Human Interest

The Bloom Project recycles flowers, touches lives

The non-profit delivers bouquets to hospice patients

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A Portland-based non-profit believes in the positive power of flowers. 

For the past 10 years, The Bloom Project has been putting together flower bouquets for hospice and palliative care patients across the Pacific Northwest. 

The blossoms are donated by local businesses, community members and special events and repurposed to remind their recipients of their importance. 

Trained volunteers use in a space donated by Teufel Holly Farms to arrange the flowers into bouquets, which are then delivered to local hospice organizations and handed out by nursing staff, clergy members, social workers and volunteers. 

With Mother's Day right around the corner, The Bloom Project is busier than ever. 

Heidi Berkman, the founder of the non-profit, told KOIN 6 News grocers and wholesalers order huge quantities of flowers ahead of the holiday and many donate whatever isn't utilized to The Bloom Project. 

In the week leading up to Mother's Day, the group expects to hand out its 250,000th bouquet -- marking a major milestone in their decade-long mission to touch the lives of those in hospice care. 

The flowers also impact the families of the patients. Many have sent The Bloom Project thank-you cards to let the volunteers know just how much the simple gift of a bouquet meant in the end. 

"I think one of the most important things the flowers do for not only families but patients is to remind them that they're still relevant even when the phone calls and visits aren't happening and things are tough -- that there's a wonderful group of individuals in the community that are thinking about them," said Berkman. 

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