Performing Hearts

Kids Helping Kids

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The Nutcracker is Coming to Lake Hopatcong!
Enjoy the Show and Support the Performing Hearts Dancers
Tickets available from
The Dance Academy of North Jersey
Tickets $10 each - All proceeds to benefit Performing Hearts

In a perfect world, every child would be healthy with opportunities to pursue their dreams, including their dreams in the arts. Unfortunately, our world includes many children who are living with disabilities and battling serious illness, both physical and mental -- making these dreams very difficult to realize. Performing Hearts provides opportunities for these children to enjoy the art of dance -- first-hand with their peers and with others who have committed their time and talent to help Performing Hearts in its cause.

The State of New Jersey, in a Joint Legislative Resolution of the Senate and General Assembly, formally recognized the contributions that Performing Hearts and its founders have made to the State and its people. The resolution was adopted in connection with Performing Hearts being recognized as the state-wide winner of the coveted Spirit of Community Award. The Spirit of Community awards program is sponsored by The Prudential Insurance Company of America in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Performing Hearts was among over 23,000 entries representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Two winners were selected from each state and Performing Hearts was honored as a winner from the State of New Jersey. National and State recognition events were held in Washington, D.C. and Trenton, New Jersey. Award recipients were addressed by Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State, Miss America, Senator Corzine and many others.

Performing Hearts has been enabling children to enjoy dance for more than ten years, designing programs based on the needs of children in neighborhoods where Performing Hearts volunteers live. Performing Hearts founders Jason and Jordyn Luks organized their first program in 2000, described below in their words:

“We started Performing Hearts initially as a "tzedakah" (doing good things) project. We wanted to spend time with the people who we sometimes might, unintentionally, be forgetting - in particular, people who might otherwise feel left out in a kind of "personal wilderness." We chose to focus on the many children stricken with terrible illnesses and disabilities. To accomplish our goals, we organized a group of our friends who dance, sing, and play musical instruments. Most of our activities are conducted at special camps, hospitals and nursing homes where we conduct basic movement and dance workshops to upbeat music and perform dance routines, vocal numbers and musical pieces.

When we initially reached out to our friends with the idea behind Performing Hearts, we received a tremendous response. We spent several months planning for our first major event. We were obviously very anxious as the day approached........Well it turned out to be a major success! We visited Camp Happy Times in Tyler Hill, Pennsylvania. Camp Happy Times is a camp for kids who are battling cancer and blood disorders. They host approximately 200 children ranging in age from 5 to 20. The camp is run by
The Valerie Fund. We recognize the Valerie Fund and the Camp Happy Times leadership for having the courage to give us the opportunity to share in their wonderful gift. From our experiences, we have learned that helping other people is important. It might take a lot of your time but it is not hard to do, and it is a lot of fun and rewarding. We believe that Performing Hearts is about doing the right things and we are committed to keeping it going."

We can, and will, make a difference in our communities
We are lucky to be able to give to others
Our friends and families will help us
We all live in the midst of those we can help
Anything we do, no matter how small, has a positive impact
Everyone is welcome to join us
We will have fun along the way
We will collaborate to attract and motivate other volunteers
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