 flowers and expanded to both Meals on Wheels and assisted living homes.  

Linda Karp say’s it’s amazing what a small gift can do.  “If you have a little sweet distraction showing that people are there supporting, caring and understanding you...it makes a huge difference that you are not alone.”  

Garden Clubber Lou Thompson says don’t underestimate the power of a flower!  “It’s just such a delight to see people enjoying the beauty of our flowers.  It’s good medicine.”  

Stop number one was Meal on Wheels and Senior Outreach service in Walnut Creek.  Each meal served got a potted flower on Valentine Day.  

Meals on Wheel’s CEO agrees with Thompson.  “Our Meals on Wheels delivery people are often the only people they see.  So when they come with a bright flower with a heart. Linda and her group have just extended the life of these folks.”  

The final stop was Concord’s Royale Assisted Living Home.  Nearly 100 plants were delivered to rooms along with a big hug.  80-plus year old senior Arlene Dixon said it’s a welcome sight!  “I don’t get flowers too much and others do.  I don’t!  No we don’t.  So they mean a lot.  YES they do!”  

Resident and retired Army veteran Joseph Cain can’t even recall the last time he received flowers.  “I’m 82 … it’s been a long while.”  

Diane Pollard who is the Community Relations Manager for Concord Royale says the flowers really brighten up their home.  “Not all of them have family.  Not all of them have someone to show up and care, and Linda has brought that spirit of love into our building.”  

And isn’t that what Valentines is all about?   Blossom’s for Barbara campaign gets a lot of help from local businesses and donations.  In the past 7 years they have delivered over 5,000 smiles.