Valentine's flowers for nursing home residents

Lindsay Price hands Gail Rector, a resident of The Havens in Princeton, flowers for Valentine’s Day. A recent fundraiser that raised $2,100 was held to deliver flowers to nursing home residents feeling lonely as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

PRINCETON — Local residents of long-term care facilities in the Princeton area received an early valentine bouquet last week, all thanks to the efforts of their community.

Lindsay Dunmyer Price’s grandmother lived in an assisted living facility at the beginning of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She was inspired to start the fundraiser by her

grandmother’s experience of loneliness in isolation.

“I noticed with my grandmother that every time I talked to her, she was a sharp lady and for her age, 94, she was very coherent,” Price said. “Every time I talked to her, because she did not have that physical touch, that physical love and affection, we could tell her as much as we wanted and send her all kinds of cards, but every time I talked to her, you could just tell a little bit of her spark was diminishing which was really hard to see and witness and I don’t want that to happen to these people.”

Price first called each nursing home individually, then Belinda’s Flowers to explain her idea. Once she got the go-ahead from the facilities and the florist, the fundraiser began. A sum far higher than her original goal, the fundraiser brought in $2,100. Price said she is using leftover funds to make “goodie bags” for the residents, to be delivered at a later date.

“The community was a big help there,” Price said. “The majority of the fundraisers and the money came from Mercer County. But we had people donate as far as Maine, Pittsburg, Pa., Kentucky and Florida, so it was kind of all over the place, which was really nice to see strangers helping strangers.”

Each resident of Princeton-area assisted living facilities received a small bouquet of carnations and baby’s breath, complete with a ribbon. Price also noted that Belinda’s Flowers delivered all the flowers for free.

“Belinda’s did a great job putting them together with some baby’s breath, ribbon and delivered them for me. A bouquet went to every single resident,” Price said. “I got a message from one of the physical therapists at Princeton Health Care and she said, ‘I just wanted to let you know, every time I walked into somebody’s room, they were so excited about what they got and wanted to show me,’ so that was really nice to hear.”

The Princeton Health Care Center thanked Price and Belinda’s Flowers in a Facebook post to their page on Feb. 9.

“We want to give an enormous shout out to Lindsey Price and also to Belinda’s Flowers. Lindsey arranged a fundraiser to collect money to enable all residents at multiple Mercer County nursing homes to receive a flower for Valentine’s Day. In speaking with her when she notified us of what she was planning, she mentioned what a hard year she knows it has been for residents in nursing homes and she just wanted to spread some cheer,” the post read.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Price hopes her community continues to show incredible kindness, especially to those being impacted the most.

“I don’t want the nursing home residents or anyone who cannot have family members visit to feel forgotten during this time,” Price said.

Contact Emily Rice at erice@bdtonline.com

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