Larsen Jay: Bringing the joy of flowers to over 185,000 healthcare patients.
Larsen Jay delivers the nonprofit's 100,000th bouquet to Joan Taylor
Every day, millions of flowers that briefly beautified weddings, church services, hotels, funerals and other venues are tossed in the trash.
But now Larsen's non-profit charity, Random Acts of Flowers collects as many of those flowers as it can, and gifts them to patients in hospitals and other care facilities.
How this wonderful act of charity began is a very interesting story:
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In 2007, Larsen fell off a ladder and was nearly killed.
His many injuries included a skull fractured in 10 places, and Larsen spent 22-days in the hospital recovering.
During that time, he received more than 50 bouquets from family and friends.
One day Larsen asked the hospital staff to take him on a wheelchair stroll and he soon realized he had gone from his room of flowery joy, to "stark industrial hospital bleh."
"Room after room, there were no flowers, it just looked lifeless," he later said.
Deeply affected, Larsen returned to his room, tore the cards off his bouquets, and put those flowers onto his wheelchair.
With assistance, he began delivering them to other rooms.
His first stop was to a woman in headgear and wires. "Those desperate eyes you never want to see," Larsen later remarked.
When he set those flowers in front of her, her sadness turned to joy, as she smiled broadly.
Larsen knew flowers could bring joy to many patients and thought of all the flowers thrown out each day.
This led to the creation of his Knoxville, TN nonprofit: Random Acts of Flowers, (RAF) which now has 600 volunteers and gifts bouquets to hospitals and nursing homes across the U.S.
As a result, over 185,000 patients have been uplifted by the beauty of flowers and the joy of the volunteers that stay and speak with them.
Editor's Note:To see RAF in action in a 2 minute, 27 second video http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=7076
To learn more, please see http://people.com/human-interest/larsen-jays-random-acts-of-flowers-sends-recycled-bouquets-to-hospital-patients/ from which our quotes were taken.
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