It is deep in the heart of winter at Warm Hearth. Our residents gather close to the hearth. It is a time to stay close to home in much of the world; it is a time to reach inward and to tend to the work that is always waiting there below our surfaces.
At Warm Hearth, that work means reflecting on our year—the rising and falling, the shining and the muddy. It means looking hard at the faces of our residents to see if the smile lines are deepening and recognizing where there is room to grow.
As I think back to the year, to the ways our grassroots efforts continue to reach for more water and expand, I am in awe of the ways that so many of you have made Warm Hearth yours. You are the ones tending the fire. You are the ones gathering the fruit and holding open hands out to the residents.
A few times this year, as inevitably happens, we have stumbled. We saw a resident lost and then, gratefully, found within 48 hours without harm. We have seen another resident spin out of control and despair and we have not been able to contain her pain within the walls of our home.
At every rising and falling, we try to bless and to hope. We try to remember that this work has a long arc, a trajectory that will extend beyond any of us. And we remember that what may seem final in the moment (for good or ill) is probably not final after all.
It is just one small part of a larger story, and in the meantime our work is to be faithful to today—to the art-making and the fundraising, the filing and the thanking, the loving and the dressing, the laughing and the teaching.
We are engaged in home-making for fourteen beautiful souls, who would otherwise be without. In a world that changes so fast and is fraught with uncertainty, what we want to offer our residents is a forever home.
Thank you for believing in this simple vision. Thank you for tending to their hearth. May we find a way, together, to make more homes in Armenia. And may you feel the warmth of your own hearth with those you love gathered close by.
Natalie Bryant-Rizzieri (Founder)Attachments:
PS. To read our entire annual report for 2014, please see the attachment.