But this patient was young — a young mother.
A young mother herself, Shawn felt compelled to do something for the woman. Looking down and seeing the flowers in the garden, she quickly clipped a few and had a charge nurse deliver them to the patient.
Gathering up some love. Image via Rogue Heart Media.
According to a 2005 research study at Rutgers University, every single person who received flowers as part of an experiment had a positive response. Every. Single. Person.
Admit it: Flowers make you feel loved, special, adored, and remembered. Image via Shawn Chamberlain.
As a landscape designer, Shawn had seen the power of flowers to bring people delight. In that moment, she knew she wanted to bring flowery happiness to other people. But not just anyone: long-term care patients, people who could really use a few moments of unexpected joy.
There was only one problem — where on Earth could she obtain a massive amount of flowers without going completely broke in the process? If you've ever had to buy flowers for any event, you know they're, uh, not cheap. Shawn was a young mom of five kids — not a millionaire by any stretch.
But then it came to her. Weddings.
Wedding flowers — gorgeous, expensive, and only used for one day. Image via Shawn Chamberlain.
Weddings are a treasure trove of floral arrangements, bouquets, and other lovely things ... that often go straight in the trash once the event is over.
Shawn started making calls around town to wedding planners, event spaces, florists, anyone who dealt in bulk flowers. Amazingly, there was no hesitation; people were on board. The Full Bloom was born.
Flowers. Flowers everywhere! Image via Shawn Chamberlain.
Brides and grooms really took to the idea, thrilled that they could use their time of joy and happiness to give back. (All without a lot of effort because, as we know, weddings are super stressful!)
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something recycled! Image via Shawn Chamberlain.
Maybe the coolest thing? The donations are anonymous, and patients never know who the flowers are from. They just know someone was thinking of them. And that, for a moment, they're feeling a little better because, you know, science.
Volunteers of all ages get involved and deliver arrangements to long-term care facilities. Image via Shawn Chamberlain.