Flowers from weddings canceled because of COVID-19 transformed to sweet surprises for local seniors

Brides donate flowers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Couples forced to cancel their weddings because of the coronavirus turned their loss into a sweet surprise for local seniors who can’t leave their homes.

Friday, Bob Hesson picked up his food-filled bags for delivery with Meals on Wheels.

The volunteer said he does deliveries for the St. Johns County Council on Aging three times a week.

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He explained, “I retired from the post office and I said ‘Maybe, I need to help out somewhere’.”

The day’s delivery had something extra, flowers – ordered for weddings postponed because of COVID-19.

Nulita Loder, owner of Jade Violet Wedding Floral Design, said, “Those ladies, unfortunately, had to postpone their weddings due to the virus, but the flowers were already in, they were already in the shop when the cancellations happened.”

According to the florist, three brides donated everything from their arrangements to the Council on Aging.

Her employees spent 14 hours of their own time transforming the thousands of dollars in flowers, creating 300 bouquets to be sent out with Meals on Wheels deliveries.

Sue Spradling with the Council on Aging said, “I like sending anything that is out of the ordinary, that they don’t get normally every day.”

Action News Jax hit the road with Bob for his route in West Augustine.

The reactions to the surprise were priceless.

“I’m going to put them on my table so I can look at them all day,” Bettye Connor said when she received the bouquet.

According to Bob, it’s a combination that would brighten anyone’s day.

He said, “I think the flowers are definitely an ice surprise and they’re thankful for the service.”

Loder said the brides also benefit from the bouquets – they’ll receive a donation letter from the COA that can be used as a tax write-off.

Bouquets that weren’t passed out Friday were refrigerated over the weekend and will be passed out the following Monday.