The employees of Heart n’ Home Hospice in Fruitland know first-hand about the grieving process and on Tuesday aimed to to extend their expertise to the community by participating in an international event — Chalk the Walks.
The global movement began in 2010 and takes place each year on the third Tuesday in August. The project is the work of The Joy Team, a nonprofit organization based in Vancouver, Washington. The organization started when its founder and her daughter began to place notes of inspiration and encouragement throughout the cities of Portland and Vancouver.
Locally, this movement has made an impact as Heart n’ Home Hospice using this event as a way to promote healing and wellness.
Director of Public Relations Kandice Dickinson explained that there are five central stations around the facility each with a unique message written on the sidewalk. These messages are: Love, Gratitude, Hope, I Miss You, Remembering. Dickinson added that this is an opportunity for everyone to work together as a community to promote healing and joy.
Grief is a condition that most people have faced or will face at some point. It takes on many forms and is not something that is easy to overcome.
Tamara Cates, social worker with Heart n’ Home, was leading a yoga group for this event. Cates has been working in social services for over 25 years and within the last year joined Heart n’ Home. She said how important it is for people to learn coping skills when going through the grieving process. She went on the say how doing something as simple as breathing in and out through the nose helps to self-regulate and lessen the “fight or flight” response. The purpose of offering sessions like these is to help people “find their center” and learn to utilize mindfulness.
“Everyone’s on a healing journey,” says Sharla Phelps, Heart n’ Home social worker. She expressed how this event is about finding hope and spreading words of affirmation.
Dickinson wanted to remind the community that Heart n’ Home is celebrating fifteen years of serving the community this year.
“We’re fifteen going on forever,” she stated.