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7Everyday Hero Lauren Anderson paints flower bouquets for patients staying in the hospital

Posted at 7:36 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 09:36:45-04

DENVER — Painting has always been a sanctuary for Lauren Anderson. It's a colorful escape when life gets too dark. And now, she's sharing her gift to help others.

Anderson was volunteering for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital when she discovered many patients who were sent flowers couldn't keep them in their rooms.

"It just made me really sad to think if I were in the hospital and somebody I loved and who loved me sent me something like that and I couldn’t enjoy it, how upsetting that would be," she said.

Then she thought of something — maybe there was a way for those patients to enjoy those creations. So she went to volunteer coordinator Jenny Ricklefs with an idea.

"She’s an artist and she thought that she could potentially paint those flower arrangements and give the painting to the patient because they couldn’t have the flowers," Ricklefs said. "Since that day, she's been painting beautiful watercolor bouquets."

She said on Mother's Day, Anderson did one painting that went to a patient in a unit for individuals with COVID-19.

"The painting went to a woman who is a mother and she couldn’t have visitors, she couldn’t have flowers, she couldn’t have really anything," Ricklefs said. "So when the nurse was able to give her that painting, she cried, she hugged the painting and held it to her and all she could do was say, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'"

This stroke of kindness is helping hearts blossom in the most difficult times.

"It’s such a joy — I get to do something that will immediately bring a smile to people’s face and that makes me really happy," Anderson said.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.