Check out our growing Gift List for great gifts all year long
We're about to reach 100,000 Hearts of Hope distributed and a million people touched around the world.
Some time in the next month, someone will receive a three and half inch,
uniquely painted ceramic heart. It may be hand delivered or mailed. It will
be accompanied by a card with a brief but sincere message wishing the
recipient either a speedy recovery, solace from the loss of a loved one or
comfort in the face of a recent tragedy. There will be no fanfare. But this person will gaze upon this small ceramic heart and a smile will form on his or her face and
The HEARTS OF HOPE ONLINE NEWSLETTER
to the Hearts of Hope Online Newsletter, our way of communicating with our support base, volunteers and partners. We plan to publish regularly throughout the year on the latest news, progress and stories of hope and kindness.
Gwen created a Hearts of Hope blog which has created a wonderful look inside our organization. You can follow her stories and anecdotes online by clicking here.
Enjoy reading a little about Gwen as she has been kind enough to describe her own thoughts about Hearts of Hope and volunteerism below. You'll learn that Gwen is a role model for everyone who believes in helping others and an inspiration for everyone who gets to work with her.
"I am one of those people who likes to hang in the background, working tirelessly for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I am most comfortable being what my mom liked to call a “worker bee”… someone who always shows up, stays quiet and unnoticed, knows what to do without being told, and gets the job done. But there have been a few times in my life when things have happened that I have been forced out of my comfort zone and been asked to lead an organization, and when that happens, I take on that challenge and give it my all."
"I have been volunteering for as long as I can remember. It is something my mother instilled in me since I was young… helping others, sharing what little you have with those who have even less, giving of your time and your talents. I volunteered through brownies and girl scouts, in the local hospital throughout my high school career, and in my aunt's classroom on my days off from school. I have managed food and clothing drives, helped my students understand the importance of volunteering and giving back, took part in cancer walks, painted Kindness Coins, and started a Kindness Rocks Garden. Volunteering is something I will continue to do for the rest of my life in one way or another, it is what makes me who I am."
How I got involved with
Hearts of Hope:
"I was a 5th grade teacher in Stratford and a Hearts of Hope volunteer, Connie Lester's son was in my class. She approached me about having my class paint hearts for a unit of soldiers that she had adopted. Her daughteer was in a third grade and I combined classes and the students painted over 40 hearts. In true teacher fashion, I went online and researched the organization and was touched and impressed with its story. Seeing the students put their hearts into their painting and their messages, really got to me. I retired at the end of that school year, and Connie was thinking about starting up a Stratford Chapter of Hearts of Hope and wanted to know if I would be interested in helping. Of course, I said yes. I didn't sign up to be Vice President, I was just planning to be a 'worker bee', but Connie had other ideas.
This organization has gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life. In the past year and a half, both of my parents have passed away. The support of my Hearts of Hope family has helped keep me going through these very difficult times. Hearts of Hope sponsored a Birthday Party for my mom on the first birthday after her passing. We invited her family and friends to come and celebrate her life and paint hearts that would be donated to the cancer center where she received her treatments. It has helped me take a small step in a grieving and healing process that still has a long way to go, but thanks to this amazing group of people, I know I will get there.
Coming to a monthly painting event is a life affirming experience. Each month we meet new people and we see our regulars. The room is full of talk and laughter and smiles and joy. And something wonderous happens at our events… the people who come to paint, the people on our Stratford team, the Newtown team, the people on the board who visit, they become family… and that is what makes Hearts of Hope so unique, so special, and so lasting, because family is forever."
Hearts of Hope has introduced a variety of new items to help support our Mission of Hope and we believe you'll find them to be great gifts for any time of year, not just the upcoming holiday season. Our beautiful 2018 Specialty Hearts from our Stratford and Newtown Chapters are already on sale. $5 of every sale of the Stratford collection will support the Vicki Soto Foundation and other proceeds benefit the Hearts of Hope charitable efforts.
Our Hearts of Hope Gift Card Collection has just been printed and is a beautiful way to support our charity. The collection features a 12 greeting card set of four each of three different sentiments on elegant white linen packaged in a gift box, cover sheet and closure.
November 2018 Edition
Hearts of Hope Partnerships are happening everywhere
Community outreach is the fuel that keeps our charitable mission moving forward with growing success. Our volunteers and leadership team are constantly striving to develop partnerships with organizations that believe in the benefit of giving back.
In the last eight weeks we've been blessed to be able to partner with these and other organiza- tions for Paint with A Purpose events to support common causes.
Perkin Elmer in Shelton sponsored a Paint with a Purpose party. They coupled it with a Women's Networking event. The hearts painted that evening were given to Seymour Pink for their annual race day in early October. The company also added $300 to their original donation of $400! The Hearts of Hope Family cannot thank Perkin Elmer enough for their generous donation and support of our organization. (see photo below)
124 Hearts of Hope were distributed at Walter Reed Medical at the USO in Bethesda, MD. Smiles, laughter, hugs and some wonderful stories were shared by veterans, wounded warriors and heroes. Everyone shared in the joy of painting hearts for others as well making this event a special time for those in attendance.
The Chelsea Retirement Community at Brookfield contacted Hearts of Hope to renew our partnership once again. They will be painting Hearts of hope for their November Community Connections project where all the newly painted hearts will be distributed to the Hackettstown Hospital Cancer Ward to support cancer patients battling the disease.
Students at Saint Joseph's University Hearts of Club Chapter helped paint and delivered 400 Hearts of Hope to seriously ill children at Philadelphia Children's Hospital in late October. Many thanks to Anna Zalepa, her family and club members for making this happen for the kids.
Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value. Desmond Tutu
a wave of kindness and warmth will fill their heart for a lingering moment. This moment will mark the 100,000th time a person has experienced a gesture of love and kindness in the face of dark times or adversity. It will not change the world but we believe for that moment, it will cast a small light of hope and encouragement to that someone who is lost in deep suffering.
You, and people like you have brought hope and love to nearly 100,000 people. And for those who volunteered their time, money and compassion, their hearts were enriched as well. We know that for every Heart of Hope fired, painted, packaged and distributed, at least 10 people touched that moment making our collective reach over a million individuals; each one sharing in the joy of either giving love or receiving it.
We've just initiated our end of year fundraising campaign called Season of Hope to offset the costs of our efforts and to help us reach that 100,000 plateau. With your support and donations, we hope to continue our Mission of Hope for many years to come.
Leadership spotlight on Gwen Cook
Click here to submit a brief form describing your possible interest in a partnership with Hearts of Hope or give us a call to learn more at 973.224.6900.
We invite you to get a jump on this year's gift giving season by visiting our online store to see other Hearts of Hope items including our popular Mr. Spinner Pen, tote bag and Paint A Heart kits perfect for folks of all ages. All purchase are tax deductible.
Employees of Perkin Elmer of Shelton were happy to partner with a Hearts of Hope Paint with A Purpose event in October. Here they are showing off the many Hearts of Hope they created.
A "worker bee" who creates family among us
This month Hearts of Hope is extremely proud to spotlight someone who has been an unsung hero for many months. Gwen Cook has been a volunteer for years and through a simple twist of fate, became
introduced to Hearts of Hope when she was a 5th grade teacher in Stratford, Connecticut. She organized several classes to paint hearts for the organization and upon learning more about the mission, decided it was a great organization to become part of. Several years later, Gwen has become a very important member of our Hearts of Hope family.