Location: 7551 SVL Box, Victorville, CA 92395
Owners: Kathy Farace
Number local employees: 2
By Nolan Patrick Smith
(Victorville)–The world needs more love, more heart, now more than ever. Victorville resident Kathy Farace saw this and answered the need literally with the “A Piece of Me” Exchange Heart, produced through Farace’s company, Inseparable Treasures. So, where did this idea come from?
“It started when my first granddaughter was living in Washington at the time, and I just missed her desperately.” Owner Kathy Farace said one how this all got started. Farace is also the Spiritual Care Coordinator and Bereavement Coordinator for Odyssey Hospice in Victorville. “Her dad was in the army, so he got stationed out there and they had to move. My heart was broken for her, so I thought what could I give to her that I can have something of, and that we could exchange and she could have pictures of grandma and I could have pictures of her. So, I had a patient who was 40, and she had a daughter who was 13, and the patient was dying of cancer and she was having to sign over guardianship of her daughter to another family and sending her off before she died because she didn’t want her daughter to watch her through the end process. My job was to help her emotionally through the process. So I am thinking of her, and I’m thinking, “that would be so extraordinary” to have something to exchange.”
So how does the Exchange Heart work? “Basically the exchange heart is where each person takes a side of a heart, and each side has a pocket where you can put special little mementos in there, whether it’s a swatch a cloth with you perfume on it, a picture, a locket, anything you want to do. It says on it “we’ll never be apart, I’m tucked inside your heart, here for you to squeeze, a piece of me.” So I made my first ugly one, but then I made another that turned out really good. I gave it to my granddaughter at three years old, now she’s five and half, and she still calls and says, “I’m squeezing my heart, grandma, do you have yours?”
The hearts are available in a variety for colors with various meanings. Measuring in at 13 in x 13 in, the hearts are available in the classic red, gold, the popular skull and roses and more. Specific hearts are available as well: military camouflage hearts are available for those with loved ones in the service, as are hearts for firefighters and law enforcement which feature their respective line of courage. A pink ribbon heart for breast cancer awareness is also available. “Anyone who buys a military, fire department, or pink ribbon hearts, we take five dollars of the proceeds and donate it to those foundations. We want to give back.”
The hearts attach such a meaning to them, as they are filled with the memories of a loved one that can last forever. “I went to a patient’s house when they had passed away, and there was his half a heart with all his pictures pinned to it, he was holding it when he passed away. They are going to bury him with it, and the other half goes to his little granddaughter who he was really close to.” In addition to the hearts, Farace has also created a few children’s books to go with the hearts, which are illustrated by Farace herself and available online.
The hearts have been purchased for a plethora of reasons, whether its for a loved one in hospice care, to children going away to college or to the military, even for boyfriends and girlfriends to share with each other. Hearts can also be purchased and donated to someone in the military, in hospice, for children in need of one and more. All the hearts are hand crafted by Farace herself. “For me this is a labor of love and I love every minute of it.”
For more information on Inseparable Treasures and the “A Piece of Me” Exchange Heart, you can visit their website at https://www.inseparabletreasures.com/. If you would like to speak to someone by phone, feel free to give them a call at 760-561-2088.