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Couple creates Nova Scotia Strong Flower Fund in honour of mass shooting victims
MILTON, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia couple has turned a hobby into a way to honour victims of the Nova Scotia shootings.
It all began when James Grant’s sister sent him a picture of a flower and asked if he could make one for her.
“So that day, he came out into the wood shop and made this blue and white flower and he took it to her that night,” says Tanya Grant, James’s wife.
His sister put a photo of the flower on Facebook and the requests flooded in.
“We only started out to make one and then … a couple friends wanted them and we’d make one or two more. Within a couple of days we got a lot of orders,” says James.
“I told my wife, ‘I don’t mind making them,’ but I said, ‘If I am going to make them, I’m going to give back to the community.’”
The couple debated how to use the money they made from the sale of the flowers.
“We knew we were going to donate $5 from each flower, but we didn’t know what we were going to do. So we decided we wanted to do something for the families up in Colchester,” says Tanya.
The Grants decided to create a bursary fund in memory of VON colleagues Heather O’Brien and Kristen Beaton, who were among the 22 victims killed by a gunman during a violent rampage across northern and central Nova Scotia last month.
“Me being a licensed practical nurse myself and working for VON for a number of years, it just seemed fitting. So we made it the Nova Scotia Strong Flower Fund. It’s at the Scotiabank, anybody can donate to it,” says Tanya.
“It’s going to be two $500 bursaries for anyone going into the continuing care program or the licensed practical nurse program and that will be available in September.”
So far, the couple has received over 5,000 orders for the blue and white flowers.
“If I fill all those orders, I mean, or even 70 per cent of the orders I’m getting, I don’t see this bursary stopping for many years,” says James.