Dear friends -
Armenians celebrate Christmas and New Year (Nor Dari) with abandon. Their homes are full of family, friends and neighbors for the twelve days of Christmas (between Christmas and Epiphany). And our home is no different.
Christmas and New Year are a time of celebration at Warm Hearth. We decorate a beautiful tree and overwhelm it with tinsel, decorations and lights. We participate in the feasts, songs and fullness of the season. Our staff labors with the residents to make platters and tables of food. With your support, our staff picks out meaningful and lovely gifts for each resident.
Last year, Santa Claus even made an appearance at the home and handed out the gifts. Our residents were brimming over with excitement and happiness.
It is a joy to create a life-giving Christmas for our dear residents who too often were forgotten and alone at this time of year in the past. Thank you for joining with us to make a space for joy and peace both in this season and through the year.
May you experience joy and peace in your own homes and hearts, too. If you would like to read our full newsletter, please see the attachment. Sincerely,Natalie
We are so grateful for the GlobalGiving platform and for the ways that you have found us and made our work your work. It has been wonderful to see Armenians and non-Armenians alike come together to sustain and support our home. We have loved hearing from some of you this year about why our work is important to you. And even if we have not heard from you, we can tell that our work is important to you through your gifts. You, in turn, are important to us -- and make it possible to create a home and lasting change for our residents. As winter settles hard over Armenia, we are busy preparing for the holiday season. One of our residents favorite parts of the year is the Christmas/New Year (Nor Dari) time. The house is decked with trees and ornaments and our staff make special holiday food. This year our residents are also busy preparing their own handicrafts to sell at exhibitions and Christmas bazaars in Armenia (see attached photos). They are learning to work hard toward the sustainability of their own home and we are proud of them. Join them in helping to raise life-giving funds for our home. Between December 1st and December 31st, if we are able to raise at least $3,000 from at least 30 unique donors, then we will qualify for one of nine bonus awards. This means that your gifts and the gifts of others will go even further in supporting our work. There are a few ways to participate. And we would be honored if you would consider these unique avenues:
Use this fundraising tool to engage your friends and family in supporting our work. With this tool you can share easily about why Warm Hearth is important to you and what its needs are.
Another option is to use these tribute cards to give gifts to your loved ones in honor of Friends of Warm Hearth. These can make lovely and meaningful gifts. Thank you for your care and attention to our home and our residents. We would like to offer a tribute to you -- as one of Warm Hearth's supporters -- for making a difference in the lives of our residents. We raise our glass to you. Blessings, this holiday season,
Natalie (for us all)
Each year our staff members and caregivers write and reflect about their work and their relationships with our residents and directors. As we read their reflections this year, we were struck by the deep tenderness and love they have for our residents. This tenderness is what makes Warm Hearth unique. Here are some of their thoughts and reflections. When Roman was in a complicated [medical] situation, I was with him from the time he went into the hospital until the day he got out. And I cared for him just like my own child. Sassoon is so good and transparent. There are no words to describe. When I come to work in the morning, he is the first person I say hello to. Every morning, seeing his smile, I also smile. When the residents receive something they like, right away they show me because they know that I rejoice with them. And when they have not felt good, they tell me because they know I care for them. My relationship with Gayane is as an equal. I listen to her opinion and give her my opinion regarding something or someone. Because our leaders and directors deeply care for the needs of the residents, we (as staff) do not have any concerns.
To read the full newsletter, download the attachment below. And thank you for your support and care. We are so appreciative of each of you.
Dear donors -
Life at Warm Hearth has been full this summer. Alina, one of our residents, recently wrote the following paragraph and wanted to share it with our supporters, you. "I have lived at Warm Hearth for eight years and it is my own home. I feel happy here. I have behaved myself more this past year. I haven’t been angry with anyone. I would like to live separately (on my own) and visit Warm Hearth once in awhile. I am closest to Gayane, Armine and Hasmik (other residents) and of the staff, I am closes to Karine, Rita and Jhanna.
I would like to make my bedroom more beautiful. I still love to draw and of the chores that I do, I enjoy most cleaning the bathroom. I would like to start baking all together and then I would like to be able to do it on my own. I would like to go on more walks. I want my sister to visit me."Thank you for listening, for caring about our residents, for making their lives more beautiful.
Sincerely, Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri
Dear friends and donors -
It's summertime and we have some news for you! As always, we are deeply grateful for the ways you give to our residents. Your gifts make such a difference in our residents' lives and in our home. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or if you are visiting Armenia. We would love to welcome you to our home and project for a visit.
Here are a few updates from the field. The full-length web version of this newsletter with photos can be found here. Creating an Art Community
UNISON, a Yerevan nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities, opened their arts studio to our residents this year. Two residents visit weekly to paint. They travel there independently, which speaks to their growth!
This is a truly collaborative effort. Costs are lovingly covered by SOAR-Colorado, a group dedicated to seeing the arts program at Warm Hearth unfold and expand. Our residents are blossoming with the arts program as they learn new skills, make new friends, and create beauty.
Hasmik, Armine and Agappy especially love this program and their gifts have been singled out by the instructor who is able to see them with new eyes. Different people see different gifts in our residents and vice versa.
We are reminded why the world needs our residents and why our residents need the world. We need others (including you) to call out our residents’ beauty and giftedness. We want to see them through your eyes. We want you to be touched by them as well.
To put it simply, we need one another, and are richer for this interdependence.
Roman recently experienced some serious health problems recently that required surgery. Now he is home again and thriving.
He has been changed by the way the staff cared for him through the experience. He knows that he can deeply trust them and he feels safe at our home. He knows where to turn when he needs help. His health has improved overall since the surgery. We are grateful for this.
As always, he still enjoys putting puzzles together and his smile still lights up a room.
Working With Our Hands
As we mentioned in the Annual Report, this year we are working toward creating outlets for our residents in terms of community, art, and vocation.
We are in the throes of considering small business ideas like baking bread that our residents can be intimately involved in and that are feasible in the local market.
This initiative is one that we foresee will enrich the residents’ lives and make our home more sustainable long-term, thus making it possible to reallocate some of our resources to care for more people in need.
We have a few funding possibilities, which is incredible, but what we need before funds is additional support on creating a solid business plan. It’s hard work! And, as you know, we subsist with as few hired hands as possible and rely heavily on volunteers.
If you have started a small business and feel your experience could transfer to our home, please reach out.
“It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey… The impeded stream is the one that sings.” -Wendell Berry
Residents' Handicrafts Now for Sale
The residents have been busy creating beautiful artisan carpets. Purchase some here to support our residents and our home.
Thank you for your generousity. Sincerely,
We do not serve the weak or broken. What we serve is the wholeness of each other and the wholeness of life. - Rachel Naomi Remen
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