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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Heart to Heart

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders

Mission: Heart to Heart offers pathways to healing by helping people reclaim their innate capacity for compassion. Our transformative education in mindfulness and empathetic communication provides a vital toolkit of inner resources that empowers individuals, families, and communities—in particular those affected by incarceration—to break patterns of addiction, alienation, and violence and make choices that lead to thriving futures.

Target demographics: incarcerated men and women find pathways to healing

Direct beneficiaries per year: 343 people who were incarcerated or affected by incarceration

Geographic areas served: Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia

Programs: weekly workshops (inside and outside of correctional facilities) focused on developing skills in nonviolent communication, mindfulness, empathy, decision making and conflict resolution.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Heart 2 Heart brings humanity to our prison system. Trained volunteers build relationships with those incarcerated and allow hope and healing to take place by teaching prisoners how to relate to their own feelings and how then to translate that to the relationships they will have when they go home. My son has been incarcerated for many years but not in a system or location that Heart 2 Heart can serve. The programs offered by Heart 2 Heart serve all people but they are a particular gift and need for those who have been so hurt themselves and find themselves in a prison system that is broken. Heart 2 Heart offers a great solution.

Comments ( 1 )

JohnRSmith Thanks very much, buildjakes_place! We very much appreciate the support!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been working with Heart to Heart since 2015. The work of NVC is transformational in my life. I am learning ways to relate from the heart, my own heart connected to others' hearts.
The distinction between needs and strategies in NVC has been huge for me -- i can see how often i run stories in my mind because i am frustrated by a strategy of how to get something done; underneath the other party's strategy and my own story in my head is need, (aka a heart longing, a value,)around which we are usually aligned. How surprising it was to learn this. How challenging to remember in the day to day. How transforming of those stories that might run in my mind around a conflict...
On Tuesdays, Heart to Heart sponsors a practice group in Merchantville. I have been going with some regularity over the past 3 1/2 years unless I am out of town. The practice group is invaluable -- we share real time experiences of learning, practicing, integrating NVC. We are supported in being human! Being human with a caring heart. Creating community with a caring heart. All so delicious and life affirming -- personally and communally.
Now all this doesn't mean that I succeed at NVC all the time -- but it does mean that fidelity to practicing the skills has an impact -- and indeed, "Life is more wonderful!" Thank you to all at Heart to Heart who have been part of this journey. NVC has become a significant spiritual practice for me. I am soooo grateful!

Comments ( 1 )

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JohnRSmith 10/31/2019

What a wonderful account to read! Thank you so very much, and I'm thrilled that Heart to Heart has been able to help you discover so much about yourself!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Heart to Heart has changed my perspective and my heart about those that are or have been incarcerated. I used to be afraid and turn the other cheek but after going to many fundraisers and listening to the personal stories of individuals who have been transformed by the grace of God and the work of Heart to Heart, I now have a different view. Heart to Heart works with prisoners that are close to being released and teaches them about how God loves them and provides hope to the hopeless. Heart to Heart emphasis nonviolent communication (NVC) and helps those about to transistion to life outside the prison walls. One particular story that touched my heart was a mom who had her little girl next to her side and was able to turn her life around and now has her own hair salon. Seeing her and the daughter hugging made me realize that the work that Heart to Heart is doing is priceless! I realize that these individuals are no different then anyone else and unfortunately they made bad choices and ended up behind bars. Heart to Heart not only operates in prisons but offers many workshops available to the public to teach NVC and helps individuals learn mindfulness and radical hospitality. I recently attended a workshop and it was so inspiring and opened my eyes to the way we should treat others. i can't say enough about the hard work that the staff at Heart to Heart and it's many wonderful volunteers have done! Check them out at www.heart2heartinc.org.

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JohnRSmith 10/31/2019

Thanks so much for your kind words and support!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Heart to Heart has been coming to the county jail here in Camden NJ for the past five years. They have been faithful and diligent in their commitment to their service. They come weekly to provide a non-violent communication seminar to the women and the men confined to the facility. We have noticed a significant change in the individuals that participate in their seminars. They are more respectful and able to engage in open communication without stressful encounters. This is a major plus in this environment. Their seminars are an added bonus to the curriculum that we present here in the facility's treatment program for addictions.

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JohnRSmith 10/31/2019

Thanks very much for your support and partnership!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am happy to recommend Heart-to-Heart. For me learning gradually to speak the language of non-violent or compassionate communication has been life-changing. It has helped me to be better able to speak with people whose beliefs are not mine, to be a better listener, and to really hear others with an open heart and respond to them in a compassionate way. Our leaders respect us and gently guide us to understanding. I admire those who are going to jails and prisons to teach these skills. Heart-to-Heart has so much to offer. I'm just a rookie, but the programs, classes, and experiences encourage me to keep on growing.

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JohnRSmith 10/30/2019

Thanks so much for this positive review, anne1391! We appreciate your support and are grateful for your partnership!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

heart to heart classes teach simple, effective tools that improve human understanding and thus uncover compassion for self and one another. i appreciate being able to reach individuals, parents, couples, etc., to learn and share perspectives that everyone can thrive and do no harm in the ways we relate and communicate.

as a heart to heart volunteer, i get to teach the skills of nonviolent communication to men and women incarcerated in new jersey and philadelphia. heart to heart has a small staff, but a big footprint that adds heartful skills of human connection and compassion. i'm grateful to be a part of the mission. my life is richer as a result.

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JohnRSmith 10/30/2019

Thanks so much, moving water! We appreciate your kind words and your extraordinary work!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heart to Heart has helped me to communicate with compassion to family members. I have taken different programs with Heart to Heart and found out that I can speak, not with judgement, but with care. There is a community feeling with the programs. I know Heart to Heart teaches non violent communication with incarcerated men and women, but this same communication feeds each and every one of us, no matter where we are in life.
Thank you Heart to Heart.
Maryann

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JohnRSmith 10/30/2019

Thanks so much for your kind words, and for all that you do to help us with our mission, Graceandme!

1 Susan W.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As somebody who has benefitted so much from Heart to Heart I feel honored to share what I have learned with people who are incarcerated. The people I have worked with in prison have shared about the improvement of their relationships since they have learned the tools H2H teaches. One woman was able to repair her relationship with her mother and therefore had a place to go upon release from prison. Otherwise she would have been homeless. Keep up the great work Heart to Heart!

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JohnRSmith 10/31/2019

Thanks so much, Susan!

1 Elliott C.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Heart 2 heart helped me in various ways. I am not a returning citizen but I have seen and experienced the truly healing and empowering effects of the work they do. I attended a weekly group that focused on mindfulness, empathy, and trauma healing. It changed my life after my divorce and am grateful for how they work with inmates to give them these same life saving skills they taught me. I was so compelled by the impact they make in local communities and in the inmates lives that I even volunteered my time to help this organization carry out their mission of helping people affected by incarceration find pathways to healing.

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JohnRSmith 10/29/2019

Thanks so much, Elliott! We appreciate the kind words!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am very much interested and involved with Heart to Heart. I an inspired by their mission and the work they offer. It is so needed and they work very hard to serve an incredibly underserved and frankly most often uncared about community of people. They serve with integrity and skill. I am proud to be a part of Heart to Heart in the small ways that I am.

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JohnRSmith 10/29/2019

Thanks very much, drterrie!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have attended several workshops. Heart to heart has given me hope when it comes to being understood as well as understanding others. My girlfriend’s participation in the program helped me to see into her heart. We are happily married now and work to strengthen our connection using NVC skills that we learned at their workshops.

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JohnRSmith 10/29/2019

Thanks so much, still_learning! We appreciate the support and are happy to have been able to help!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heart to Heart found me while I was in prison, and through their programs and support I was given hope for my future and a pathway toward healing. I have been out of prison for four years now and the support they give me is just as strong now as when we first met behind the walls almost 6 years ago. I believe this program can make a difference in people's lives - not just incarcerated humans, but victims of crimes and all of the family members who are involved in conflict.

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JohnRSmith 10/29/2019

Thanks so much, BFree! We are always here for you!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I owe my mindfulness and meditation practice to the Heart-to-Heart family, who taught me to identify my feelings, express what I needed, and take responsibility for my actions -- all of which has made me a calmer, more compassionate person. Their work with incarcerated people, returning citizens, and affected communities provides a service that keeps on giving, long after sessions end. I highly recommend this group.

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JohnRSmith 10/29/2019

Thanks so much, bml318! We are grateful for your kind words and are pleased to have been helpful!