Rhonda came to 1000 Hearts after reading a guest blog I wrote and she requested some of our free hearts, hoping to give one to her friend who was gravely ill with cancer. Sadly, Rhonda’s friend passed away before she was able to receive her heart, so Rhonda lovingly tucked one amongst the flowers at her funeral. As we exchanged messages, Rhonda shared with me that her beloved son Danny died by suicide nine years ago, aged just 25. She took Danny a heart and gave one to his thirteen-year-old daughter, who carries it each day and says it reminds her of her Dad every time she touches it.
Since this initial contact, Rhonda has made hundreds of hearts which she has offered to people with cancer, suicide survivors, people experiencing homelessness, students in a mental health program, nursing home residents and “others have been quietly slipped into handbags and baskets!”
Rhonda teaches heart-sewing in a local school with the help of staff member Tanya and together they encourage students to make one for themselves and one to give away, thereby spreading the kindness even further. So far, the group has made over 1000 pocket hearts to share in their local community and Rhonda’s “own heart bursts with love and gratitude” as she spreads the love as part of 1000 Hearts.
She says “I like to start my day by stitching a few hearts, before my husband is awake…I’m sure my Danny is right behind me…I believe he guides me in helping others, he was a gentle caring young man. I sew hearts to honour my Danny and it helps me such a lot too.” Stories like these capture the heart and soul of this project and remind us all how powerfully healing it can be to offer kindness to those around us.