Global unity touches her heart
Couple create a pin, then a world unity movement in Sept. 11 aftermath — and it keeps growing

By FRED SWEGLES
Sun Post News

In April, Dena Hart Van Slyke and her husband Lee drove across 11 midwestern states, going from town to town visiting historical buildings, meeting local people and handing out lapel pins.

"We became known as the traveling pinisters," Dena said. "And thus began our One Global Heart Pinistry."

It's a business. It's also the San Clemente couple's own personal world unity movement, based around a lapel pin that Dena designed last fall in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America.

Van Slyke said she was inspired by the way American flags went up all over the country after the attacks, and how people of all origins united to say no to global terrorism. She watched that sentiment spread worldwide.

"I decided to create a new symbol or image that would not use any language, would not reflect any borders, would not depict any religion and would have no political affiliation," Dena said.

She combined the numeral 1, a globe and a heart. She ordered lapel pins from a San Clemente company, Emblematics.

"Soon an entire business grew," Van Slyke said.

Through her Web site, she sells lapel pins for $3.95, beverage mugs for $10, shirts for $15 and hats for $12.95. Also available are candles, ceramic tiles, flags and notepads.

There is a CD of a "One Global Heart" song, written by Dena and performed by Barbara and Ralph Tancredi.

Twenty percent of the proceeds go to charities — chiefly Rotary International, Doctors Without Borders and the Peace Corps.

Dena is a local real estate broker, but today she estimates she is spending 50 percent of her time on One Global Heart.

"It started as a vision," she said. "It is growing into a business. I don't know where it is going. This is totally heartfelt. Lee has gotten pulled into it."

In June, Dena set up a One Global Heart merchandise booth to sell merchandise and promote her ideas at a Forster Ranch 5K run. She distributed pins at an international church group's conference in Monterey, sending 200 pins to Russia with conference delegates. She has sent pins with an explanation of her vision to such notables as former Beatle Paul McCartney and Mark Victor Hansen, author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul." "I'm getting it into the hands of people who are spiritual leaders," Dena said.
PHOTOS BY PAUL BERSEBACH/Sun Post News

Dena Van Slyke, in her backyard gazebo, will host a One Global Heart meeting at her historic home Sunday, Sept. 8.
One Global Heart merchandise includes not only pins, as shown above, but also mugs, flags, bumper stickers, tiles, shirts and a CD.
She describes sales of merchandise as "good" but acknowledges she hasn't made the big time, at least not yet.

"When I get on Oprah, it's going to go big," she said. "That's my dream."

She has sent a pin to Oprah.

Dena reports receiving supportive cards and letters from around the world.

As the anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, the Van Slykes are planning to start holding meetings at their San Clemente home to celebrate and promote One Global Heartness.

"We will have music, inspiration, reflection and fellowship," Dena said.

The first gathering at 243 Avenida La Cuesta is 5-6:15 p.m. Sept. 8. It's open "to all who are interested in making a difference in the world," the invitation states.

If all goes well, the Van Slykes plan to continue hosting gatherings at 5 p.m. the second Sunday of each month.

If the address sounds familiar, it's because the Van Slykes' home is an early San Clemente landmark. It has been part of historic home tours. Dena, a former president of the San Clemente Historical Society, is founder of the Historic Homeowners' Coffee Club.

Song lyrics

'Global Heart'

Let us make a brand new start
At strengthening our Global Heart
And exercise our rights to be
Uniquely you, uniquely me.
Let's hold the vision in our sight
Loving beacons of the light.
Keeping just one thought in mind:
That we can love all humankind.
We are a Global family
We recognize our unity.
It's time for each to do their part
Developing our Global Heart.
Use this symbol to show you care.
Make it part of what you wear.
Share it, wave it and soon we'll see
A Global Heart reality.
— Dena Hart Van Slyke