1000 Hearts Blog

Sharing the Love during a Global Pandemic

July 23, 2020
by Sarah De Jonge

2020 has been kind of a doozy hasn't it? Who could have predicted that we would find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, separated from loved ones and experiencing losses we have never had to think about before? In amongst the chaos and trauma, there has also been kindness and connection, hope and healing.

I've had a lot of questions about whether or not we can keep sharing hearts during times of lock-down, quarantine, restrictions and social distancing. The answer to this questions is a resounding YES as we need kindness more than ever, and it's been so wonderful to see people using our hearts to communicate love and compassion during these harrowing times. Heartists have been busy making hearts and doing letterbox drops in their neighbourhood, offering them to front line workers and people experiencing social isolation. Where it's possible, many people are gathering in small group to make hearts for sharing with local groups and charities.

Heart making is a low risk activity and is absolutely perfect for those in lock-down. Not only is it mindful and relaxing, but it gives you a sense of meaning and purpose in a period when it's too easy to fall into hopelessness and despair. It's a great activity to do on your own or with others via online platforms, and you can share your work with the 1000 Hearts community through our "Heartist Show and Tell" posts on social media.

I've done some research and here are my top tips for safe and healthy hearting:

- Keep your hands and work area clean while you sew, wrap and handle hearts; hand sanitiser is your friend!

- Viruses survive for shorter periods on fabrics than on hard surfaces, so make and wrap your hearts, then leave them for 4-7 days before distributing. If you want to be super cautious, leave them for 2 weeks before distributing. If you are donating hearts to me, there is no need to wrap them or wait before sending them, as I will sort these things out on my end.

- Wrap your hearts individually for distribution so people receiving them know they are clean once they unwrap them

- Chat to the people and services you are offering hearts to. Let them know you are taking precautions and let them decide whether or not to accept. The gesture and intention is meaningful even if they are unable to accept the hearts.

If you're not sure where to offer your hearts, here are some ideas from other heartists:

- post hearts to loved ones in the mail for a delightful delivery

- do an anonymous letter box drop in your neighbourhood or attach a little note letting your neighbours know you're thinking of them

- give them to local businesses for distribution to customers

- offer them to front line workers in supermarkets, pharmacies, doctor's surgeries, hospitals, emergency workers...the list goes on

- give them to local schools so they can share with students who are struggling

- send them to 1000 Hearts to be included in our free packs and Community Packs; post to PO Box 206, Blackmans Bay, Tas 7052, Australia. We ALWAYS need more hearts.

Remember amidst the chaos and uncertainty to go gently and offer kindness to yourself as well as others. Rest and remember to breathe. Reach out to your friends, family and to me if you'd like to share your heart journey or just touch base.

Be safe, be careful and most of all, keep being kind.

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