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Donating for smiles

From left: Duty nurse Anna Coleman, duty nurse manager Kristin Vesper, Theo and Rosanna Van der Put at Wairarapa Hospital on Tuesday. PHOTO/ALEYNA MARTINEZ

Greytown flower growers Theo and Elsa Van der Put estimate that over the past four weeks they have had to dump $150,000 worth of flowers.

This week, in anticipation of the country moving to Alert Level 3, they had cut 1500 freesias and 600 gladioli into bunches intended for auction in Auckland. But on Monday the government announced Level 3 trading would only begin again from next Tuesday.

So, instead of throwing them away this time, the couple decided to donate what they had cut for auction to Wairarapa Hospital.

“At least we know that next week we can get going again,” Theo said.

Usually the couple, who own Van der Put Flowers in Greytown, supply flower auctions in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch three times a week.

“This is cuttings from one day,” Theo said. “It’s how much we’ve had to throw away every day. It’s been very dramatic. Hopefully, this will put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.”

Wairarapa DHB communications manager Anna Cardno said it definitely achieved that.

“Smiles were wide throughout the hospital and across the wider Wairarapa healthcare services today,” she said.

“It has been a challenging few weeks in the health sector with many long hours spent, and the selfless gesture from the Greytown flower growers brought more cheer to our team than they would have realised, I am sure.”

Patients and visitors to the hospital, and Wairarapa councils’ Emergency Operations Centre staff also benefited from the flower drop.

Cardno said a “koha” was collected to offer thanks, and to recognise the loss of income the Van der Put family had suffered in recent weeks.

“Their delivery of the kind cards and vast amount of flowers for us all was a huge gesture and we are most grateful.”

With flowers shops still unable to open during the lockdown, flowers can be ordered via email at [email protected]


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