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Video and photos: Richmond students brighten up Blue Monday for seniors

The students approached strangers outside the Minoru Centre and Richmond Public Library with a single stem flower

It was damp, dreary and it was Monday…Blue Monday to be exact.

The third Monday in January was living up to its foreboding billing yesterday – right up to moment some Grade 11 and 12 Hugh Boyd students started randomly giving out flowers to seniors, to a backdrop of uplifting music, at the Minoru Centre and nearby public library.

The students’ “flower flashmob” was all part of the social justice class’ Lift Project, which aimed to hand out 500 single-stem blooms outside the entrances of the seniors centre and library on Blue Monday.

Blue Monday, for those unaware, is regarded as the most depressing day of the year, due to it being the aftermath of the holidays and when most people get their credit card statements.

But the students’ efforts certainly did the trick outside the aforementioned facilities, with spontaneous smiles appearing on the faces of seniors caught by surprise by the gesture.

Video by Peter Loganathan:

In the class, teacher Michael Taylor said the students started to talk about isolation and began brainstorming about how they could impact the community.

“The project is about lifting the spirits of people in the community, particularly for groups that experienced challenges in the pandemic. Seniors are one of those groups,” added Taylor.

“So doing outside the seniors centre seemed like a good place to start.

“We are just trying to lift their spirits for that day. It will require a little bit of cold-calling but it will be good for the students to get out of their comfort zones.”

Taylor said the students also created cards to hand out to the seniors to see if they want to be a pen-pal with one of the students in the future.