About 30 years ago, ‘HeartKids’ was begun out of the passion of a couple of families that had gone through the kaleidoscope of emotions that are linked with having a child that has congenital heart disease. Over the following years, HeartKids offices have been set up in the various states of Australia, having a strong management and a powerful team of Family Support Coordinators who were able to give support to families. All of these are well backed by a group of dedicated volunteers and a management board.
In the year 2004, sixteen delegates attending the annual conference in one accord supported the suggestion that a coalition of state associations get formed to create an Australian HeartKids group, with the name becoming ‘HeartKids Australia’. At that time, an Interim Board was set up to guide and support the working party, and to supervise the progress of HeartKids Australia. This was the beginning of the organization as is known today across Australia.
The year 2006 saw HeartKids adopt a new constitution, get incorporated, expand its corporate character, raise funds geared for research and shape alliances with a variety of related, sponsors organizations and supporters.
To give aspiration to life that is unaffected by Childhood Heart Disease.
To enhance the lives and the futures of all those that are affected by Childhood Heart Disease, through the provision of high quality, support, care, advocacy and information to offer hope by inspiring world class research.
All that HeartKids does is guided by the following core values:
This would be attained through work geared towards Awareness, Advocacy, Support and Research.
The HeartKids Work
HeartKids are committed to providing support, hope and encouragement to families of children having Heart Disease, whilst getting vital funding and awareness into what causes this chronic disease. Although for lots of families of such kids the future is heavily clouded with great uncertainty, the goal of HeartKids is to secure those futures of the very special children. All these are achieved through the work in awareness, research, support and advocacy.
HeartKids remains unique, being the only Australian organization solely focused on all the facets of children’s heart disease. It is a registered Health Charity having full tax concession status grated by the ATO. They aim to provide support to the HeartKids and to the families of children having heart disease, whether congenital or acquired. HeartKids has also been partnering with leading researchers and cardiologists and are working to offer funding to assist in cutting down the CHD incidence and to boost the mortality rates that are being experienced currently.
The organization begun as a voluntary group of individuals and parents concerned about and dealing with the daily realities of caring and raising of children having cardiac conditions, and from time to time grappling with the loss of a kid due to a congenital heart defect. It has grown to become an organization of considerable strength, with presence in each Australian state of Australia, plus a National umbrella body – The HeartKids Australia.
Members of HeartKids Australia wish to provide their support to many other families that are in crisis, offering chances of share common challenges and anxieties. Where possible, they arrange meetings with other families that are also affected by the effect of life with a kid having a cardiac condition and to form a ‘support network’ for all the families.
Over the passage of years, the organization, with the aid of members, friends and sponsors, has been able to assist the kid’s hospitals and the researchers through donations of equipment, money and many grants for research.
HeartKids has got regional representatives that provide their time in arranging coffee mornings and various special activities so as to give support to families having a CHD child. Also provided is telephone support. The aim is to make sure that the parents aren’t in the struggle alone.
HeartKids also produces a string of state based informative newsletters updating and informing members on the progress of a patient; unique ‘heart family’ based activities; policy information from the government on relevant and upcoming events.
Support for families
HeartKids can help with information regarding your potential hospital stay, for instance information about obtainable accommodation, meals, transport or parking. Foe several cases they may help families financially in some of these specific areas. They also could help with information about the availability of specific hospital services like social workers, speech pathologists and occupational therapists.
Most precious to the affected families during the critical time of surgery is HeartKids’ Family Support coordinators. Basically, these are ‘heart mums’ who understand much more what majority of these families are going through during those frequently tension packed hospital stays.
Besides providing support to many families, HeartKids purposes to boost awareness among the general Australian community and in the corporate sector concerning the high prevalence of congenital heart problems and defects the ongoing consequences.
How you can help
Through dedicating your precious effort and time towards helping in raising funds for HeartKids SA you could make a whole world of difference and aid in supporting the 1 in 100 kids that are adversely affected by Childhood Heart Disease (CHD) as well as the families who value them.
Various methods are in place of getting involved in the fundraising:
- Organizing your own event
- Joining a current event
- Corporate fundraising
- Hosting an event
- Community Fundraising Events
- Joining Workplace Giving
- Having a donation tin in your office
- Getting involved with an event at HeartKids
- Donating in Memory • Donating in Lieu
- Celebrating your special occasion like birthday, anniversary or wedding, through asking guests to donate towards HeartKids in lieu of that personal gift.
- Leaving a Gift included in Your Will
- Payroll or Workplace Giving
Another additional method is through merchandizing a range of items including:-
- Travel mugs,
- Polo shirts,
- Coffee mugs,
- Keep Cups,
- Baseball caps,
- Bucket hats,
- Drink bottles.