One of the longest running programs at the Freedom Farm for Vets has been the Rose Program. The program started as a gift to the veterans as patients in the James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Realizing that so many come from other cities and towns in the area, many have no visitors, and often they have no families. The Freedom farm decorates plastic bottles and takes a rose to each patient, in the hospital proper, and to those veterans in the assisted living and long term nursing care facility. The patients in the hospital are often surprised by the visit and the rose and the long term residents look forward to the return visits each week. Several times, children have been among the volunteers delivering the roses and they bring extra joy to the days of those in the hospital. The nursing staff is always included with a bouquet of roses at their stations, because without them, the care of our veterans would not be what it is for them today.
During the Christmas season, the roses are replaced with poinsettias and styrofoam Christmas ornaments, cut out and decorated by the veterans and some of the children that visit the farm. These are especially appreciated for the few that remain in the hospital during the holiday season.
Thank you to all our veterans for your service. We hope that the small token we continue to bring brighten your days in recovery.
Thank you to our many volunteers over the years for their hard work and support, and to the many people donating the roses to the farm in memory or honor of their loved ones.
We want to send a big thank you out to Larsen’s Florist, of Waukegan. They have donated over 35,000 roses over the years and the bedding plants for the gardens. At Christmas, they donate the poinsettias that are delivered to the Medical Center for veterans. They have been an amazing support for the program and we are extremely grateful.