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Head of Cobble Hill’s BloomAgainBklyn named as ‘Notable in Nonprofits’

Group repurposes unsold, once-used flowers for nursing homes, senior center

April 15, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
The founder of Bloom Again Bklyn Caroline Anderson, right, helps pack arrangements for delivery. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
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Caroline Gates Anderson, founder and president of the Cobble Hill-based nonprofit BloomAgainBklyn, has been named one of this year’s 57 Notables in Nonprofits and Philanthropy by Crain’s New York Business.

“Ultimately, all of the honorees who made the list were chosen for their efforts to help New Yorkers ride out the upheaval wrought by Covid-19,” Crain’s said. “Never in its history has the nonprofit realm been challenged as it has been this past year—nor has the sector and its supporters so robustly demonstrated resilience and purpose.”

Anderson founded BloomAgainBklyn six years ago. The organization, according to its website, “repurposes unsold and once-used flowers into new arrangements which are distributed by volunteers to home bound seniors, local nursing home residents, trauma and homeless survivors, and others in need.

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“The organization’s goal is to create an uplifting experience for those who may not regularly have visitors or receive flowers, and also facilitate positive interactions between volunteers and recipients.”

A volunteer picks out flowers for an arrangement. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
A volunteer picks out flowers for an arrangement. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

“We are a mission-building organization,” Anderson told the Brooklyn Eagle in 2019. “We bring communities together through the repurposing of beautiful flowers and arrangements.”
In its first four years of its operation, BloomAgainBklyn diverted more than a million flowers that would otherwise be headed to waste, the Eagle reported at the time.

Ms. Anderson’s training and experience has mainly been in the visual arts, from photography (the head of photo research for a children’s book) to the Gates & Tripp Gallery, which specializes in antique photos.

“After buying flowers almost every day from Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn, and seeing how long they lasted when properly taken care of, she then asked Trader Joe’s if they would donate the flowers that were not sold with the idea of giving them to people who do not ordinarily get flowers. Trader Joe’s agreed and BloomAgainBklyn was born,” the website says.

The group’s initial goal was to serve Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook and Boerum Hill, with the possibility of expanding to other Brooklyn neighborhoods. It now delivers more than 800 floral arrangements a month to residents of local senior centers, the Cobble Hill Health Center, the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, the Brooklyn YWCA and other institutions, as well as to homebound seniors who are served by Heights and Hills.

Among the group’s community partners are Heights and Hills, Brooklyn Public Library’s “Creative Aging” program, the HOPE program, Cobble Hill Health Center, public and private schools and more.

Several scientific studies have found there are significant health benefits of flowers. Rutgers University conducted a 10-month study on the emotional impact of flowers and found a large percentage of 100 seniors who participated reported a reduction in depression after receiving floral gifts.

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