Through her mother, she heard about Barb Stanton, a thoughtful nurse who created a garden in the barren courtyard of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Seattle.
"Prompted by her husband's weeding efforts and the help of her 85-year-old mother and personal funds, Nurse Barb set about turning a sad space into a lush gathering spot for patients and caregivers to enjoy," Heija says. "Her hard work means that patients can escape the sterile walls of the hospital to experience the sounds, smell and feel of nature—what a priceless gift."
Heija contributed $250 to the garden and arranged for a local nursery to donate bulbs for spring and winter pansies, as well as ornamental cabbage to dress up the garden before the bulbs bloom.
Heija donated another $250 to the Veterans Administration Hospital for coffee service for patients. Her donation was supplemented by a donation of 250 pounds of beans from Tully's Coffee. Finally, in the spirit of the project, Heija found a vintage baby buggy for an Alzheimer's patient who needed a way to carry a cherished stuffed animal while walking.