Nancy Zucker’s powerful inspirational “love notes” leave a lasting impression.

Featured photo courtesy Nancy Zucker

Nancy Zucker has a frequent habit of making other people emotional.

It’s not a bad thing. It’s just that they are caught off guard and touched when she gives them a small heart with a printed inspirational message, such as “You are enough,” “Believe in yourself” or “You are appreciated.”

Once, Zucker handed one to a janitor she saw mopping the lobby of an office building. He stared at it for a long time and finally said, “I can’t believe this. No one has ever said that to me before, and I’ve worked here for 25 years.” He asked her to come to his workspace where she watched him tape the heart to the top of his desk.

Another time the West Bloomfield resident came across a medical receptionist who looked annoyed and acted impatient toward Zucker and her mother during the check-in process. Zucker felt the need to give this woman a heart. When she did, the receptionist put her head on the desk and began sobbing. She was so distraught that a coworker quickly approached them. This receptionist, who could barely speak at that moment, simply held up the heart. Once composed, she told Zucker she was having the worst day and “this just made it so much better.”

More recently, a West Bloomfield police officer penned a touching Facebook post about his experience of receiving an anonymous heart.

Nancy Zucker's Say it with Hearts

On Jan. 2, he started his ninth consecutive day of work. This officer was tired and missed being with his wife and baby, especially during the holidays. That morning, following his first run, he returned to his patrol car and noticed a small blue heart on the driver-side window.

“It is little gestures like these that make us feel better because we are happy to see people actually care about us and our well-being. The officer wrote, “To the citizen who placed this note on my car, you have made my day.”

The officer’s post was subsequently shared by the West Bloomfield Police Department. “It is wonderful to see people such as this that lift people’s spirits with something so simple.” their post said.

It’s responses like these, which happen almost daily, that led Zucker, mom to three grown sons, to turn her heart-giving hobby of almost seven years into a full-fledged business. In March 2019, she officially launched Say it with Hearts and began selling pocket-size tins containing 48 card-stock hearts with different motivational messages.

Nancy Zucker's Say it with Hearts

After years of getting so much satisfaction from giving the hearts either anonymously — as she did with the West Bloomfield police officer — or by handing them to others, she decided it was time to come up with a business plan so others could experience the joys of “saying it with hearts.”

Karen Gordon Rosenberg, a geriatric social worker, stumbled across the Say it with Hearts tins in a local store and purchased a box with the intent of giving them to her children and co-workers.

“I think affirmations are a wonderful thing, and these hearts are a great way for people to be expressive,” said Rosenberg, who, ironically, met Zucker through a professional connection and later discovered she was the founder of Say it with Hearts.

Zucker said she first got the idea of giving written affirmations to others after becoming certified in Healing Touch and reiki, both forms of energy healing. Much of her work is with residents at Fleischman Residence in West Bloomfield. This line of work, Zucker said, opened her heart and her ability to be more in tune with others through their words and body language.

“I began to notice that people needed to be uplifted and acknowledged, which is different than praise because it’s an unexpected moment of positivity,” she said.

Say it with Hearts can be ordered at or purchased at Jen’s Gifts of Love in West Bloomfield, Jewish Senior Life boutiques on the West Bloomfield campus and Miller House in Commerce Township.

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