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.