Founded by Mark Yaconelli on Valentine’s Day, 2010, The Hearth Community is a new model of community building based on personal storytelling, reflective listening, and community service. The Hearth Community develops community gatherings in which people explore, craft, and share stories from what they have lived.  The Hearth Community also raises money for non-profits in Southern Oregon through community storytelling events. Once a quarter we gather a handful of local folks to tell a true story, first person, based on a theme.  Past themes include: “Love Hurts,” “Tales from Childhood,” “Letting Go,” and “Wilderness Tales.” Each event includes live music (from bluegrass, to folk, to Celtic, to jazz) coordinated by Ashland fiddler Duane Whitcomb. We charge $5 to get in the door and all proceeds go to charities based in Southern Oregon like the Ashland Emergency Foodbank, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Dunn House, Rogue Valley Farm to School, Ashland Hospital Hospice, and others. If you have a story that fits the upcoming theme, contact Mark Yaconelli at yaconelli@msn.com.


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  1. Hi Mark – I love what you are doing here and wanted to reach out. I too believe in the power of storytelling as a way to connect with others. I have recently revamped my own cooking and storytelling blog which I think of as a cyber hearth–a place to gather round and tell life stories while cooking and sharing recipes. Perhaps there is a way to extend the reach of your community hearth to geographically disparate folks . . .
    Thank you for your beautiful vision in creating this model of community building!

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