Heart Attacks at Cridge Transition House

Written by Marlene Goley.

Kathy is a wise and creative social work student who did her 4th-year practicum at Cridge Transition House for Women. She observed all the residents working hard to get housing applications done, applying for income assistance, dealing with lawyers and the legal system, and doing the millions of other tasks needed to launch a new life free of violence.  Kathy observed how hard staff were working to keep everyones’ To Do List updated and being immersed in all the busyness.  With her fresh perspective, she also saw what was missing – taking a little time to appreciate and encourage each other.  That’s when the Heart Attacks started.

Each week, Kathy cut out paper hearts and chose which resident most needed a Heart Attack. Then she handed out the paper hearts to all the other residents and staff and asked us to write a little note of encouragement or appreciation on our hearts.  She gathered them all up and then taped them to the recipient’s bedroom door. Each recipient was delighted to see her door covered in hearts and read all the uplifting and encouraging messages.  The hearts remained on the door until the resident left, taking her hearts with her.

Kathy successfully completed her practicum in early July.  Responsibility for the Heart Attacks has been eagerly taken on by one of our amazing volunteers.  We are so grateful to Kathy for all she did during her practicum, not the least of which was reminding us how important it is to take a moment to appreciate each other.

Some heart attacks do not require our CPR skills – just a bit of construction paper and a few kind words.

Learn more about the Cridge Transition House for Women.