San Jose Volunteer Steps Up After National Non-Profit Closes Bay Area Chapter

Each and every Monday for the past 3 months, Vicki Rasmussen has been the proud owner of one of the best looking and smelling garages in the South Bay.

Flowers of all kinds take over the floor, the tables, and spill out into the driveway. As a lifelong lover of flowers, it is a sight Vicki adores but even that does not explain the magic that is happening here: turning excess beauty into much-needed kindness.

"It was just a good thing," Vicki said, "a good thing to do."

Earlier this year, Random Acts of Flowers, a national non-profit that recycles flowers into free bouquets for those in health care facilities, closed down their only Bay Area chapter. The funds just weren't there to continue the operation.

The need, however, remained.

Vicki, who had volunteered a few days a month for RAF, couldn't let that need go unmet. She offered up her garage, her time, and her expertise as a florist to continue making beautiful arrangements for people experiencing some difficult times.

"We want to make a statement for them," Vicki said. "It may be the last flowers they ever receive."

Vicki started her endeavor, Flowers Of Comfort, just one month after RAF shut down and with just three other volunteers but once she posted to her Nextdoor social network about a need for more vases, "I got vases and volunteers," she said.

On a recent Monday, Vicki and a dozen other women turned donations from a wedding, a Whole Foods, and flower wholesalers into almost 100 arrangements.

One of the volunteers, Behnaz Dahmubed, was taking some of the flowers to her mother and other residents of a senior care facility in Cupertino.

"There is so much joy in their eyes," Behnaz said about the moment the flowers arrived.

Vicki said she had to think long and hard about stepping up and taking on this role. She knew it would be a lot of work. She was right, it is, but the results are something to behold.

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