The Heart Story
This is the beginning of a story. A story about adventure, compassion, unlikely friendship and unexpected blessings. I hope as you read it, you find some inspiration to spread compassion in your own way. There’s never been a more crucial time to spread your light around. The world desperately needs it.
A couple of years ago, my Dad handed me this small, handmade wooden heart that was made by his friend Gary. I had just started my podcast, Imperfection Wins (now The Compassionate Action Podcast), where I focused on embracing imperfection and extending yourself and others grace.
As I held the heart in my hand, it came to me. The heart was beautiful because it was imperfect. Sometimes you get a nudge in life, and this was mine. I asked my Dad if I could order hearts from Gary to send out to my listeners. When my Dad told Gary, he was surprised and very tearful about the fact that someone valued something he had created. Gary admitted that what he loved most about the hearts was that they were imperfect and unique, but wasn’t sure others would feel the same.
The work Gary goes through for each heart is remarkable. He begins with scraps of wood that most people would just throw away. Gary sees the beauty in the raw material and begins by drawing hearts on each little piece and then carving them. He carefully refines each one, sanding them until they reveal a beautiful depth, including the natural cracks, lines, circles, and imperfections. I love the way Gary sands away the edges by hand until they are smooth. It’s sort of like how life naturally sands us down over time if we are willing to let the good stuff in.
When we started, we didn’t know how impactful this journey would be. That such a small object would have so much meaning to so many. These hearts represent so much more than we anticipated. Imperfection, meaning, compassion, hope, grace, love and comfort.
To date, we have sold over 5,000 hearts and expanded into other products. The sale of each heart helps create a sustainable income for Gary. As we expand, our mission is to support others through partnering with carefully selected non-profits that focus on creating opportunities for vulnerable communities and the historically marginalized. Will you join us?