Potsdam church hangs 2,000 'Detained Hearts' to highlight humanitarian crisis
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 5:21 pm

The Detained Hearts project completed Tuesday, Aug. 27, has 2,000 handmade hearts hanging at Potsdam’s First Presbyterian Church to represent the 2,000 children in detention camps in the U.S. NCNow photo by Cheryl Shumway

POTSDAM -- Two thousand handmade hearts are strung on trees outside Potsdam’s First Presbyterian Church to represent the 2,000 children in detention camps at the southern U.S. border.

“Besides several people from the Presbyterian Church, I’ve had folks from all over the country and the world (Spain, Ireland, New Zealand) make and mail the hearts,” said organizer Renee Stauffer, Nicholville.

The Detained Hearts project’s aim is to highlight the situation of the many children imprisoned in detention camps apart from their families, states the church’s Facebook page.

A poster on the church lawn reads "Please contact your representatives and urge them to act to end this humanitarian crisis."

Another poster reads, “If you are able, support organizations working for justice on behalf of these aspiring Americans:” www.raicestexas.org and www.njfon.org

“I started the project because I was feeling discouraged about the situation, knowing these children are suffering, and hearing local people discount the experiences of these aspiring Americans, and place little value on their lives. I've heard dismissive remarks so frequently such as, "they never should have come in the first place", "what kind of parent brings their child on such a dangerous journey", etc.” said Stauffer.

“I wanted to spotlight the injustice of the situation and encourage people to get involved. Not everyone is able to donate to organizations working at the border, but everyone can be an advocate.”