Group sends more than 10,500 Hearts for Hope to Sandy Hook | Families
When something inexplicable happens – especially when it involves children – the healing process is oftentimes slow and difficult.
The Ambassadors Foundation, a Spokane non-profit, has attempted to recover and grow from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. by gathering and sending paper hearts that contain messages from students – sometimes offering condolences, others being inspirational and uplifting.
Ambassadors director Ryan Oelrich said Thursday that the organization has received more than 10,500 hearts from all over the world – reaching as far as Australia, China and Costa Rica. The foundation sent them weekly after the tragedy with the help of student volunteers from the Spokane area. They have recently slowed down to monthly packages to the students.
“We’ll keep sending them as long as they come,” Oelrich said, noting that the next shipment of about 600 will be sent off Monday.
Oelrich believes the effort has been beneficial for both the students making and receiving the hearts, noting that several teachers have wrote to him thanking him for the “healthful activity that provides good opportunity for healing conversations.”
When they get to the elementary school in the northeast, they are taken to the counselor’s office, where teachers and students can go through them and read the messages when they are having a “bad day,” according to Oelrich.
“We work very closely with students and the purpose of our foundation is to support education, and after we heard about it, we – like everybody else – wished we could do something,” Oelrich said. “This was an encouraging project for us to take on.”
Check out the group’s Facebook page to see the hearts and to get more information on the project.