Monday, March 25, 2019

Support American Troops with Hands Touching Hearts

Amanda Scopelliti ’20

Features Editor

On Thursday, Mar. 7 from 5 pm until 8 pm in the Mather Hall lobby, Trinity students can support our troops by decorating a medal ribbon and writing a thank you note through a global outreach effort called Hands Touching Hearts. There’s a five-dollar donation fee to cover supplies and postage (so make sure to bring cash, a check, or your credit card), and the medals are given to active-duty members of the military at military bases and healthcare facilities.

Hands Touching Hearts was brought to life in 2017 by Ann M.Cosgrove, an artist based in Rockville, Connecticut, with the goal of showing appreciation for the men and women who serveour country through art. Cosgrove says that “we all have the power to join together and let our service members know that we are grateful for the sacrifices they make on our behalf.”

Both of Cosgrove’s parents contributed to the war effort during World War II, and they are honored through the design on the medallion. Her father, William J. Cosgrove, was a member of the United States Air Force and flew 34 missions over Europe as a radio operator/gunner on a B-17. Her mother, Anna Cosgrove, worked as a civilian in the aircraft industry on American soil.

Ann says her late parents taught her that “a compassionate heart manifests itself through the work of loving hands.” The medallions include tracings of their hands, her father’s on the left and mother’s on the right, along with an American flag background and the words “made for you by loving hands.”

Cosgrove says that her mother “had the ultimate loving hands, always reaching out to family, friends, neighbors, and strangers,” and when she passed away in 2013, Ann knew that she “wanted to keep the spirit of medal of appreciation for service members prior to his passing in 2017. Ann says that she has “faith” that her parents know about the success of Hands Touching Hearts, and she hopes they are “proud of what’s being accomplished through their loving hands.”

Cosgrove emphasizes that this is an effort that people of all ages can participate in and that no specialized artistic skills are required. In the past two years, she has introduced theprogram in a variety of communal spaces including schools, senior centers, retail stores, restaurants, libraries, and more, and thousands of medals have been decorated by individuals aged 2 to 102.

When asked about why it’s important to support members of the American military, Ann says, “I am very fortunate and proud to be an American. I did nothing to deserve or earn the freedom and opportunities I enjoy in this country. Every day, there are men and women serving in the U.S. military, voluntarily risking their own lives for mine. Why is it important to support our troops? How can we not?”

To participate in Ann’s effort to show gratitude to active-duty members of the military, make sure to stop by the Mather Hall Lobby on Thursday, Mar. 7 between 5 and 8 pm. For more information on Ann and herwork, visit www.ann-spirations.ecrater.com.

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