Our Story


What began as one woman’s impromptu memorial on January 25, 2021, to honor her brother Rami Samman, created on Belmar’s beach, quickly became a national memorial that displayed thousands of names within 12 hearts – in less than 90 days! The number of hearts increased as people continued to add their loved ones’ names through the winter and spring. The original memorial was created out of yellow-painted clamshells in the shape of a heart, each heart filled with pebble stones remembering a loved one lost to COVID-19 and remains the center of our image.
As the summer season approached, it became clear that the growing memorial would have to be removed from the beach. Rima Samman, Rami’s sister, and her partner, Travis Whitaker, knew they were running out of time. Having a sense of urgency, along with volunteers, they were able to preserve the hearts in custom-made shadow boxes and removed the stones with names from the sand. The hearts were safely stored and documented until a location for their display was found. On July 25th, 2021, just six months later, we found a permanent home at Allaire Community Farm in Wall Township, NJ.



It is clear people going through loss need something to be done now to help begin their healing process, and our mission is to provide them with the space to do that. We cannot wait another year or two, or five.
Connecting with others who have experienced the same loss has proven invaluable—being given an open space to grieve and valuable in the recovery process. Throughout this pandemic, many of us not only lost our loved ones but were forced to grieve alone. Our mission is to provide each other with a connection, a sense of community that shows us we are not alone in our grief and honors the sacrifice of our loved ones.
Financial support is KEY to our organization’s continued ability to serve others impacted and in need. It allows us to advocate for and listen to those who are painfully grieving and provide a collaboration network of grief and recovery services. This memorial has become what it has solely off of donations. Thank you for helping us carry out our mission – created out of the sheer will of the pain our nation is feeling.