The Bloomerang Project: Kindness like a boomerang, always returns

MORGANTOWN — Making someone feel better doesn’t often require a grand gesture. Sometimes, a flower and smile will do the trick.

That’s the idea behind The Bloomerang Project, a volunteer effort at hospice and home health provider Amedisys that operates under the motto “Kindness like a boomerang, always returns.”

Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Callen said the idea originated in the company’s Parkersburg office and starts, of all places, in area funeral homes, where volunteers collect soon-to-be-discarded flowers and turn them into small arrangements for Amedisys patients and their families.

“I’ve taken information around to all the local funeral homes to get the word out about the project,” Callen said. “So far, I’ve had Fred L. Jenkins and Smith Funeral Home make four donations, and we’ve been able to make 68 small arrangements for our hospice patients.”

Callen said she has about a dozen volunteers who repurpose the flowers, placing them into mugs and small vases to be distributed by Amedisys’ nurses, aides, chaplain and social workers.

“I’m pretty excited because I’m getting a lot of positive feedback from the patients and the families,” Callen said, adding that she hopes spreading the word about the project will result in more flower donations. “Instead of throwing them away after a service, we’re able to reuse them in this way. I think it’s pretty neat.”

She went on to say you never know what even the smallest act will mean to someone experiencing tough times.

“It’s really making a difference with our patients. Something as simple as this is giving them something to be happy about and smile about during what’s often a sad time in their lives,” Callen said.

Anyone interested in inquiring about donating flowers can contact Callen at courtney.callen@amedisys.com.

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