MONTVILLE, NJ – On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Montville Senior Center was buzzing with excitement as 140 girl scouts from the area participated in “creating hope…one heart at a time.”

Woodmont Elementary School’s fifth-grade Girl Scout Troop #1128 organized a Hearts of Hope event to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. Troop leaders Lori Gallucci and Lucia DeFilippo helped lead their troop of 17 Girl Scouts to plan this project. Gallucci said, “Our troop has participated in the Hearts of Hope program for the past five years and decided that they wanted to run the program this year.”

Hearts of Hope is a nationwide group of volunteers organized to create and distribute beautiful keepsake hearts, with a message of hope, to people in need everywhere.  Hearts of Hope are delivered as gifts to people transitioning through difficult times in their lives. This includes patients facing cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, their caregivers and families, people whose loved ones have died, men and women in the military and communities facing tragedy.  Each keepsake heart is accompanied by a handwritten greeting card personalized by the painter.

With the Hearts of Hope mission in mind, Gallucci said, “The hearts created today will be sent to cancer patients at our local hospitals.”  Each Girl Scout at the event had the opportunity to create up to seven hearts, which means that nearly 1,000 messages of hope will be shared with those in the community who need it most.