Hundreds of residents and staff members at an Illinois long-term care facility were gifted with roses thanks to the generosity of local residents. 

The not-for-profit organization Love is a Rose handed about 800 long-stemmed roses and heart-shaped pins to residents and staff in the skilled nursing and assisted living wings at Briarwood Healthcare Center and Willows Assisted Living of Friendship Village in Schaumburg, IL. 

The program was originally founded by area community members Sid and Kathy Fey about a year ago. Then the pandemic took full root throughout most of 2020 and into this year.

“There almost seems to be a paradigm shift of what it means to be a human being, so we decided to do something about that,” explained Sid Fey. 

“The mission of Love is a Rose is to give roses with an inspirational message of love and kindness to a million ‘heroes of the decade,’ including caregivers and the people for whom they care, first responders, teachers and more,” Fey added. 

The organization handed out the special gifts for residents and staff in late March. They were met with hundreds of smiles — even behind the masks — thanks to the act of kindness. 

“Our residents look forward to working on more volunteer opportunities in the future so they can continue to share the gift of kindness,” said Jeannette Magdaleno, manager of Life Long Learning and Volunteer Services at Friendship Village.

Like most great ones, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.