The Peyton Heart Project was created in June of 2015 after being inspired by several stories including that of a 13-year-old boy named Peyton James who died by suicide in 2014.
During Peyton’s young life he had experienced a tremendous amount of bullying by his peers. Many of us know far too well what the negative effects of bullying are on a child and how difficult it can be to believe that it will ever get better. Far too often bullying leads to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Sometimes these issues can increase the likelihood of suicide.
The delicate hearts, each one made by hand and each one representing the delicate heart of a life lost to suicide, have various inspiring quotes attached to them, along with our social media information. The hearts are placed in public places around the world for people to find during their everyday lives. We hope the hearts cause people to stop for a moment and reflect on a life lost to suicide, on bullying and on the fact that everyone’s life matters. We want to leave people with a feeling that there is still good out there in the world and we would like to inspire others to join us on this mission of kindness.
If you would like to help spread the Peyton Heart Project and its message in your town, please read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn how you can become involved. Most of your questions can be answered there.
We would like to thank Peyton’s parents, David James and Jacki James, for allowing us to use Peyton’s name for this project.
Listen as David tells the story of losing his son to suicide and its aftermath on the Mallett and Michelle on Dripping Springs podcast.
Sue has a long history of volunteering for non-profit organizations and has also been touched personally by bullying, and several times by friends who died by suicide. So when the opportunity to help launch an organization whose mission is to help raise global awareness about suicide, bullying, and to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues arose she was immediately on board.
In her spare time, Sue is an avid Pokémon Go player. She also enjoys amusement parks, LEGO, tutoring, and ringing bells in her church bell choir.
In 2018, Jill and her family moved to Sussex County, New Jersey. A few months later they added a feisty guinea pig to the mix. Jill spends much of her time volunteering for her local church as well as for The Peyton Heart Project. In her free time, Jill likes collecting rubber duckies and enjoying her scented candle collection.
David is the father of The Peyton Heart Project’s namesake, Peyton James. After losing Peyton to suicide in 2014, David set out to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide so that other families wouldn't feel the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.
Knowing that education is the key to prevention, David has lobbied for laws in his home state of Texas that require educators to be trained yearly in suicide awareness. He also speaks at various events using Peyton’s story to help others.
He resides in the Texas Hill Country with his wife Lisa, daughter Emmalee, and two corgis Earl and Zelda.
Patti Dille is a full time volunteer and the outreach coordinator for the Peyton Heart Project. She is a mental health advocate and part of the Suicide Prevention Task Force in Montgomery Co., Pennsylvania. She is also a member of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in both Montgomery Co. and Bucks Co.
In addition to her work with mental health, Patti serves as co-leader of a MS support group, and the leader of a Stitch & Chat group in Lansdale, PA.
Patti lives in Pennsylvania with a wonderful Labrador Retriever named Finn and always enjoy a good chai tea latte.
General board member Lyndy Devereux runs a small family foundation, The Page Hill Foundation, Inc. Its mission is to help donate to the passions of its members. Suicide, unfortunately, runs in her family. In 2018, she funded Suicide, The Ripple Effect, a movie about Kevin Hines’s successful jump off the Golden Gate bridge. “The Peyton Heart project was there to greet me with hundreds of hearts to sprinkle and spread,” she says.
She hasn’t stopped spreading hearts since then. Lyndy enjoys filling buckets of hearts at Starbucks, school libraries, food pantries, and Operation Shoebox. She also works with the special needs population.
When not spreading hearts, you can find Lyndy spending time in Florida with her amazing husband, John, 5 wonderful children, and 3 grandkids.