ISOLATED and vulnerable, there is no denying the aged members of the community are among those greatest impacted by the pandemic. But Ronit Leffler felt compelled to do what she could to ease the hardship experienced by seniors, establishing an initiative that seeks to ease the blues with blooms.
When Leffler’s daughter Zoe was undertaking her bat mitzvah program, she befriended Arcare resident Leo Bloumis, and they began writing letters to each other. On delivering a letter to Leo just a few weeks ago, Leffler was moved by the sight of residents interacting with their families from behind the windows of the facility – “and I knew we could do more,” she shared.
Leffler teamed together with C Care’s Rabbi Shlomo Nathanson and Sharon Lowe, and Nicole Bishops-Whiteman of Pickled Willow Flowers to bring the initiative to life. One week later they launched Sponsor a Floral Posy Jar, a campaign which invited community members to donate just $5 for a floral gift to be delivered to senior residents of aged care facilities.
“It’s just good to give back – and if it can brighten someone’s days and bring them a little joy, then I’m just so thrilled and proud to be a part of it,” Bishops-Whiteman told The AJN.
In just one week, $7500 was raised to create individual flower posies that will be delivered to 1500 seniors from Emmy Monash Aged Care, Jewish Care Victoria’s Hannah & Daryl Cohen Family Building and Gary Smorgon House, Arcare Carnegie and Caulfield, Regis Armadale, Hammond Care Hall, Sheridan Hall and Caulfield Manor throughout September and early October. Exceeding expectations, the donations will also see C Care and Jewish Care’s seniors who live independently receive posy jars.
“The campaign took on its own life. I’m overwhelmed and very moved,” said Leffler.
The first delivery took place earlier this month with the help of 40 volunteers who joined to help with arranging 104 posies for the residents of Arcare Caulfield.
Leo was one of the recipients. In a heartfelt handwritten letter, he penned to Leffler, “It was a most pleasant surprise when some of the lovely people who look after us so well turned up at the door of our suite with vases of very attractive and lovely scented flowers as your gift – a gift from thoughtful and concerned people who deserve to be thanked for such a generous gesture.
“Our sincere thanks for the superb gesture out of the blue in such times [that] none of us have ever experienced before”.