If you’re reading this blog post, then you have found your way to the new website for The Hand to Heart Project. Thanks for coming.
If you are new to Hand to Heart, here is a quick introduction. We are a nonprofit program in the Upper Valley area of New Hampshire and Vermont offering free in-home massage and compassionate touch to people with cancer. Our service is provided by experienced massage therapists with sixty or so years of combined experience dedicated to helping people who are facing the challenges of cancer and cancer treatment, from diagnosis through cure – or, when that is not possible, through the end of life. We also offer massage to the primary caregivers of our clients, a service that we have been working to expand in recent months. Hand to Heart was once described by a client’s son as “a small miracle of suffering made easier through healing touch and presence.” It’s always been one of my favorite reactions to what we do.
The program was founded in 2007, and has been supported since then almost entirely by grants and donations, with occasional fund-raising events helping out.
With our new website comes this new blog, which will be a chance for me to offer updates on what’s happening with the program, as well as stories and observations from working with people who are dealing with cancer, and with their mortality.
And with this first entry, I want to offer some timely details on two ways to help support our work. In both cases, there’s something in it for you.
First, an event that has become an annual opportunity to shake the mud and snow off and do some dancing and bidding in one place. It’s the Spring Dance & Silent Auction, scheduled for Saturday, April 7, from 7:30-11 p.m. at Plainfield (NH) Town Hall. The fantastic local band The Party Crashers will provide the music for the third year in a row. And tables in the hall will be filled with about a hundred items for you to bid on in the silent auction. Pottery and paintings. Gift certificates for massage therapy and for dinners at more than fifteen restaurants. Golf in Woodstock. An oil change, a furnace cleaning, jewelry, crafts of many types, and dozens of other items.
This event, with a $10 requested donation at the door, has raised well over $20,000 for Hand to Heart over the last several years. So head to Plainfield on the seventh. Bring your dancing shoes. And your checkbook.
(The committee organizing the dance/auction includes Briane Pinkson, Ilsa Pinkson-Burke, Hannah Humpal, Nora Kells Gordon and Beth Hazlett. They’ve done a tremendous amount of work. Many, many thanks to them all.)
Second, a quilt. It’s been a few years since we raffled off a quilt to support the project. I’m really pleased that we’re getting to do it again this year. We’re expecting to receive a quilt produced by the Cornish Quilters some time soon, and once it’s in hand, we’ll be selling raffle tickets over the course of several weeks. I’ll post more about it here on the website and on our Facebook page after we get the quilt. Every quilt this group has made for us in the past was gorgeous. This one will be, too. You’ll want a lot of tickets.
Hand to Heart’s board of directors and I are grateful to all who have allowed us into their homes to care for them or for a loved one, and to all who have provided the financial support to keep the program going for nearly eleven years. We all feel very fortunate.