Founded by Mark Yaconelli on Valentine’s Day, 2010, The Hearth (a registered nonprofit) is a new model of community building based on personal storytelling, reflective listening, and community service. The Hearth develops community gatherings in which people explore, craft, and share stories from what they have lived. The Hearth has been particularly effective in assisting communities in healing from trauma, deepening awareness around racial and social conflicts, and mobilizing local people to address environmental injustice. The Hearth has worked with a variety of nonprofits and community-based organizations across the United States and United Kingdom including the Oregon Department of Human Resources, Austin Theological Seminary, The Greenbelt Festival, The Ford Family Foundation, The Boys and Girls Club, Geos Institute, The Wild Goose Festival, Asante Hospice Services, The Church in Wales, and many non-profits in Oregon, Texas, and California.
A sampling of recent projects include:
- Working with The Mexican American Center in Austin, Texas to give voice to the suffering of undocumented people.
- Creating a platform for people in North Wales to hear the stories of refugees after the Brexit vote.
- Recording and presenting stories of kindness and generosity to promote healing after a shooting at Umpqua Community College.
- Partnering with the State of Oregon to help small towns address racial differences.
The Hearth has produced public events in Oregon, North Carolina, Texas, California, and the United Kingdom– raising awareness of hundreds of social and environmental issues. In the process, The Hearth has raised funds and volunteers for countless non-profits within the United States and United Kingdom. In addition to producing events, The Hearth has led numerous workshops and retreats for community leaders, religious workers, and community and environmental activists across the United States and United Kingdom. Through all of our work we’ve helped hundreds of people experience compassion, public acceptance, personal empowerment, and the pure joy of neighborliness by providing safe and transformative spaces for people to share their journey with others.
In addition to working with various social agencies, once a quarter The Hearth gathers a handful of local folks in Ashland, Oregon to tell a true story, first person, based on a theme, to raise funds for local non-profits. Past themes include: “Love Hurts,” “Tales from Childhood,” “Letting Go,” and “Wilderness Tales.” Each event includes live music (from bluegrass, to folk, to Celtic, to jazz) coordinated by Ashland fiddler Duane Whitcomb. Events charge $5 to get in the door and all proceeds go to charities based in Southern Oregon like the Ashland Emergency Foodbank, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Dunn House, Rogue Valley Farm to School and others. If you have a story that fits the upcoming theme, contact Mark Yaconelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hearth is a non-profit registered in the State of Oregon (ID 46-2554780)