In recent days the news has bubbled over with stories that foster fear, hate, and pain – but we want to share a very different experience with you today. Even when events seem dire, we can have hope in knowing that small acts can lead to big change.
Over the summer, Francine Baker of the nearby Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York invited Crispus Attucks to join in a “pay it forward” project. Baker leads the congregation’s Peacemakers Camp and Club, which is designed to foster friendships among children, ages 5 to 12, from all religions, to engage in serving their community and create a kind, just, and youthful movement.
Baker explained that the Peacemakers campers were participating in Hearts of Hope, a movement where individuals create healing art and share it with people who may need encouragement or appreciation. Her campers had painted uplifting designs on 50 clay hearts, adding a handwritten note of support and encouragement to each one. The Peacemakers selected Crispus Attucks to share their unique gifts to people in the community who need a reminder to never lose hope.
The programs of Crispus Attucks reach people of all ages; therefore, the delivery of the inspirational hearts could be done in a variety of ways. Going door-to-door, staff from our Active Living Center offered hearts to local senior citizens, encouraging them to come to the center for fellowship and a meal. A small supply of hearts is being reserved for children in our Early Learning Center, Rising STARS program, and charter school that encounter especially challenging times at school or home, and need a bright light in their day.
The children of our Early Learning Center helped pay it forward when visiting seniors at Rest Haven Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Each child gave a Heart of Hope to a senior, taking time to read the message, sharing how the heart made them feel, and how they wished it would make the senior feel. The small gift generated smiles, compassion, and hope for young and old alike.
Together with the Peacemakers at UUCY, Crispus Attucks has joined thousands of people across the nation who have chosen to share hope with others. The 50 Hearts of Hope distributed to individuals in York adds to the more than 75,000 that have been distributed across nation.
We all have the chance to spread hope each day. Opportunities are all around us, here are some of the many organizations you can engage with to be a beacon of light in someone’s life.
- Fixing York: Creating a platform for community dialogue and crowdsourcing solutions for the York Area. Check out what hope-producing organizations they suggested here.
- Punks for Positivity: Putting actions behind their words to make York a better place with trash pick-up events, graffiti clean up, and opportunities to protest local violence.
- United Way of York County: Helping everyone be a part of making great things happen in our community.
- Share this story with a group you see spreading hope in the community!