Valentine’s Day is a holiday all about spreading love, and one Turlock florist did just that on Sunday by delivering flower grams to the local senior community.
Heidi Sisco of Heidi Hearts Flowers has made it a point to boost the spirits of those living in skilled nursing facilities and senior living homes throughout the pandemic, delivering beautiful floral grams with well wishes to remind them they haven’t been forgotten during this time of isolation. The idea began first with bouquets last year, then with poinsettias for Christmas when she delivered 500 of the beautiful flowers to the area’s elderly in December.
Sisco received an outpouring of support from people all over the United States for the poinsettia grams, thanks in part to a shoutout from country music superstar Kacey Musgraves, and knew she wanted to offer the service again for Valentine’s Day. She had been preparing for the event since December, she said, collecting enough donations to purchase thousands of flowers and deliver 405 floral arrangements to local organizations like Covenant Living of Turlock on Sunday.
“It was really special getting to do it again,” Sisco said. “We’re now approaching a year of being quarantined, and I wanted to remind them they really are thought of.”
It took a team effort to create over 400 Valentine Grams, with over 30 volunteers dedicating their time to the effort starting on Thursday. People traveled from as far as Sacramento to help with the project, Sisco said, and the Denair High School floral class was on hand every day to assist in creating the floral arrangements.
Roses, carnations, anemones, ranunculus and more were purchased by the thousands from the San Francisco Flower Market and Dutch Roots Farms in Ripon to be used in the bouquets, and no arrangement was the same thanks to the wide variety of volunteers.
“A lot of the volunteers had never even played with flowers or done much, so people were intimidated, but it was a lot of fun watching people get creative,” Sisco said. “I just wanted people to have fun and design, and it was nice to see people be able to come together in a different sort of way.”
Word spread quickly of Sisco’s good deeds in December thanks to Musgraves spreading the word about the poinsettia grams on social media, and now, the country recording artist follows Sisco on Instagram and was excited to post about the florist’s most-recent endeavor. Thanks to the national — and even worldwide — exposure, Sisco has connected with others who hope to spread cheer to those in nursing homes as well.
Sisco’s efforts have inspired other groups to do the same in their communities, like one Santa Cruz resident who was able to raise enough money for 180 floral grams to deliver in her community on Valentine’s Day. She messaged Sisco on Instagram and said the Heidi Hearts Flowers floral grams encouraged her to spread holiday cheer as well. Additionally, the Johansen High School Future Farmers of America chapter also created and delivered their own arrangements to seniors.
“Knowing that so many people want to start doing something like that was really humbling and cool,” Sisco said.
For Mother’s Day, Sisco plans on making floral grams available for purchase on her website for those who want to deliver the gift of flowers this spring. Seeing photos of seniors happily holding their arrangements made the weeks of hard work worth it, she said, and she hopes to spread more floral cheer soon.
“It’s such a little act of kindness...it’s like, why don’t we do it more?”