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Branch Out and Get Involved! School of Communication Students Collaborate with BigHearted Blooms

Levin College of Public Affairs and Education students partner with local nonprofit organization to foster community engagement and experiential learning through strategic communication initiative.

BigHearted Blooms (BHB), a local organization dedicated to spreading joy using recycled flowers, is working this semester alongside Cleveland State University students in digital content production and promotional production capstone courses to help increase awareness and bring in more volunteers and donors.

As a part of the curriculum, students are creating a strategic communication plan and digital content for the organization, including social media posts and videos to promote its mission. The community engagement resulting from this initiative not only enriches the students' professional pathways but also enhances their personal lives.

Lauren Schwan, a journalism, and public relations major and digital content minor student, explains her affinity for working with the nonprofit organization.

“When I was first introduced to the program, I wasn’t sure if I had interest,” Schwan, 21, says, “but witnessing the impact that my skills in this minor can have inspired me to explore career paths I wouldn’t have previously considered.”

Located minutes away from Cleveland State’s campus in Midtown, BHB brought in 495 different volunteers in 2023 to help spread generosity to more than 12,000 individuals. BHB is a nonprofit organization founded in 2018 by Sue Buddenbaum, who seeks to positively affect the lives of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio residents who are without adequate support systems.

The recipients this organization touches range from those at nursing facilities and hospitals to food pantries across Cuyahoga County. Bouquets are arranged using recycled flowers from grocery stores and event centers and then distributed to the facilities by volunteers.

If you are interested in learning more about the organization, or exploring volunteer opportunities, visit BigHearted Blooms’ website or Instagram account.