Once a week, members of Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ Women’s Philanthropy group gather with seniors who live at Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly’s Shillman House. Like the sewing bees of earlier generations, this is an opportunity to do some handiwork together while enjoying one another’s company. This group makes Feelie Hearts, which are small red hearts that come with a message of support. Usually they are distributed to medical students who are working hard to learn to care for others and to cancer patients who have a difficult journey to endure.

Earlier this month, a multi-generational group of 35 came together to sew Feelie Hearts for Marathon victims and their families. Working at a marathon-pace, the group created a basket filled with hearts. Each one was sewed with great care and came with a sweet message attached:

“These hearts are our way of reaching out and letting you know that we are thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery. The hearts were sewn by hand so that we could stuff them with love, hugs and positivity. Use it as a stress ball and squeeze it tight to let the love and good wishes out.”

Kim Berliant, the catalyst for the Shillman House Feelie Hearts Group and Beth Sackstein delivered the hearts to Spaulding Rehab Hospital to be distributed to victims and families of the Boston Marathon bombing.

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