Helping the Incarcerated Find Pathways to Healing

Support Heart to Heart’s Back-to-School drive!
In the back-to-school spirit, we at Heart to Heart want to share a story about how education can change lives. Read on to learn more about us and hear from our students about the value of Heart to Heart classes. If you are inspired to give, please know that every dollar will go towards funding a year's worth of weekly classes in one of our correctional facilities as described below.

What we do

Heart to Heart’s  curriculum teaches the kind of skills we only wish we’d learned in school: how to cope with stress, how to talk through conflicts, how to treat ourselves and other people with care, how to make sure everyone matters.  

We offer weekly classes to incarcerated men and women at three correctional facilities in the Delaware Valley: 

• Camden County Correctional Facility (Camden, NJ)
• Bayside State Prison (Leesburg, NJ)
• Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia

We support these men and women in developing four critical skills that can improve their relationships with themselves and other people: mindfulness, empathy, decision-making, and conflict transformation. Professional facilitators with extensive training and/or certification in Nonviolent Communication, yoga, and meditation teach Heart to Heart classes.

Heart to Heart  classes provide alternatives to physical and verbal violence—our teachers help students develop strategies that are rooted in an awareness of both their own needs and other people’s needs within a conflict. We also help those students with substance-abuse histories to uncover the needs that underlie their addictive behaviors so that they can find other, less destructive strategies to meet those needs.

Our impact

Below, in their own words, students speak about how Heart to Heart has touched them:

“Heart to Heart helped me be patient with myself and my family more than any other program I took while I was incarcerated.” 
—Vinnie C., Bayside State Prison

“Nonviolent Communication is more than just talking to other people; it’s about how to talk to yourself and how you listen to people in a way you haven’t listened to them before. I learned the ability to have empathy for myself and my own mistakes and also to have empathy for people who have hurt me and empathy for the people I’ve hurt.” 
—Deb B., Federal Detention Center

"Violence is not just physical. It separates us. A lot of violence is in the mind, what we think."
—A student at the Federal Detention Center

“Being able to communicate is key and I never really in my life was able to communicate with people until I took [Heart to Heart] classes at Bayside. Now I can breathe and relax and see the bigger picture.”
—John J., Bayside State Prison

“Heart to Heart is not just a program, it’s how I want to live. I want to bring this way of living to youth who are like me, hurting and angry.”
—Justin K., Bayside State Prison

Who we are
Heart to Heart  is a small nonprofit of dedicated and compassionate people working to help incarcerated men and women improve their communication, decision-making, and conflict-resolution skills, and thereby improve their lives. In addition to our weekly classes in correctional facilities, we offer offer a free weekly practice group for returning citizens and community members, a monthly community workshop series also open to anyone, and a yearly weekend retreat for all those interested in learning how to communicate with more compassion and less judgement. 

Follow us on Facebook  and Twitter  to keep up-do-date on our work!

How you can help
It takes a great many resources to keep providing services to motivated men and women hungry for change. As fall begins, and millions of schools return to their mission of improving lives, Heart to Heart faces the very real possibility of running out of the funds we need to give our students the guidance, respect, and compassion—the second chance—they deserve.  

We need your help. Without it, Heart to Heart may soon lose its fight to remain open. Please help us kick off this school year by giving incarcerated members of our community the opportunity to grow, reconnect with their families and communities, and change their lives.

Our GoFundMe goal of $8000 will fund one year of weekly classes at one of the three correctional facilities mentioned above. But any amount you donate will help!  Here are some specific ways you can make an impact:

$125 -- the cost of teaching one 90-minute Heart to Heart class to 10 incarcerated students
$50 -- materials for one incarcerated student for a full 12-week cycle of Heart to Heart classes
$25 -- one set of Grok cards used in Heart to Heart classes
$20 -- one Nonviolent Communication book used in Heart to Heart classes

Please give today and help create new possibilities for an often overlooked population of men and women.

Click here to learn more about Heart to Heart. 

Remember, your donation is tax-deductible!  Heart to Heart is a 501(c)(3).  And if you prefer to would prefer to support our work with check, make it payable to Heart to Heart, and mail it to:

Heart to Heart
PO Box 1441
Merchantville, NJ, 08109

From all of us at Heart to Heart, thank you very much for helping us help others!

Donations (0)

  • Daniel Pearlman 
    • $25 
    • 1 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Jahan Sagafi 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Jill Smith 
    • $100 
    • 6 d
  • Gerard Sinzdak 
    • $100 
    • 8 d

Fundraising team: Heart to Heart Team (8) 

John Smith 
Merchantville, NJ
Heart-to-Heart Comienzos East Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
Learn more
Deborah Balogh 
Team member
Ahaji Schreffler 
Team member
Christine Gipple 
Team member
Maryann Bufanio 
Team member
See all
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more