In Full Bloom
The flowers have been opening and so has the world. It’s been a trying and isolating few years, but BloomAgainBklyn has kept our community connected through the restorative power of upcycled flowers. This spring and summer season, and now into the fall, BloomAgain continues to fulfill its mission of reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst the most vulnerable populations by creating connections and conversations through the sustainability of flowers and spirit of community.
We are pleased to share these connections and conversations with you and hope they brighten up your day.
Quincy Senior Residences is a new community partner that BloomAgain has had the privilege of serving by distributing hundreds of hand tied bouquets to the residents of this 93-unit apartment building for low income seniors in Bedford-Stuyvesant. BloomAgain is happy to provide a little cheer and summer flora to these folks.
BloomAgain volunteer preparing bouquets for Quincy Senior Residences
BloomAgain provided another neighboring residence, SAGE’s Stonewall House—the largest LGBTQ+ friendly elder housing development in the country, and located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the first for New York City—with upcycled florals for their “Spring Into Art” event and throughout the year. SAGE is an organization dedicated to the support and advocacy of LGBTQ+ elders, and in celebration of June’s Pride month, BloomAgain sent a reveling array of arrangements.
SAGE’s Stonewall House
BloomAgain continues to support the frontliners at the Emergency Department at NYU Langone Health—Cobble Hill for their tireless care and dedication with buckets upon buckets of blooms regularly throughout the year. Heights and Hills is another long-standing community partner who is a regular recipient of bouquets for their residents. BloomAgain has also been glad to send one of our newer partners, First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, beautiful flowers and plants for their weekly food pantries, and continues to serve its long-time partner East New York Food Pantry.
NYU Langone Health—Cobble Hill
First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn
BloomAgain’s partnership with Buena Vida Rehabilitation & Nursing Center has fully rooted, and we’ve been fortunate in this seamless association to be able to send hundreds of flower arrangements and plants to such a wonderful facility.
BloomAgain has been working closely with a new community partner, AHRC New York City, an organization dedicated to serving and supporting people with varying disabilities. Earlier in the year, BloomAgain furnished AHRC NYC with silk flowers in bulk—enough to distribute to their centers around the five boroughs—paired along with a “Bloom Always” virtual silk flower card making workshop video by our own master floral designer, Lisa Oberholzer-Gee. “Bloom Always” virtual silk workshops continue to connect communities, and you can sample the silks workshop here: youtu.be/wX6sXzVCt6o.
Repurposed fresh flowers go to two of AHRC’s centers, AHRC Norfolk in Manhattan and AHRC Queens, for monthly workshops.
AHRC New York City silk arrangement
Grow NYC's Urban Teaching Garden
Harvesting wildflowers on Governors Island at Grow NYC’s Urban Teaching Garden adds colors and textures to BloomAgain’s bouquets, and we are beyond grateful for this beautiful partnership. It is a truly special experience to extend the life of these wildflowers for our community partners.
CSR workshop at Credit Suisse
BloomAgainBklyn offers Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) flower workshops for company employees who want to give back to the community. These are excellent team-building experiences and facilitate corporate interaction with underserved and at-risk populations. In conjunction with New York Cares Corporate Volunteer Programs, BloomAgain has partnered with Credit Suisse; J.Crew; Schroders; Deutsche Bank; Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; Apollo Global Management and JPMorgan Chase already this year with more to come. Furthermore, if your organization would like to get into flowers, BloomAgain offers these CSRs independently and have held workshops for General Equity Partners; Alger; Kora Capital; and Columbia University, among others.
Apollo Global Management
JP Morgan Chase
Goldman Sachs Group
BloomAgain is active in workshopping with younger bloomers. In Spring, BloomAgain taught a fine group of undergrads at St. Joseph’s College in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, how to integrate floral therapy as part of their training to become social workers and therapists.
Cobble Hill Health Center staff & resident
Workshop at St. Joseph's College
BloomAgain was thrilled to welcome over a dozen members of Stuyvesant High School’s Key Club to Christ Church, in August, for an alfresco workshop where the students performed their act of service for the community. Quick studies, these students made over 100 floral arrangements, hand ties, and silk flower bouquets for our community partners to brighten up many a nursing home residents’ day.
Arrangements created by parents at The Packer Collegiate Institute
Also, this spring BloomAgain traveled to our neighbor, The Packer Collegiate Institute, to work with high schoolers for a extracurricular workshop on the effects of upcycling flowers to combat loneliness and isolation and spread joy to others in the community.
BloomAgain delighted in celebrating the students themselves for two very special commencements. The first was for a graduation of 3-year-old baby bloomers from Nido de Esperanza—a non-profit organization that seeks to break the cycle of poverty by changing the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. BloomAgain sent celebratory silk wearables, including silk flower crowns, corsages, boutonnieres, and bracelets as well as silk bouquets and individual congratulatory cards decorated with silk flowers for each of the little grads.
Through the Bridge Street Development Corporation, Inc.—a non-profit with a mission to provide civic and economic opportunities to low-to-moderate income residents of Central Brooklyn—BloomAgain was honored to send hundreds of fresh flower stems and hand ties in addition to silk bouquets and crowns to a graduating class of their assiduous summer youth interns.
Volunteers try out the crowns for Nido de Esperanza
Remember Your Mother: Mother’s Day 2022
The importance of moms is incalculable, especially those who often go unappreciated. That’s why BloomAgain was humbled to be able to recognize mothers at the CHiPS (Community Help in Park Slope, Inc.) Frances Residence for Mother’s Day. Frances Residence is a private temporary residence program for mothers and their infants and toddlers in need of shelter and support services, and also a partner of our esteemed partner, Plymouth Church. BloomAgain sent the women in the residence fresh flower arrangements, silk flower crowns, and of course Mother’s Day cards to send them a bright and colorful shout out and hurray.
Council Member Crystal Hudson of District 35, in Brooklyn, represents the neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and parts of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Now that’s a lot of mothers! This spring Hudson hosted a Mother’s Day luncheon event at the Brooklyn Academy of Brooklyn which featured beautiful BloomAgainBklyn bouquets, exhibiting the power of an upcycled flower.
The Magic Came Back!
We were honored to be able to host our Spring Fling 2022, in May. It was a magical evening of food, fun, friendship, flowers (shocker), and a celebration of community and an incredible champion of change: Martha Kamber, CEO and President of the YWCA Brooklyn, who is the true embodiment of an “Agent of Change,” and a recognized leader for racial justice and gender equality advocacy.
Martha Kamber, CEO & President of the YWCA Brooklyn
To top off the joyous event, Rebecca Naomi Jones—one of Broadway’s best having last starred in Oklahoma! and lead in the Public Theater’s rendition of As You Like It for Shakespeare in the Park—“brought the house down” by performing Stephen Schwartz’s “Ain’t it Good” and “Tea for Two.”
Caroline Koster, BloomAgain board member and Sally Larson, our volunteer honoree
Flowers gone MAD!
This spring, the Museum of Arts and Design hosted their annual Flower Craft Show featuring none other than a BloomAgainBklyn Intergenerational Silk Floral Workshop and Fresh Flower Upcycling Workshop. These dual workshops showed the MAD masses the enormous transformative power of bringing color and creativity into people’s lives as well as promoting sustainability in upcycled flowers to bring joy and gaiety to communities in need.
Rebecca Naomi Jones, Actress & Performer
Museum of Arts and Design's annual Flower Craft Show
Rick and Caroline Anderson accepted the Community Partnership Award for BloomAgainBklyn from its long-time partner, Cobble Hill Health Center. BloomAgain was honored along with the Cobble Hill Association—accepted by its president Amanda Sue Nichols, and Nara Garber, noted community activist and leader, for their commitment and support of the health center’s residents and staff at a gala event held on September 22. BloomAgain’s program of providing Cobble Hill residents and staff with upcycled flowers has become a model for other healthcare centers throughout Brooklyn.
BloomAgain’s long-time partner New York Cares recently initiated a podcast series highlighting their programs, staff, and nonprofit partners. BloomAgain’s founder, Caroline Anderson, was featured as one of the first podcast guests in early September.
YWCA Brooklyn resident with upcycled event flowers
Wedding and event floral refurbishing workshops are held at our longtime cherished partner, the YWCA Brooklyn. For over 130 years, the YWCA has supported women’s rights and provides former trauma survivors and homeless with safe permanent homes and programs to educate, develop, and advocate on their behalf.
BloomAgain has received many generous donations from numerous event and floral partners throughout the years including Winston Flowers; Piropo Flowers; hanato floral design studio; BloomBar; Lindsay Landman Events; L’AGENCE; Raiola Co.; AbraFlora Wholesale; Nuveen; Bureau Betak; Carnegie Corporation of New York; thepopupflorist; Mimosa Floral Design; Botanica Inc.; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Lewis Miller Design, Frank Alexander NYC, David Stark Design, Tin Can Studios, Opalia Flowers, Ron Hansford Design, Villaneuva Designs and Hearst Corporation, among others. BloomAgain couldn’t be more grateful to be floating in flowers thanks to our flourishing partnerships.
If you are getting married or having a corporate event and have flowers you’d like to donate, please visit our website: www.bloomagainbklyn.org.
BloomAgainBklyn Pivots to Serve Vulnerable Populations During COVID-19
BloomAgainBklyn made significant adjustments to ensure that we could deliver on our mission to break the isolation of those at risk. We worked hard and safely to do this. During the pandemic lock-down, BloomAgain has hosted Zoom sessions several times a week for its volunteers who came up with new initiatives to reach our community partners. To replace our flower visits, the volunteers produced floral photography cards, hand-made masks, “hero bites” from Mrs. Fields Cookies, video greeting card produced by PS29 third graders, and musical tributes over Zoom -- all to support and say thank you to the front liners and our community partners.
Harvesting Wildflowers on Governors Island
at GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden
Under the shadow of Wall Street, BloomAgainBklyn volunteers began harvesting wildflowers in early June from the GrowNYC Teaching Garden on Governors Island. These fields of beautiful wildflowers were going to waste because COVID-19 had shut down the garden from the public. Thanks to an exceptional collaboration between GrowNYC and BloomAgain, these stunning wildflowers were transformed into beautiful arrangements for homebound seniors, frontline staff and residents at health centers and their residents.
The new partnership with GrowNYC, the largest environmental organization in New York City, is part of BloomAgain’s continuing efforts to discover new ways to fulfill our mission to break the isolation of at-risk populations.This wonderful collaboration was highlighted in this New York Daily News profile story.
PS29 Third-Graders Express Warm Wishes in Video Card
Unable to return to the class room at PS29 because of COVID-19, BloomAgain renewed its wonderful partnership with the third graders from Ms. Manna’s class to create an inspiring video card that was played for all the residents at Cobble Hill Health Center in June. The video brought great joy and uplifted the spirits of these residents who had been isolated and unable to see their relatives for over three months.
Community Blooms for Cobble Hill Health Center
BloomAgainBklyn brought together diverse community groups to cheer, celebrate, and honor the front liners and residents at Cobble Hill Health Center (CHHC) in early June. When the pandemic began in March, CHHC struggled with the ravages of COVID-19. BloomAgain organized the “Community Blooms” event to uplift and humanize their experiences and donated over 400 hand-tied bouquets and arrangements.
Donny Tuchman, CEO of CHHC, and many staff members were greeted with a barrage of flowers and cheering from community members including neighborhood children holding handmade signs. Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon and State Senator Brian Kavanaugh joined in the cheer!
Money Trees Grow In Brooklyn
In early August, BloomAgain distributed 600 “Money Trees” (Guiana Chestnut plants) to the former trauma and homeless survivors at the YWCA Brooklyn; recipients at Sisters with Purpose Food Pantry; and front liners and residents at Cobble Hill Health Center. This was made possible by the generosity of Golub Capital which had been introduced to BloomAgain by GrowNYC’s Green Space Program – another example of the wonderful collaboration between the two organizations.
BloomAgainBklyn Hosts Virtual Workshop
on GrowNYC Distance Learning Site
Volunteers from BloomAgainBklyn joined GrowNYC to host a virtual workshop on how to create fun floral arrangements with fall leaves which was broadcasted to hundreds of GrowNYC families on their Distance Learning website.
BloomAgainBklyn volunteer Lisa Oberholzer-Gee hosted the interactive workshop and demonstrated how to use leaves and other natural elements to make beautiful fall creations including vases, wreaths, and floral arrangements. Lisa is an NYC-based floral designer and owner of her own flower business.
Watch the full workshop on GrowNYC's Distance Learning site by clicking the link: https://youtu.be/PFg3gegzczY
Credit Suisse Virtual Workshop
BloomAgainBklyn, New York Cares and Credit Suisse have had a longstanding relationship through a series of team building, flower workshops held at Credit Suisse offices. These “give-back to the community” workshops took place every other month before the pandemic struck. This September, BloomAgain launched its first-ever, virtual Credit Suisse workshop with the distribution of flower kits—including wildflowers harvested from GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden on Governors Island, shears, vases, bouquet wraps and other materials -- to employee volunteers throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. We then hosted a Zoom session led by two BloomAgain volunteers and floral designers, Elaine Diaz and Lisa Oberholzer-Gee, who provided the Credit Suisse employees with a tutorial on flower arranging showing them how to create wonderful arrangements and hand-tied bouquets. The arrangements made at the virtual workshop were then distributed the following day to front liners and residents at our community partner Cobble Hill Health Care, and to homebound seniors served by Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly.
“Give Back to Brooklyn”
Kicking off the fall season, BloomAgainBklyn hosted a “Give Back to Brooklyn” event for young families in Cobble Hill Park to show their support for those hardest hit by COVID-19. Spearheaded by Board Member Rachel Jones Bellas, the fun-filled morning was spent crafting flower arrangements, decorating mini pumpkins and making colorful cards that were distributed to homebound seniors served by Heights and Hills, residents in East New York served by Sisters with Purpose Food Pantry and residents and front liners at Cobble Hill Health Center.
Pumpkins and Pumpkins
In addition to flower arrangements, BloomAgain continued to spread the spirit of fall and Halloween by decorating mini pumpkins with flower stickers. BloomAgain volunteers decorated over 200 mini pumpkins with hundreds of flower stickers, which all went to the residents at Cobble Hill Health Center. It was such a popular addition, BloomAgain continued on with the mini pumpkin production sending hundreds more to Heights and Hills, Little Brothers, and Sisters with Purpose. Cobble Hill Health Center also received a bulk donation of pumpkins from DIG Food Group right in time for Halloween.
Designer Masks for Front Liners
DesignStudio7 has partnered with BloomAgainBklyn to the launch a series of limited edition, Liberty of London masks with 20% of the sales proceeds for each mask going to support BloomAgainBklyn. The Liberty London’s icon vibrant Persephone print reflects the colorful bouquets BloomAgainBklyn makes and distributes to senior health care centers, homebound seniors, trauma and homeless survivors, and others in need throughout Brooklyn.
Each mask sells for $25.00 and can be ordered on the DesignSeven7 website. DS7 masks are handcrafted in Brooklyn, New York.