Acts of Kindness
Doctor saves discarded wedding flowers and turns them into bouquets for lonely patients
The flowers were just going to be tossed in the trash, so she had a brilliant idea to put them to amazing use.
Cherie Gozon
09.28.21

Have you ever wondered where all those wedding flowers go after the ceremony?

Pexels|Edward Eyer
Source:
Pexels|Edward Eyer

These flowers often go to waste. Unless the couple decides to donate it somewhere, those flowers are going to the trash bin right after. Such a waste, right?

But this doctor in Richmond, Virginia, found a way to extend the lives of these flowers – and others.

Facebook|The Simple Sunflower
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Facebook|The Simple Sunflower

Dr. Eleanor Love knew how difficult life inside the hospital could be. Witnessing how each patient is suffering from physical and emotional pain each day, she knew there’s something that she could offer to bring smiles to their faces.

She came up with The Simple Sunflower in 2019.

Instagram|The Simple Sunflower
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Instagram|The Simple Sunflower

Back then, Eleanor was still a medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. She was thinking about how to cheer up her patients as she witnessed the struggles of severely ill patients while doing her general residency at Riverside Regional Medical Center. It turned out that her old talents would be of service to her patients.

Eleanor was a florist before she was a medical student.

Facebook|The Simple Sunflower
Source:
Facebook|The Simple Sunflower

“At that stage of my medical training, I didn’t have a lot of medical knowledge. I did work in a flower shop before medical school, so it was a little bit on my radar, and I thought, ‘why don’t we bring the flowers that would normally be discarded after a wedding to our patients at the hospital?'” she said in an interview with CBS.

Since then, she and the rest of the volunteers have frequented weddings.

Facebook|The Simple Sunflower
Source:
Facebook|The Simple Sunflower

No, not to attend or gatecrash, but to ask the newlywed couple if they would love to donate their flowers after the wedding. True enough, many people were more than willing to give a second life to these flowers and brighten the lives of the ill.

Couples like Joe and Haley McCann know the importance of The Simple Sunflower’s efforts.

YouTube Screenshot|WTVR CSB6
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|WTVR CSB6

“Joe and I are both in the healthcare field, and we’ve seen firsthand how simple acts of kindness, like what the simple sunflower does, can really go a long way. We feel really grateful that we were able to share something from one of the happiest days of our lives to help brighten up their hospital’s day,” Haley shared in that same interview.

The Simple Sunflower volunteers work in a seamless process.


Eight of them go to the venue to pick up the flowers after the wedding. Then, they choose the freshest stems out of the many bouquets and arrange them in a vase. They deliver it to 20 to 40 patients on a Monday, prioritizing those in palliative.

Eleanor looks forward to extending this project to another city.

Instagram|The Simple Sunflower
Source:
Instagram|The Simple Sunflower

Her general residency will only last for a year, and she’s moving to Portland, Oregon after that as she moves forward with her specialized residency. She hopes that the medical students in VCU can continue what she started as she carries her project to another city. She hopes to open chapters in other medical schools someday.

Living up to her name, Dr. Eleanor and The Simple Sunflower are giving patients hope and love.

YouTube Screenshot|WTVR CSB6
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|WTVR CSB6

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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