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St. Camillus Residence Center serves others amid pandemic

Posted at 7:32 AM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 08:32:19-05

Something's blooming inside St. Camillus Residence Center.

It's Patsy's Hallway Flower Shop.

"There should be a lot more love in this world than there is right now. That's why I'm trying to make a difference," explains Patsy Schinner a resident and volunteer at St. Camillus.

The avid volunteer had to stop when the pandemic hit.

"She had this lifelong experience of helping in the community. During Covid that was removed because of her inability to leave. So, we created an opportunity for her to continue in that role," says Bridget McNair of St. Camillus.

McNair says people come from all over to enjoy the free florals courtesy of Trader Joe's.

She explains, "It's a win-win for everyone. Trader Joe's donates them, and Patsy takes a lot of pride in her position here as our only flower shop that's functioning at St. Camillus."

Patsy notes, "The flowers are beautiful by the time we get them."

The blooms are a blessing for residents and staff who come by every Thursday and chose a special bouquet. Lives are brightened, friendships blossom.

"I love everybody here Carole, there isn't anybody I do not love. They mean so much to me," said Patsy.

A kaleidoscope of bouquets. Patsy is proof that getting older does not mean you cannot pivot and flourish.

McNair notes, "I think quite a few people think that you come to a retirement community like St. Camillus and you're not going to have those new experiences, those new opportunities to engage in things that you've never tire before. I think this is just just a place of vibrancy and even in these trying times that we're seeing that life."

And Patsy loves her new volunteer role. After all, flowers are like sunshine for the heart.

Patsy's favorite part of doling out nature's bounties?

"Seeing their smiles."

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