Local florist distributes flowers to nursing homes during shutdown

MARQUETTE — Like most Marquette businesses once bustling with activity, Forsberg’s A New Leaf has had to close its doors due to the COVID–19 pandemic.

Owner Sarah Balding realized she had an entire cooler of flowers she couldn’t sell. She didn’t want them to die and go to waste, so she and her family came up with an idea.

“I sat with my daughters and asked what would be a good brainstorm of what we could do with them,” said Sarah. “And actually the girls are the ones who thought up the idea. They said, ‘We wish that we could bring them over to either the hospital or the nursing homes.'”

Sarah and her daughters called all the Marquette, Ishpeming, and Negaunee nursing homes to ask if they could deliver flowers. Only two of the nursing homes said no. They dropped off bouquets of flowers to each of the nursing homes, hoping to brighten someone’s day with the beautiful arrangements.

Although Sarah never saw the residents’ faces upon seeing the flowers, she is sure they had a positive impact on someone feeling sad or lonely during this time.

“I’m having good and bad days with having to be 90% in the house most of my day,” said Sarah. “I can only imagine how hard it must be that they can’t see their families, their families can’t come in and see them right now, they’re stuck in a room all the time, and it’s been kind of gloomy out. And I just thought anything, anything whatsoever, that could bring a smile would help.”

Sarah believes that little bit of happiness is what everyone needs to keep going, and small gestures of kindness like delivering flowers can go a long way. No one knows when things will get back to normal, but Sarah says she’s looking ahead to that day and keeping a positive attitude.

“I just hope everybody’s doing their best to get through all of this,” said Sarah. “There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. We may not see it yet, but we’re going to get there. I have to keep pushing the optimism and not let pessimistic thoughts take over. So that’s pretty much the only thing I’d want to say to anybody. There’s a light.”

That optimistic spirit is what Sarah hopes she was able to spread to the community through her act of kindness this week.

Forsberg’s A New Leaf will remain closed until non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen. You can learn more about arrangements and services offered when that time comes on the Forsberg’s website or Facebook page.