Every year, Zeta Tau Alpha provides compassion and support to cancer patients at Sparrow Hospital on Valentine’s Day.
This year is the fourth annual The Power of Flowers event where students could order a bundle of 10 roses for $20 before Sunday. Half of the bundle will be delivered to friends and family and the other half is delivered to the oncology or pediatric unit at Sparrow Hospital.
Shannon Bryers, communication junior and member of Zeta Tau Alpha, said that last year the first patient she delivered flowers to had just found out her cancer relapsed.
Bryers said the patient did not have any family members or friends with her at the time, so sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha were able to act as a crutch for this devastated patient.
“Her first reaction was immediately starting to cry,” Bryers said. “It was such a surreal moment and she was so thankful that she had someone to cheer her up in such a hard moment.”
Zeta Tau Alpha’s philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness.
“We just wanted to go to the hospital and make the patients there feel loved like everyone else,” Shannon Kelly, marketing sophomore and member of Zeta Tau Alpha, said.
Not every sorority member gets to personally deliver the flowers, so a drawing takes place where 10 to 15 girls are selected.
Shae Skinner, kinesiology sophomore and member of Zeta Tau Alpha, said that compassion and encouragement are just a few things that can improve a patient’s day and strengthen their confidence in battling cancer.
Skinner said the patients and their families do not expect the delivery of flowers.
“It was a complete surprise for them,” Skinner said. “They would come out after and thank us and tell us how much they appreciate it.”
Bryers said Valentine’s Day is more than spending time with a significant other. Bryers said it is an opportunity to give back to the community and to be there for those who may feel alone on this day.
The first flower delivery Bryers experienced was one she said she will never forget.
“I think having people there to brighten her day and give a little hope was something that was really empowering to us and I think that was the most memorable reaction that I had,” Bryers said.