June 17, 2016
Beuncka Tyson has discovered the power in creating something beautiful. One of the residents who calls YWCA Central Alabama home, she recently participated in a flower arranging class and was amazed by how much she enjoyed it.
“I was surprised that I caught on so quickly,” she said. “I’ve never really been a flower fan before, but they turned out really pretty. It made me feel good.”
That’s no surprise to Margot Shaw, the editor of flower magazine who led the class for the women and provided the flowers and materials. Studies have shown that flowers can make people feel less depressed, anxious or agitated, and they help provide a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
“I remember the first time I made an arrangement and the joy and pleasure it brought me,” Shaw said. “I want the women at the YWCA to experience that, too.”
The YWCA’s housing program offers 151 safe, affordable housing units for women, children and families. The majority are in the YW’s downtown building, which has 64 apartments, and in Woodlawn, where there are 58 units.
“Our residents don’t always have opportunities to socialize or spend a lot of time outdoors,” said April McMaster, the YW’s housing specialist who plans activities like movie nights and cookouts for the tenants. “They really enjoyed this class because it helped bring the outside in,” she said. “I’m so grateful to Margot for sharing her talents with them.”
Shaw, who has provided three other workshops for the residents, said she can’t wait until the next one. “It’s such a good use of two hours of my day,” she said. “The women feel so empowered all of a sudden when they realize they can do this. It opens a door to a whole new world.”
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