The simplest kinds of acts can help to brighten someone’s day, and one person that’s been helping to make peoples’ days better throughout Edmonton is Diane Anderson. For many years, Anderson’s mother volunteered at a home for senior citizens, always bringing along flowers whenever she went. According to Anderson, many of these seniors would instantly light up when her mother showed up with the flowers, saying that many didn’t get visitors, so it was nice to have someone come in with a simple gift.
At one point, though, Anderson’s mother could no longer continue volunteering, and ultimately had to retire. Instead of letting her mother’s generosity go by the wayside, Anderson decided to pick up where her mother had left off. With that, she created a charity that would bring flowers not only to senior citizens, but into other facilities that include children’s hospitals. The charity is known as Stems from the Heart, and has helped deliver thousands of flowers to those that need a lift.
Anderson now gets many of her flowers that were left over from other events such as weddings, and delivers them with the help of those in the charity. “We distribute them to places in the city where people need a little sunshine, joy and happiness,” she said. Those that receive flowers from Anderson and her staff almost always have an instant smile, and a reminder that there’s someone out there that cares about them. “There’s a lot of lonely people out there,” Anderson said. “They are happy to think that there is someone thinking about them.”
Stems from the Heart has been a big hit with many of the senior centers and hospitals in Edmonton, with dozens leaving kind words for the charity. A chaplain from the Edmonton General Hospital, Ardelle, said that it was “a joy” to have bouquets of flowers in the hospital wing, adding that “The residents were so appreciative of them and grateful for the joy they gave them. As for the individual residents, they were deeply touched by the flowers delivered to their rooms.”