A Mission Moment with Marilyn

How many of us can look back on our youth and recollect a fond memory of a field trip?  I know I can. As a child, I vividly remember a trip to the Wadsworth Atheneum to see a traveling exhibit of Whistler’s Mother.  I will never forget how large it was, but maybe it seemed so big because I was child.  What I do know for sure is that this childhood experience is what started my lifelong love of museums.

When Fred W., The Open Hearth Recovery Case Manager, began asking clients how we can improve life at The Open Hearth, he learned that a group of the men had never been outside the city of Hartford and many of our clients had never taken a field trip as a child.

The men began thinking about places they wanted to go and things they wanted to do.  Since that day, the men have organized a spiritual retreat to Enders Island in Stonington, a trip to Mystic Aquarium, an evening at a UCONN hockey game, and an excursion to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Because the men can tell you what these field trips mean to them better than I can, I want to share with you a client’s reflection on his experience –

I had never been to The Basketball Hall of Fame before.  It was very moving to be able to get such an in-depth look of many of my heroes and teams from childhood. They say that recovery (like Basketball) is a team sport, not an individual sport. Our trips really bring that concept into the light for me.” 

These field trips have provided clients with the opportunity to leave day-to-day challenges behind for a moment, and think and experience life beyond the walls of The Open Hearth.  As one field trip participant shared,

“The Open Hearth trips are very helpful in my recovery.  It is great to get off site together, have some laughs with my brothers, learn about and do things I have never done before.  Our trips get me out of my comfort zone, a zone which can be very dangerous.”

Thanks to your continued support of The Open Hearth, field trips are becoming an unexpected, but important part of supporting clients on their journey to recovery, permanent housing, and stable employment.

With deepest gratitude,


Marilyn E. Rossetti
President & CEO