Suncoast Hospice volunteer Missdeb Can unloads Trader Joe's flowers at our south county service center. She makes pick-ups at the store three days a week.

Suncoast Hospice volunteer Missdeb Can unloads Trader Joe’s flowers at our St. Petersburg community service center. She makes pick-ups at the store three days a week.

The precious beauty of flowers touches our senses and souls. Gifts of bouquets brighten our lives with happiness.


Thanks to the bountiful, ongoing supplies of flower donations from Trader Joe’s St. Petersburg store, we’re able to deliver extraordinary joy to our patients, families and community. Here are a few staff stories of how these flowers are lifting up those we serve.


Eileen Mazouch, a south county chaplain who makes home visits, shared:


I took a bunch of tulips to a 94-year-old patient of mine. Her daughter, the primary caregiver, struggles with her mother’s health issues and the 24/7 care she needs. That day she was extremely frustrated and at the door I pulled out the bouquet from behind my back and said, “Here, these are for you.” Her face changed from hardness to a soft surprise. Because of those flowers her whole attitude changed. She felt validated and that someone cared. For the next 40 minutes, she opened up sharing her pain and struggles. Before that, she hadn’t spoken more than a few words to me. I call that “flower power”.


Trader Joe's bouquets given away at our recent Centenarian Party.

Trader Joe’s bouquets given away at our recent Centenarian Party.

Another patient I have is in her nineties and lives alone. Her daughter lives out of state. I brought this patient two bunches of flowers, one for the small table she eats at and one for the living room table she sits at. When I asked her if she liked fresh flowers she gave me the biggest smile from ear to ear and said, “I love them.” I told her Trader Joe’s donates them to us, so every Wednesday she’s able to get a new bouquet, which she says makes her day. When her daughter comes to visit they plan on shopping there.


Ronald Gabriau, a south county counselor who makes facility visits, shared:


I’ve brought flowers to some of my female patients. They feel so thankful for being given something that’s thoughtful. They feel special that someone cared enough to bring them flowers. I’m sure it also may bring up earlier memories of special times when their loved ones have brought them flowers. 


We’re so grateful to Trader Joe’s and many other community businesses and individuals who have donated to Empath Health. Thank you for caring and making a difference.


Click here to find out ways you can support Empath Health.