If you would have told us last January that by the end of 2016 we’d be co-directing a non-profit organization, none of us would have believed you; in fact, I dare say we would have gotten a good chuckle at the absurdity of the idea. Life has an interesting way of guiding us places we maybe wouldn’t have found or chosen on our own–the founding of Hearts Tied Together proves just that.
The past eight months have been a whirlwind. We’ve definitely had our fair share of stumbling blocks, but from the conception of Hearts Tied Together till now we have felt divine guidance leading this organization to who it needs to help and what it needs to become. Refugee children have always been and will continue to be our primary focus; however, we’ve been led to other children in our midst seeking refuge, love, and acceptance. With that in mind, we are excited to announce the next direction for Hearts Tied Together.
Besides continuing to partner with Catholic Community Services and International Rescue Committee to provide every refugee child being resettled in Utah with a blanket and individual note upon arrival, donor-prompted donations in other states, and annual international shipments, we are excited to now include donations to children in abuse and homeless shelters as well. Although we were originally hesitant to expand our purpose and vision, we’ve come to realize that there are more children seeking refuge than just international refugees. For this reason, our organization’s new purpose is to provide comfort blankets and personal notes of encouragement to children seeking refuge from war, persecution, civil unrest, abuse, and homelessness.
We’re looking forward to the future of Hearts Tied Together and are confident our expanded mission statement and outreach will make an even greater impact in the lives of children seeking refuge in Utah, the United States, and internationally…we hope you agree!
*Changes to our website reflecting this expansion will occur over the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience!
We are excited to announce that we are one of this year’s Be A Philanthropist Grant recipients! We’ve been selected by Brigham Young University to receive $500 from the Sorensen Legacy Foundation to buy fleece for donors who would like to participate in tying blankets for Hearts Tied Together, but limited funds may prevent them from participating to the extent they’d like to (i.e. youth, students, young families, individuals or families on a limited budget, donors planning a large event without funds to cover all the fleece needed, etc.).
More information about applying for and collecting the free fleece will be posted on our website and Facebook page towards the end of the year. Fleece will be available beginning the first week in January.
You can find out more about Be A Philanthropist by liking their Facebook page or exploring their website. They offer grants regularly to BYU students and community members desiring to organize and carry out a charitable project domestically or internationally. Links are found below:
We received our 1,000th blanket!!!
Granted, this announcement is a tad anticlimactic as we’re probably closer to 1,300 by now (Once again… my blog updating skills have been sub par. My apologies!), but it’s a number to celebrate nonetheless. Why is 1,000 blankets so exciting? Well…
- 1,ooo blankets in six short months means we’ve received approximately 167 blankets a month, which averages out to about five blankets a day. Five blankets a day may not seem like much, but imagine if we kept this going for another six months, another year, another 10 years–imagine if every day five more children seeking refuge from life’s greatest challenges felt warm, needed, and loved. Just imagine.
- 1,000 blankets mean there are dozens of people, hundreds, even thousands of people out there who care. People who don’t just read or watch the news with sorrow, but rather stand up and do something about it. Our donors might just be one person or maybe just a small group of people, but 100 individuals or 50 small groups make a huge difference when they focus their efforts on a bigger picture. No donation is too small when added to the donations of others.
- 1,000 blankets mean we don’t have to be as limited or restrictive to who receives those blankets–we can donate blankets to more children, in more places, coming from a wider range of backgrounds and circumstances. Not only can we provide blankets to every refugee child being resettled in Utah, but we can provide blankets to other children in need (more on this in our upcoming announcements!).
Thank you for your support and generosity. We never dreamed 1,000 blankets were possible, but you’ve proven us wrong–1,000 blankets are just the beginning.
Here it is, the lucky 1000th blanket!
Last weekend we had a wonderful opportunity to see both holiday spirit and school spirit put into action at Bingham High School’s True Blue Late Night Service Activity. Over 100 students filed into their school’s cafeteria at 9:00 pm on Friday night to listen to a short presentation about refugees and Hearts Tied Together, watch Christmas movies, and tie blankets.
We were so impressed by Bingham High’s students unity and eagerness to serve. They finished over 100 blankets in 3 hours with heartfelt individual notes of love, encouragement, and holiday greetings attached to each one.
“We welcome you with open arms and a lot of love. Have a wonderful holdiay season!”
“Good luck on your fresh start! You are never alone!”
“Happy Holdiays! Remember you are special and loved more than you know.”
“You are so strong and wonderful. You are a light to the world. We love you.”
In a world that can often appear dark, lonely, and full of hate, these students were a radiant example of light, friendship, and love. These teenagers’ generosity and goodness was proof that the future of their school, community, state, and country is in good hands. Thank you Bingham High School for making your school proud and the world a better place.