Where the heart goes: Local woman brightening people’s days

Arts & Entertainment Community

NEW GLASGOW – Bonnie Cotter’s life changed dramatically in 2009.
She left her job out west and moved home to take care of her ailing mother in Pictou County.

For the first time in a number of years, Cotter found herself not working and living at home, something that seemed almost foreign to her.

“One day I went to get my hair done and I forgot my wallet,” recalls Cotter. “My (hairstylist) said, ‘don’t worry about it’. I couldn’t believe the kindness so I went home and made a heart as a thank you.”

Then Cotter decided to begin making these hearts, created with polymer clay, for acts of kindness, including all of the support staff who assisted with her mother’s care.

Over the years Cotter has handed out thousands of these hearts and is now trying to get them sold in the Ellen Store, on TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres’ website.

“It was something my mother and I used to do together. She would soften the clay for me and I would make them. In April 2009, my mother stayed in respite care for a week while I was away and when I returned she wanted to give the staff who were so good to her, these hearts. When we handed them out, she explained it and in that moment I never felt closer to her. There was such an understanding between the two of us.”

Two weeks later, Cotter’s mother passed away. Continuing to make and hand out these hearts are her means of maintaining that connection to her mother.

“These hearts wouldn’t exist without her.”

Cotter also noted that without the hearts that she sold, there were times where she may not have been able to pay the bills.

That’s why she is hoping to get the hearts sold in the Ellen Store, to remember her mother, but also to supplement her income and make the world a better place through kindness.
“Sometimes we forget to say thank you and we don’t realize the impact a simple thank you can have on someone.”

While watching the Ellen Show a few weeks back, Degeneres talked about a product and since then it has seen a major increase in sales, according to Cotter.

“Ellen (Degeneres) wanted to continue that so asked people to send in their products for a chance to be sold in the Ellen Shop.”

Cotter submitted a video of her heatpasses to the Ellen Show and is hoping people will go online and vote for her product. “I’ve always wanted to give one to Ellen,” she says. “I would love to put a heart in Ellen’s hands to say thank you for what she does. At the end of each show, Ellen talks about being kind to others and I think that’s great.”

To vote for Cotter’s heartpasses, go to Sellin’ Ellen or Ellentube and search Bonita Cotter.

“If you don’t try you will never get the chance. In a world that needs so much more kindness, it’s important to put out good acts and do kind things to uplift people.”

Bonnie Cotter shows off one of her heartpasses, clay hearts she creates to thank someone or acknowledge their kindness. Cotter is in the running to have her heartpasses sold in Ellen DeGeneres’ online store.
(Submitted photo)

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