PINE TOWNSHIP – A Grove City business owner teamed up with community members to show local healthcare workers how much they’re appreciated.

“It’s giving me business... and it’s giving back to me at the same time,” said Heather Blanchard, who owns D’licious Bouquets, 108 S. Broad St.

After collecting about $1,200 in donations, Blanchard made hundreds of chocolate-covered strawberries and apple slices, which she has been delivering to AHN Grove City.

Her business has been struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so she had been looking for a way to boost revenue while also paying it forward.

Blanchard put out the call for folks to “adopt” the hospital’s 280 employees by donating money for the treats. The response was immediate.

“I was completely overwhelmed,” she said.

The monetary contributions funded 600 strawberries and apples, and Blanchard donated an additional 600.

Blanchard’s shop is known for creating baskets with cut fruit, and while the chocolate-covered pieces aren’t the easiest to make, it was the most logical choice because they can be individually wrapped.

She made 200 pieces each day and delivered them to the hospital five days in a row the week of May 10, which was National Hospital Week.

“They’re made fresh every day,” she said.

Because of the pandemic, she was not allowed inside the hospital. AHN staff made sure that they were distributed to everyone.

It might sound like a big job for one person, but Blanchard said she’s been making the treats long enough that it’s become routine.

She had no problems getting supplies and ingredients, and she is thankful that others wanted to join her in showing gratitude for the hospital employees.

A banner made by image FX lists the names of the donors plus the phrase #AHNHeroes. It hangs in front of the hospital.

“It is huge,” Blanchard said.

Hospital employees reached out to say they enjoyed the special treats, which were delicious and much appreciated.

This would normally be a very busy time of year for her shop with orders for graduation parties – she also makes cupcakes – so she was glad to have this project on her plate.

“All of us are missing out on things that we aren’t able to get back,” she said.

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