Sherri Wright and Mary-Anne Kaiser at the Houston Community market distributing Orange hearts. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Lakes District News)

Sherri Wright and Mary-Anne Kaiser at the Houston Community market distributing Orange hearts. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Lakes District News)

Houston residents start a local Orange Heart Project

Distribute orange hearts to bring awareness to residential school victims

The Orange Heart project raising awareness and honouring the victims of Canada’s residential schools, has arrived in Houston.

Last week, Mary-Anne Kaiser, along with Sherri Wright LeBlanc, handed out Orange hearts in Houston at the local farmer’s market.

The project, started by Eva Goldthorp of Chilliwack, called Chilliwack Orange Heart project, was adopted by Kaiser in Houston after moving from Chilliwack a few years ago.

“Eva and I keep in touch, she sent me her heart patterns to use, such a wonderful, caring lady. Awareness needs to be spread; these little angels were taken from their families, brought to residential schools, so far from their homes that parents could not visit, and subjected to horrors we can’t even imagine,” she said, adding that her role in the project was to bring awareness to Houston, “one Orange heart at a time”.

Kaiser and Wright are volunteering their time and supplied to cut these orange heart stickers and window cards. On their first day of handing out these orange hearts at the farmers’ market on Friday saw them give out close to 250 hearts.

“People were so grateful , it was a great response, there were tears but most of all there was conversation . Which is awareness . We did get some donations, so new stock has been ordered as we ran out of vinyl stickers quickly,” said Kaiser.

The project is important to Kaiser because according to her, these were innocent children that didn’t know what they were about to be faced with. Those were parents that loved their children, only to have them taken away from them.

“We are not selling the hearts, they are free , but if anyone would like to make a donation for more supplies, it would be greatly appreciated. Business donations would also be appreciated,” she said.

Kaiser and Wright Leblanc, who approached her to help with the project, are recent additions to the Houston community but for both, their love for small community living and bringing awareness to the issue had what’s brought them together.

“I would like to see a orange heart in every window in Houston. I have hopes that many more smaller communities will follow suit,” said Kaiser.

The duo is now looking for a good location to make these hearts available for pick up but for the time being they will will be available at the Houston Farmer’s Market on Fridays and will continue releasing updates on their next move, on their Facebook page, Houston BC Orange Heart Project.