Giving Back (2015)
Since 1987, Heart Beat’s Children’s Society of Calgary (“Heart Beats”) has been assisting children born with congenital heart defects (“CHD”) and their families in southern Alberta.
- CHDs are the most common of all birth defects occurring in about 1 in 100 of all births.
- Many of these children require one or more heart surgeries.
- In Alberta, these surgeries take place in Edmonton at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
- Each year, approximately 150 children in Southern Alberta must travel to Edmonton to receive life-saving heart procedures.
Heart Beats assists children with CHD and their families by providing information, resources, emotional support and financial assistance. This includes:
- Publishing our newsletter, Keeping the Beat, which includes articles on new research and discoveries, personal stories, interviews with cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, book reviews and many other topics relevant to our readers.
- Organizing information sessions with specialists on topics relevant to CHD.
- Supplying medical equipment for the Cardiology Clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
- Supplying the Cardiology Clinic with the educational DVD, Heart & Soul: Your Guide to Living with Congenital Heart Disease, for distribution to all new parents of children with CHD.
- Parent groups
- “Offbeats” – a group for children with CHD aged 10 to 17
- Family events including a family camp
- “Family Day Out” – event tickets and restaurant gift cards for families going through a medically challenging time
- Christmas hampers for families struggling financially because of their child’s CHD
- Medication and equipment not covered by regular health insurance
- Camp scholarships for children to attend camps specifically set up for children with CHD
- Travel expenses for surgeries including gas, food and accommodations*
*Albertans currently receive the lowest funding in Western Canada. (source: Western Canadian Children’s Heart Network) Although once eligible for a government grant of up to $1500 for a one-month stay in Edmonton, all funding for heart-related expenses was discontinued in 2008.)
Heart Beats is a registered charity, Charitable Registration No. 889076261RR0001. It is operated by volunteers, primarily parents of children with CHD, and works in close consultation with the Cardiology Clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Our administrative costs are minimal as we have no paid staff, so the majority of funds received by Heart Beats go directly to assisting children and their families.
For more information, please visit our website at www.heartbeats.ca.