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Arts for Hearts: Sophomores donate crafts to patients and essential workers


By Sally Murphy, Staff Reporter

Everyone needs a little joy in their life sometimes, especially hospital patients and the front-line workers who care for them during their stay. The community club Art for Hearts tries to bring smiles to the faces of hospital patients and caregivers. Starting Oct. 18 2020, the club has now amassed over 50 members, most of whom are Conestoga students. Sophomores Maya Rao and Taanvi Mathur co-founded the club with the goal of designing and making monthly craft projects to give to front-line workers. 

“It’s a really stressful time for front-line workers but then also for the hospital patients because of restricted visitation,” Rao said. “We wanted to do something that would brighten their days with personal touches, so we decided to make crafts and cards for them.”

Art for Hearts makes one type of craft project a month, which all members partake in. So far, there have been two months of crafting, producing November’s cards and December’s sock snowmen. Once all of the members have completed their crafts, Rao or Mathur drop them off to their Paoli Hospital contact Dana McKee. In the future, they want to expand their reach to not only hospitals, but also to preschools and senior centers as well. 

“We started Art for Hearts not just for the front-line workers, but for everybody in general,” Mathur said. “It’s not based for a certain group of people because there’s always someone who needs a little bit of appreciation.”

Rao and Mathur plan to apply to the Pennsylvania State Board of Charitable Organizations to register the club as a charitable organization. Art for Hearts plans to rely on the $13 annual membership fee until it is able to host a fundraiser and launch its website where donations will be accepted. There are monthly Zoom meetings that inform the club on the craft of the month, plans for future crafts, and other updates on club activities. 

“Right now, everyone crafts individually,” Mathur said. “But if COVID lightens up, hopefully we can have group crafting time and bond the club more.”

Art for Hearts has grown considerably in the three months it has been in operation, but Rao and Mathur still want more members to join. There is an incentive for growing the club: for each milestone of amassed members, a prize is given to the members, such as a wristband or t-shirt. 

“We want to continue to expand,” Rao said. “Our goal in the beginning was just to make cards and make someone’s day if we could. With every new member, it’s another day that we can make it; it’s another day we can hopefully make someone happy.”

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