It started with a simple phone call to the garden centre at Langley Home Depot.
A resident from Langley Lions Housing Society missed getting out in the gardens, and longed to bring some beautify to her balcony in the Evergreen Timbers Assisted Living complex.
Since she couldn’t get to the store in person, she called, spoke of her situation, and asked if they could help by delivering a few hanging baskets for her, recounted society executive director Jeanette Dagenais.
“She talked about how they’d been lockdown for 13 weeks, which is how most long-term care places are right now,” Dagenais explained.
What followed floored not only the woman, but the staff and other residents at Evergreen Timbers.
Home Depot’s assistant manager Tanis Birkenhead recalled being moved by the call.
“She mentioned that not being able to go outside was making her feel down, so I thought it would be nice to brighten her day by delivering flowers,” Birkenhead said.
Much to the surprise of the resident, a Home Depot team showed up last Tuesday carrying not only her flower baskets, but 20 extra – intended to bring cheer to all the residents confined within the complex.
In her 23 years with the society, Dagenais said, “I’ve never seen a kind gesture like this… we are just thrilled by it.”
But the kindness didn’t end there.
Two days later, the store manager, Tim Robertson, showed up – this time with another 40 more large baskets full of petunias and geraniums.
“We partnered with one of our incredible vendors, Canadian Valley Grower, to donate 60 hanging baskets, one for each resident at the home. When I called the customer to tell her she started crying and thanked us for the kind gesture,” Birkenhead explained.
“We took two trips to deliver the baskets, and although the residents were not able to join us outside, some of the staff came out to show their appreciation. It was a really emotional moment.”
“Some of [the residents] were quite thrilled,” Dagenais shared, noting it took her team a few days to distribute the baskets to each of the 58 units.
A few tenants, apparently not sporting green thumbs, have since donating the baskets back to the society to be hung in the front of the complex. But most are now adorning the Evergreen balconies.
“It truly has coloured their world,” Dagenais said.
Unable to divulge the identify of the resident who sparked the kindness project, the executive director explained that all of the recipients are touched.
They live in the 58-unit assisted living wing of the Lions housing complex in Langley City, in one-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and balconies. During COVID, they each have breakfast delivered, but come together downstairs in shifts for their lunch and dinner meals. Right now, that’s in divided up to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Likewise, the society usually has a garden club that meets regularly, Dagenais explained. But because of COVID and the required lockdown protocols in the care facility, they haven’t been able to meet this spring.
“So this resident took it upon herself to make her balcony look good… She took it upon herself to share her story… and that’s what came out of it,” said the executive director, admiring all the flowers now hanging around the courtyard and on the balconies of Evergreen Timbers.
The society has since created a large poster for the local Home Depot team, thanking them for their generosity. Most of the resident have signed it and it will be delivered to the local store this week.
“They took it upon themselves to show a lot of compassion,” Dagenais said of the Home Depot team. “It’s a very powerful, meaningful gesture to us here. Thank you so very much!”
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