The Folk School community has always come together to support one another during challenging times. Inspired by the efforts of essential workers, we created Hearts at Work, a project to acknowledge and show our gratitude for front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the course of our two-month submission period, we received 2,500 heart-themed crafts from 190 artists across the country to be presented to our community.

We have made our final deliveries of hearts to essential workers in Clay and Cherokee counties, concluding our Hearts at Work project. We are overwhelmingly thankful for the staff, artists, students, and community members that created hearts to give for this cause. To showcase our makers, we’ve created a photo gallery of submissions. If you’d like to take a peek and see these thoughtful creations, visit our Hearts Abound blog post.

Glass heart with wire by John McGill

Quilted coasters by Sara Cronk

Iron heart hooks by Lyle Wheeler

Hearts at Work submissions reached first responders, restaurants, grocery stores, medical staff, and more. Our first stop for delivery was Hayesville Ingles, where the idea for Hearts at Work originated. Our Executive Director, Jerry Jackson was inspired by an act of kindness received from a cashier named Jimmy. In the early phases of quarantine, Jerry had grabbed one too many loaves of bread past the existing limit while grocery shopping. This mistake was met with patience from the cashier. That moment sparked an appreciation for front-line workers who were tirelessly working to keep our community running.

From there, the Hearts at Work project was set in motion. Honoring this store was a major part of bringing the project full circle, and we were able to meet staff, red bags in hand, filled with crafts.

Delivering hearts to Hayesville Ingles Store Manager Greg Hughes.

Some of our recipients were able to share their reactions with us through social media. Here are some of the places our hearts traveled to:

The best way we can find to express our gratitude for anyone who played a part in this project would be through these words we received:

“How do I express how touched and in awe I am by the generosity of the creative people who put their heats into this? I am amazed and brought to tears.” -Deena Collins, Business Development Representative at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital

Thank you again to everyone who contributed. Without you, none of this would have been possible. Your support brightened someone’s day and made an impact on someone who you may never meet. We are so thankful for your on-going support of the Folk School and your contribution to our vision of a community that awakens, enlivens, and enlightens the world.

For more information on our outreach efforts, contact Barbie White, our Outreach Coordinator.

Delivering hearts to Dr. Mitchell’s office.

John C. Campbell Folk School
About John C. Campbell Folk School

The Folk School transforms lives, bringing people together in a nurturing environment for experiences in learning and community life that spark self-discovery. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.