In October 2016, Heidi Berkman, founder of The Bloom Project, based in Portland, Oregon, began a collaboration with Zen Hospice Project to bring flower bouquets to Zen Hospice Project’s Guest House Residents and their caregivers.
The Bloom Project donates fresh bouquets of flowers to local hospice and palliative care patients, demonstrating their mission to beauty, giving and joy during end of life care. Nearby florists and supermarkets donate the flowers they can no longer sell. Each Monday these “cast offs” are brought to the Guest House, where a team of volunteers clean and prune them. Then they are assembled into stunning arrangements that are brought to Guest House Resident’s rooms and can be found throughout the first floor.
Larisa Minerva, Bloom Project Coordinator and Volunteer Caregiver at Laguna Honda Hospital, trains and manages a team of six that assembles an average of ten bouquets per week. The blooms from the previous week’s bouquets are arranged into a beautiful mandala in the Guest House garden, providing the perfect conclusion to each week’s volunteer experience. Larisa is the owner of Bewilder Floral, and has opened a storefront in Berkeley this past Fall.
With 12 successful months of the collaboration with The Bloom Project, we are ready to expand to South Three, Laguna Honda Hospital’s 60-bed palliative ward. This expansion will deliver more than 10 times the amount of bouquets created each week, and has the potential to expand the program by adding more volunteers and three or more additional floral partners.