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Cultural Events

Hearts Of Hope-Newtown Announces Schedule, Including Special January Event



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Newtown Hearts of Hope has begun the new year, having already hosted its first regular painting party and scheduled a special event.

Hearts of Hope is a pay-it-forward charitable organization where people paint palm-sized ceramic hearts with messages of compassion and love, and then send or deliver them to people and places in need of hope and healing.

The unique keepsake gifts have been distributed to hospitals, military bases, nursing homes, police departments, and firehouses, as well as to individuals in need of a message of hope.

The foundation has conducted thousands of Paint With A Purpose events across the nation to help raise money and provide inspiration and support for various individuals and groups.

More than 106,000 hearts have been distributed since 9/11; the organization was founded in the wake of that day’s events. The Newtown chapter was founded in 2013, after dozens of hearts were hung in town in time for Valentine’s Day that year, two months after 12/14.

The group meets September through June in the meeting hall of Newtown United Methodist Church, 92 Church Hill Road.

The monthly Paint With A Purpose events usually run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, the second Wednesday of the month. All are welcome.

A $6 donation is requested for each heart that is painted. The requested donation increased this year for the first time since the local chapter’s inception.

Pattie Ptak, HOH-Newtown chapter president, points out that the chapter has been able to hold back from increasing its request for seven years.

“Unfortunately, the cost of supplies over the years and the overhead no one really likes to think about, has increased,” she said. “Starting at our February event, the cost will be $6 per heart painted.

“We are working on a few ideas for fundraising,” she added, “so stay tuned for updates.”

On January 8, Hearts of Hope were created for the Honor Flight Network. Hearts will be included in the Call Balls for World War II and Korean veterans from Connecticut and Maine when they return from a trip to Washington, DC, to see their respective memorials.

On February 12, guests will be creating Hearts of Hope for Families United in Newtown (FUN). The 2020 schedule continues as follows: March 11, The Fresh Air Fund; April 8, Discovery To Cure (prevention, early detection and treatment of gynecologic cancers); May 13, Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (RISE); and June 10, CT Alliance of Foster & Adoptive Families.

Following a summer break, Paint With A Purpose parties will resume on September 9 with guests invited to paint hearts for Ability Beyond; October 14, Meals on Wheels; and November 11, The Resiliency Center of Newtown.

Special Events

In addition to its regular painting parties, HOH-Newtown is coordinating with Karin LaBanca, the owner of fisio Wellness & Therapy, for the first special event of the year.

The public is invited to Paint With A Purpose for Australia. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, January 29, 6:30 until 8:30 pm, at the the physical therapy center, 141 Mount Pleasant Road.

“The fires there have been devastating, with so much loss,” said Ms Ptak. “We will be painting the hearts to try and bring a little comfort, and let Australia know they are in our thoughts.”

Requested donation that night will be $7 per heart, to cover supplies as well as the anticipated additional shipping costs.

Ms LaBanca has family in Australia, according to Ms Ptak.

“This is very close to home,” she said. “Join us and help spread the hope.”

HOH-Newtown is already planning to participate in the 6th Annual Catherine’s Butterfly Party, scheduled for Saturday, June 6, noon to 4 pm at Fairfield Hills. Paws of Hope Hearts will be available to be personalized. Additional information will be announced closer to that event.

Additional information concerning the Newtown chapter’s programs and events is available by contacting Ms Ptak at 203-828-8103 or newtown@ourheartsofhope.org. Private events can also be scheduled; contact Ms Ptak for details.

More information about the organization can be found at ourheartsofhope.org. Event pages are available for most HOH-Newtown events on Facebook.

The local Hearts of Hope chapter has already hosted one event, and has another planned for, this month.
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