We just celebrated Thanksgiving. At the Heart’s Home center in Brooklyn, NY, we shared a traditional turkey dinner with more than 40 friends, people that we serve in New York City and people who support us. We ate, played and sang with many who would have spent this day alone. It was a beautiful day! And, indeed, we have many things to be grateful for.
We are especially grateful for Heart’s Home: for 20 years of existence of this international movement of compassion. From a small seed, an intuition given to French priest Fr. Thierry de Roucy, on January 4, 1990, there are now more than 40 centers around the world, 1,300 volunteers who have dedicated one year or more of their lives to serve poor and troubled people in slums, and one hundred permanent members, priests and religious sisters.
Here, in New York, we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Heart’s Home on September 18, at the ICCC with a pilgrimage that gathered 120 people around the new built shrine to Our Lady of Compassion.
We are grateful for all the volunteers. From 40 different nationalities, they give their time and share their talents with the neediest of people. This year we doubled the annual number of American volunteers. Ten of them were serving abroad for more than a year and one volunteered in New York. As of this year, there are more than 30 American Alumni who are building a network of compassion throughout the United States. After their mission is complete, they continue to live the same spirit of compassion in their own environment.
Five other missionaries have already begun training to leave next summer/fall, exceeding our total at the same time last year. We are grateful for each person we serve around the world. Take, for example, the incredible story of Eva.
We are grateful for these two babies and for Eva’s beautiful testament of love. This story, as many others all around the world, encourages us to continue our work, with the assurance that genuine friendship can make the difference!
We are grateful for you! There are many of you who support us. We need your support, great or small, through donations or prayer. Thanks to your faithful generosity, we are able to continue to spread the word about our work, and to recruit and train American volunteers.
But our needs are great: we run two centers in New York and support one in Chile, where we serve troubled and disadvantaged individuals. We are expanding the hosting capacity of the ICCC in order to increase our activity. Considering our growing efforts to alleviate suffering in New York, we are planning to open a third center. These projects are very dear to us because they address a need that we see everyday: there are many who await a place to be loved, a friend to be with, and hope in life.
- With $20 you help with one week of public transportation to visit our most isolated friends.
- With $100 you help with one month of groceries for one volunteer in New York.
- With $300 you support one week of the Heart’s Home Center in Chile.
- With $600 you support a plane ticket for a volunteer to go to South America.
- With $1,000 you help us build the ICCC.
- You can also help us with your miles.
For all the support you already gave us and, beforehand, for your Christmas contribution, I extend to you a heartfelt “thank you”: you help us change lives, like Eva’s, Morgan’s, Abigaëlle’s, and Kathy’s.
On behalf of Heart’s Home board of Directors and Missionaries I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the Lord reward you for all you give to us with the hundredfold!
With my sincere gratitude and my warmest regards,
Laetitia Palluat de Besset
President of Heart’s Home USA