PORT TOWNSEND — Instead of a sold-out luncheon, there’s a multifaceted portal. Free.
“Well Hearts 2021,” the new web presence hosted at JeffersonHealthcare Foundation.org, offers a guided meditation from holistic nurse Jackie Levin, an art class with local artist Dana Weir, short video stories and the chance to give local cardiac patients a hand.
“We had fun brainstorming all the possibilities,” said Kris Becker, foundation executive director, “and then being realistic as to what we could actually do” online.
It turns out she could do a lot.
The foundation, which normally hosts the Well Hearts Luncheon in February, this year offers information and inspiration via the Well Hearts website. And to take the place of the luncheon fundraiser, the site invites people to make donations to the foundation’s patient care fund.
The need for financial assistance among cardiac patients doubled in 2020, Becker said, as breadwinners lost jobs or had hours reduced.
To address that, the foundation set a fundraising goal of $20,000 by the end of February — and already the public is responding.
“We’re at almost 50 percent of our goal; we’ve raised $9,000” via the Well Hearts website donation page, Becker said Wednesday.
Next week, Kristin Manwaring Insurance of Port Townsend will start matching donations up to $1,500, she added.
Another form of giving: the virtual Valentine. The website has a page for people to send them to Jefferson Healthcare employees all month long.
Valentine’s Day is Sunday, but healthcare workers can use a message of thanks any time, Becker said.
The Well Hearts site is also a place for a bit of encouragement. People can enter their daily exercise and outdoor time and be eligible to win a drawing for a gift basket; on another page are video clips about ways to improve one’s heart health.
“We’re adding new videos every week, from friends,” Becker said.
A lighthearted art project is offered in the form of Weir’s Feb. 20 online heart garland-making class. Registration is free and materials will be curbside- or porch-delivered to participants in Jefferson County, Becker said.
With simple materials, participants will learn how to use color and shape to create unity, Weir notes on the website, to come away with garlands symbolizing creativity and self-compassion.
The whole Well Hearts platform has been in the planning since December, Becker said, when she and the foundation board were looking at the long winter ahead.
“In a time that can be heavy and dark,” she said, “we wanted to provide a spot of light and joy.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]