January in the Heartland
January was a big month in the Heartland...we launched our website and I took a crash course in blogging. Lois magazine wrote a lovely article about 1000 Hearts and I spent some time over my Summer break reconnecting to my purpose in creating this kindness project. I started 1000 Hearts almost three years ago (we turn three on the 7th February!) and my simple goal was to put some goodness out into the world.
As it grows, it's easy to get caught up in the "more" mentality - let's reach more people, let's sell more hearts, let's do bigger projects. But I love that people who come here do so because they have a genuine connection to the purpose and heart of this project. And it is growing beautifully, organically and wonderfully, which I find deeply comforting in a world where kindness sometimes seems thin on the ground. In our own small way, we are making a difference, one heart at a time.
1000 Hearts is a growing global community - in January I sent hearts and heart-starter kits all around Australia and to New Zealand, the UK and many places in the United States, including Kansas, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas and Missouri. Many people wrote to me to tell me about their budding heart projects in classrooms, hospitals, disability support work and cancer support. To help us continue sending out our free hearts, I had donations of hearts from Carol in country NSW, Danielle in South Australia and a group of young girls and women in WA.
Wendy wrote to tell me about her sister-in-law, visiting from Oxford in England, who fell in love with 1000 Hearts and was "so excited about starting hearting with her local charity group!"
Kate was introduced to 1000 Hearts by her friend Maxine, and gives away all the hearts she's been gifted, "for there is always someone in need of one". When Kate went into hospital for a breast cancer removal, she took a basket load of hearts to share with all the hospital staff - she feels it is "such a privilege to be able to ask and receive without cost."
Natasha requested hearts for a close friend whose husband had recently died, Bron filled a kindness jar for her kindergarten class, and many others made or requested hearts for sharing with family, friends, neighbours and random acts of kindness. Ebony, who will offer hearts in her work supporting people with disability and mental health issues, said "any time I feel lost or overwhelmed, I hold onto the heart you sent me and think of all the little bits of joy I have in my life, like my best friend's smile or the sound of my Mum's laugh."
Judy commented on a Facebook post; "I don't think I ever had confidence until I started making and giving away hearts", while Tam said the hearts "are a tangible reminder of love and it is wonderful" in her community where hearts were sent to honour two young girls who died in a house fire. Sarah purchased a dark heart to give a friend, but decided to keep it because "at the moment it is a reminder to me of my worthiness."
Kerrie commented that "these hearts...reinforce kindness, joy, tenacity, triumph - endless purpose..." and in a message that perfectly reflected my own feelings, Joanne said "your project has made me want to be a better person...and one heart at a time, I'm becoming the person I want to be."
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