The fresh aroma of flowers filled Tuohy Hall’s auditorium last week as students arranged 140 bouquets to give to residents at a local nursing home.
SJC Brooklyn’s Recreation Club teamed up with local nonprofit BloomAgainBklyn for the second time to create bouquets with donated flowers to send to residents at Cobble Hill Health Center — a nursing home located about 2.5 miles from the College’s Clinton Hill campus.
Assembling flower bouquets serves as therapy because it’s a calming activity, explained Recreation Club members Julia Lavelle and Samantha Miranda, both sophomore therapeutic recreation majors. The activity is useful in helping people reduce anxiety and stress, improve fine motor skills, increase attention span and focus, and be a vehicle to help people interact with one another.
Veronica Kaninska, an SJC Brooklyn therapeutic recreation professor and the Recreation Club adviser, said the event happened at a great time for students — it can help reduce stress during the first weeks of classes, and February is National Therapeutic Recreation Month.
“I was expecting it to be hard because I never made a bouquet before,” said Emily Marimez, a junior therapeutic recreation major, who crafted five bouquets at the event. “But it was so much fun! I was trying to make the bouquets look pretty — like how I would like them if I were the one receiving them.”
All of the flowers collected by BloomAgainBklyn are “rescue flowers,” explained Caroline Gates Anderson, founder and principal of BloomAgainBklyn. The colorful assortment was donated, unsold or once-used.
“Creating the bouquets together is a great team-building event,” Anderson said. “The students can learn something and give something to one of the most vulnerable populations.”