A HeARTwords Home for the Holidays

January 9, 2017

By Barry Siegel, Center for Independent Futures Life Skills Tutor and heARTwords founder and facilitator

On Saturday, December 17, 2016, the heARTwords writing workshop community celebrated the holidays by hosting a party for all of our community writers, volunteers, family members, and friends. Over 100 people came and enjoyed food, drinks, and great conversation.

To start the afternoon, a verbal heARTwords prompt was asked to all who attended: "Other than your family and friends who, what, or where is your most important sanctuary?" There were many different and interesting answers...water, exercise, faith, music, computers, reading, and travel. Our own Adrian Drower shared that his imagination is his most precious sanctuary...quite the creative response.

We discussed the notion that heARTwords is, first and foremost, a sanctuary, and that the real 'heartbeat' of heARTwords happens outside the twice a month gatherings here at Center for Independent Futures. Our writers become more confident and more willing to express themselves to their friends, family, and strangers as well. They now share their gifts with better communication and conversational techniques as a result of participating in heARTwords.

After sharing our writing, the event ended with socialization and conversation. It truly was a joyful celebration of community, creativity, and connection.

A special thanks to Ann Sickon for joining and participating in the festivities and for her constant support of our program and its purpose. We also thank all of Center for Independent Futures, the volunteers, and the families that believe in what we have done (for almost 8 years now), what we continue doing, and what new explorations we will do in the future. Our community is quite grateful for all of you.

To see more photos from the holiday party, taken by heARTwords participant Geoff Starr, visit our Facebook album here.

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