Open your heart for HeartKids

January 27, 2012, 12:08 pmYahoo!7

Six babies are diagnosed with Childhood Heart Disease (CHD) every day. This February is HeartKids Awareness Month, and Australians are encouraged to support Australia’s little battlers - those struggling with Childhood Heart Disease (CHD). The month of February brings Valentine’s Day, so why not celebrate by helping a heart in need? Here are some ways to get involved and support HeartKids next February 2012.

Open your heart for HeartKids
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Capture a Heart on Facebook

When you see a heart in your everyday life, take a photo of it and enter the image via the HeartKids Facebook page to be in the running to win some fantastic prizes. ‘Your heart’ can be anything found in nature, in your city, town, home, business, school or something you created. The public will vote on the best ‘hearts’ and the top entries will be shortlisted. The winner will be selected from the shortlist by a panel of judges, including internationally renowned photographer, Ken Duncan.

The ‘Capture a Heart’ competition goes live on the HeartKids Australia Facebook page from the 24th January 2012 with the winner announced at the end of February. Don't forget to 'like' the page to ensure you receive future updates about the competition.

Wall of Love

During the month of February, customers can dedicate a heart at participating Retail Food Group outlets, such as Donut King, Brumby’s and Michele’s Patisserie. Write a message of love and support to those suffering with CHD and stick it on the ‘Wall of Love.’ A collection of these heart messages will be sent to CHD sufferers in hospitals Australia-wide. Participating outlets will also promote HeartKids Combos throughout the month of February: Michele’s Patisserie will offer a heart-shaped lamington and coffee; Donut King will offer heart-shaped donuts, while Brumby’s will offer special Gingerbread Men. A percentage of all sales from these combos will be donated to HeartKids. For a list of participating stores go to www.heartkids.org.au.

Golden Heart Campaign

Or simply give the gift of a healthy heart this Valentine’s Day by visiting the HeartKids website to make a donation.

CEO of HeartKids Australia, Alan Bowden, said: “We need to generate as much awareness as possible for Childhood Heart Disease (CHD) as it is still off the radar for much of the population, even though it’s the biggest killer of children under the age of one. Most people will remember “Hole in the Heart” and “Blue Babies” but not many would realise that 6 children are born with congenital heart defect every day.”

“In addition, many people are disenchanted by the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day. At HeartKids, we want to encourage people to make a donation and give a gift that’s not only a special but makes a difference to people’s lives as well,” he said.

HeartKids Australia is a not for profit organisation that offers support to children and their families who are suffering with CHD. Each year approximately 2,000 children are born in Australia with a heart defect, and every week, more than four children die from CHD. There is no cure for congenital heart disease and little is known about the disease and its causes.

About Heart Kids
HeartKids is unique in that it is the only organisation in Australia solely focussed on all aspects of children’s heart disease. HeartKids Australia works to:
• Support families who have a child with heart disease
• Reduce the incidence of Childhood Heart Disease

• Decrease the mortality rates for Childhood Heart Disease sufferers

They do this by:
• Employing Family Support Coordinators in each of the major children’s hospitals throughout Australia
• Running family and teen activities
• Funding research into Childhood Heart Disease
• Providing equipment and facilities to hospitals
• Assisting families with travel and accommodation needs
• Commissioning a white paper into the needs of sufferers from a clinical and community perspective

• Advocating the needs of Childhood Heart Disease sufferers to Government

For a more information on how you can get involved with HeartKids, visit www.heartkids.com.au.

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