Greenville chef gives flowers to senior living facility residents

Greenville chef gives flowers to senior living facility residents
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 9:13 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As the U.S. prepares for its second Valentine’s Day during the pandemic, loved ones face the reality that they may not be able to go out with loved ones for the special day again. This is especially the case for those who are immunocompromised or part of older populations.

However, a lucky number of residents in a senior living community received love on a silver platter from their beloved chef who went above and beyond to spread kindness.

James Johnson cooked up some signature dishes at the Brookdale Senior Living community in Greenville.

Cooking is a hobby Johnson has been passionate about since he was a child.

“To keep me out of trouble, my mom made me stay in the kitchen with her,” Johnson said. “She had a big giant pot that she would turn upside down and I would sit in the middle of the floor and taste everything that she made.”

And as Johnson grew older, he carried on his mother’s legacy.

Over a span of 35 years, Johnson has cooked hundreds and maybe thousands of meals. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, he went above and beyond to let residents at Brookdale know that they are loved.

“I thought it would be something nice for all the ladies to be able to have a bouquet of flowers,” Johnson said.

He passed out the flowers to more than 30 residents; with money that didn’t even come out of his own pocket.

“The flowers was an opportunity that I had that actually somebody brought to me that was ready to throw in the trash. And I said ‘you don’t have to do that, I’ll take them,’” Johnson recalled.

Soon after, Johnson’s office was showered with thank you cards from residents who were touched by his kind deed. One of them was 88-year-old Joyce Bliss.

“I thought it was a very wonderful gesture on his part to think of us, to give us the flowers. In fact, I still have a couple of them that haven’t died yet,” Bliss said.

It was a gesture that goes a long way for immunocompromised residents who may not be able to see their loved ones on Valentine’s day, due to the ongoing pandemic.

“That really felt good just to know that I had the opportunity to brighten up their day and make them feel better,” Johnson said.

After how successful this event was, Johnson hopes to make it an annual tradition at Brookdale.

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