June Smith carefully examined the tray of marigolds setting on a table in front of her, searching for just the right ones to take back with her to her home in the Baptist Village Community in northwest Oklahoma City, a place where she has lived since 2010. 

Choosing which flowers to take and plant has been an annual ritual for Smith since 2012 when flowers were first purchased with proceeds from Ruth’s Flower Fund, an endowment established in 2011 through WatersEdge by a woman named Ruth who loved flowers and wanted others to be able to enjoy them after she was gone. Ruth passed away in late 2005. And because of her generous gift, Baptist Village Community (BVC) residents are now receiving free flowers every spring.  

Smith was one of about 100 residents from the BVC in Oklahoma City who participated in the flower giveaway this year, which was held April 26 on a cool and breezy morning. 


The marigolds Smith meticulously picked out were not necessarily for her, however. They were for her next-door neighbor, an elderly man who, according to Smith, was physically unable to plant his own flowers. So, she has lovingly done that for him over the last couple of years, as well as for other neighbors.

“That is why I thought the marigolds would be nice for him. He can water, but he is not able to plant. So, I thought I would plant something colorful for him since I have a lot of color over here,” said Smith, pointing to a batch of colorful flowers growing in her own flowerbed and flowerpots. 

Brenda Bragg has also enjoyed the flowers provided by Ruth’s Flower Fund. This year, she took home flowers for her husband, who was unable to fetch the flowers himself. He was in a local hospital going through dialysis and was expected to be back in a month. 

“He was always the yard guy, but since we have been [at Baptist Village], it has turned into flowers,” she said. “He knows the flowers are coming, and they make him very happy.” 

WatersEdge team members helped residents pick out the flowers provided by Ruth’s Flower Fund.

WatersEdge staff say an endowment is a great way to provide ministries with financial stability that will last a lifetime and beyond. Endowments are a unique investment tool for donors who want their gifts to not only impact this generation, but also generations to come.

“The gift made to Ruth’s Flower Fund has been invested for years allowing WatersEdge to make annual distributions to BVC to purchase flowers,” WatersEdge Vice President of Advancement Julie Stanley told BVC residents just prior to the start of this year’s flower giveaway. 

“We received another donation last year which enabled us to make distributions to other BVC campuses to purchase flowers for their residents. It’s always been limited to Oklahoma City, but this year we’re making distributions to all of the campuses that have a place to plant flowers,” she said. 

Because Ruth’s Flower Fund is much larger now as a result of that additional donation, BVC has been able to expand the program to their campuses in Enid, Owasso, and Broken Arrow.  

Chris Finley, who has served as BVC’s director of chaplain services for the past 25 years, said the flowers not only bring joy to the residents, but they also help spruce up the facility.

“Many of the residents no longer drive. So, they can’t go to TLC or to Walmart or Lowe’s to get flowers. We bring the flowers to them, and they get to enjoy them. Plus, it beautifies the campus,” Finley said. 

“It personally brings me great joy to see these ladies and men back in their element of planting flowers and tending to them. On Friday, I saw residents that I hadn’t seen since last year. I even saw new residents that I’ve never met before. They were excited. They also came up and got flowers.” 

If you or someone you know is interested in making a gift to an endowment account or through another charitable giving solution with WatersEdge, or if you want to learn more about the various options offered, please visit WatersEdge.com or call 800-949-9988. You can also email give@watersedge.com. 

By Harve Allen

Residents at BVC Oklahoma City line up to pick out the flowers to plant outside their homes.