Flower deliveries bring light to unsuspecting loved ones on holidays or even just because. So why shouldn’t the same be true for the front-line workers who have risked their lives during the coronavirus pandemic? Just Add Ice and our parent company, Green Circle Growers, knew there couldn’t be a better time to live up to our mission of “making every day better with plants.”
When the pandemic hit, Just Add Ice and retailers everywhere came to a halt, which led to a product surplus. So, to brighten the days of the people working to keep us safe, we donated $1 million in orchids to seven communities hardest hit by the pandemic: Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa and Northeast Ohio. The blooms went to workers in hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, food banks and more, during National Nurses Week, and just in time for Mother's Day.
"In this extraordinary time, it was important to our organization to find ways we could contribute and the answer was clear - our orchids can brighten some of the darkest days," said Scott Giesbrecht, co-CEO of Just Add Ice and Green Circle Growers in a press release. "And we realized our nation's healthcare workers have been experiencing some of the darkest days of our lifetimes. If our orchids can provide a bit of joy and color for these very deserving individuals, we felt it was the least we could do during this difficult time.
One donation of 400 full-bloom orchids went to University Hospitals Parma campus. Nurse Manager and Coordinator Kathy Holley told cleveland.com, “It’s overwhelming. We come here to do what we love to, which is take care of patients. And to have this recognition is a sweet thing for us."
Just Add Ice enlisted the help of churches and other organizations in those areas to deliver the orchids directly to the careworkers. Pastor Scott Lessing of Grace Church Middleburg Heights was part of this process.
“We want to let them know that they are valued, loved and appreciated for what they’re doing,” Lessing said in a video. “I hope that people know that they are remembered.”
A fresh plant is an easy way to add beauty — and possibly hope — to a dire situation. They also help people reconnect with nature, and for workers stuck in a hospital or similar facility for long hours every day, every little bit helps.
"We hope they can bring these flowers home and they can serve as a thoughtful reminder of how much they are appreciated," Giesbrecht added.
You can see video footage of these donations on social media by following #FlowersfortheFrontlines.
PHOTO CREDIT: MAKSIM AXELROD