Cultural Events

Happy Hearts Of Hope News: Local Organization Looking Back & Planning Ahead

Published: January 13, 2018 at 12:00 am


Hearts of Hope Newtown (HOH-Newtown) is ready for 2018, with a look back at the holiday season and an updated schedule.

The 2017 Commemorative Hearts sold well. Created by local artist Kathy Stone, the ornament's design was based on the intricate form known as the mandala of the Tibetan origin.

The ornaments were $15 each, and served as a fundraiser of the local chapter of the pay it forward organization. Residents were able to purchase them during the monthly painting parties hosted by HOH-Newtown painting parties, online, and at Sandy Hook Diner.

Pattie Ptak, who is serving as the local chapter coordinator, said sales "were brisk and this is a great fundraiser for our organization. We always appreciate the support."

The Newtown chapter painted and distributed approximately 650 hearts to some very special organizations last year.

"We look forward to increasing that number for some dedicated organizations this year in 2018," Ms Ptak said.

HOH-Newtown painting parties are generally held on the third Wednesday of the month, September through June, in the hall of Newtown United Methodist Church, 92 Church Hill Road. Each gathering runs from 6:30 until approximately 8:30 pm; help is always welcome with setting up and breaking down, Ms Ptak said.

Hearts of Hope is a pay it forward program where people paint clay hearts with simple images and messages of hope, which are then delivered to individuals and places that have gone through a tragedy or are in need of a positive message.

The clay hearts and painting supplies are provided for each painting session. Attendees are asked to make a $5 donation per painted heart to the 501(c)(3) organization to help cover the costs of supplies.

Each heart is put into a maroon nylon bag, with a note card from the painter to the recipient, along with a note about Hearts of Hope. The nylon bag is then put into a clear cellophane envelope so that the entire package is protected if hearts are hung in public places in inclement weather. The hearts are meant to be found and taken home by those who find them.

Those who would like to paint extra hearts at home, or host a special painting event at their home, are encouraged to contact the local chapter by sending e-mail to or Information is also available from Ms Ptak and other group leaders during the monthly painting gatherings.

Upcoming painting party dates and the intended recipients are as follows:

January 17, Dorothy Day Hospitality House;

February 21, Daniela's Little Wish;

March 21, Fidelco Guide Dogs;

April 18, military awareness;

May 16, Arthur Luf Children's Burn Camp;

June 20, Newtown Therapy Dogs;

September 19 (following summer break), Seymour Pink/Breast Cancer Awareness;

October 17, Epilepsy Awareness; and

November 21, Ronald McDonald House.

The schedule is subject to change. Updates and other information can be found on the group's Facebook page, heartsofhopeofnewtownct.


January Raffle Event

In addition to time for painting, this month's gathering will include a raffle. A lap quilt will be offered; tickets are two for $1.

The quilt features a white background, maroon lettering that says Hope, and two pairs of interlocking hearts.

In addition, the home office of Hearts Of Hope is looking for ceramicists to help with the creation of 15,000 ceramics hearts that need to be cut and fired annually. The nonprofit foundation is seeking to outsource the cutting and firing of some of its hearts, and will pay "competitive quantity-based rates to either one supplier or several in batches of 2,500 during a twelve-month period," according to a release issued by Hearts of Hope Founder Judy Pederson.

Ceramic artists based in Connecticut interested in learning more are invited to contact Ms Petersen at 973-224-6900 or for details.

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