Garden clubs across the state have been uplifting spirits for Haven patients for a decade, and this year was no exception! To brighten spirits, the Marsh Landing Garden Club has delivered decorated trees to Haven’s Custead Hospice Care Center in Orange Park for 12 years, and the Four Seasons Garden Club has provided floral arrangements to Haven’s E.T. York Hospice Care Center in Gainesville for 10 years.

“Every year at this time, the Marsh Landing Garden Club gathers up its members and purchases two-foot Christmas trees,” said Sandra Francis, Haven volunteer coordinator. “Each Garden Club member has a tree, provides decorations, and they have a morning where they sit in fellowship with one another and decorate the trees.”

Haven Volunteer Coordinator Sandra Francis, President of the Marsh Landing Garden Club Sue McCaw and Professional Liaison Steve Groth pose with a decorated tree.

The festive trees are then distributed to Haven patients to enjoy during the holidays. Sandra says the Marsh Landing Garden Club’s tree event was so successful at Haven that the garden club began to also distribute decorative trees among the community. “They make patients happy, especially people in nursing homes where people might have less contact,” Sandra said. The Custead Care Center receives 20 trees every year, and 20 more are dispersed to Haven’s patients who aren’t in the care center.

In Gainesville, the Four Seasons Garden Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the spring, spreads cheer by creating fresh flower arrangements each year during the holidays for the E.T. York Care Center.

Haven Volunteer Coordinator Susie Finfrock with Four Seasons Garden Club President Liz Shaw.

The Four Seasons Garden Club, which is part of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc., has been donating their time and talents to Haven for almost 10 years and had 15 garden club members participate this year. “We create 20-to-25 floral designs for the patients,” said Liz Shaw, Four Seasons Garden Club president. “We place them in Christmas-themed coffee mugs so it doesn’t take up a great deal of space on anyone’s windowsill or table. We know rooms can get crowded, and we just like to leave this small token.”

Haven volunteer coordinator Susie Finfrock says the arrangements bring joy to patients each year. “It’s wonderful to go in to a patient’s room with a Christmas bouquet and see them smile. They always want to have the bouquets right by their bed so they can admire it and smell the fresh pine,” said Susie. “The little touches of holiday cheer really make the difference for many of our patients and their families.”