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Flowering Expressions

McCormick Home volunteer Roseanne Baird helps a resident learn about floral arranging.

For Roseanne Baird, volunteering at McCormick Home is just as much about giving as receiving.  The former elementary school principal was looking for a way to fill the void left after the passing of her husband’s elderly parents.  “When his parents passed away, I needed to find something,” says Roseanne.  After moving to London and connecting with the Garden Club of London, Roseanne found her new passion – gardening and floral arranging.

Upon a visit to McCormick Home for the annual Christmas bazaar, Roseanne was struck by the commitment of staff.  “I was so impressed by how they really put the residents first.  I thought, ‘This is a place I’d like to share my talents with.”

So she decided to combine two things that were important to her – flowers and caring for the elderly – and the staff at the home were more than open to the idea. “The home was very flexible. The two levels were brought together.”

Roseanne receives unwanted memorial flower arrangements from local funeral homes and takes them apart to create new, smaller displays.  “I don’t want families to think of memorials,” she says.  “I want to create something that they’d have on their kitchen table at home – something that would make them smile.”

Flowering ExpressionsShe also shares her talents by teaching residents how to create their own bouquets, which they proudly display in their rooms.

For the past five years Roseanne has been decorating the home with beautiful flowers and colourful holiday displays that help evoke memories of home and the past.  “Staff are also very appreciative of my work,” she adds.