Hopeful Hearts is a non-profit charity organization, run by a group of expats and Chinese people since 2009 in Chengdu. Hopeful Hearts raises funds to help children from low-income families to receive life saving heart surgery, they otherwise could not afford. Hopeful Hearts covers up to 80% of the overall costs and covers all the costs for surgery, hospitalization and caretaking for orphans. In 2014, Hopeful Hearts supported 13 children’s surgeries and 23 surgeries so far in 2015. All of these surgeries have been successful and these children are now able to celebrate the beginning of a new life and plan for the future. Without Hopeful Hearts’ help these children may not have survived. Chengdu Cardiovascular Hospital works alongside Hopeful Hearts, assisting with each child’s assessment and medical needs. This enables Hopeful Hearts to ascertain their eligibility and agree a schedule of procedure. Hopeful Hearts’ volunteers maintain close contact with the family and visit the children before and after surgery. Hopeful Hearts liaises with the hospital and monitors the children’s progress closely. Each surgery costs Hopeful Hearts between 15,000 – 30,000RMB and in some rare cases up to 40,000RMB. Hopeful Hearts’ will cover up to a maximum of 80% of the costs. Hopeful Hearts hopes that The American Chamber of Commerce will support this worthwhile charity and continue to assist these children in need.
Hopeful Hearts Visit
On March 8, 2016, AmCham visited the Chengdu Cardiac Hospital with Hopeful Hearts, a local charity organization that raises funds to help children receive life-saving heart surgery. In 2015, AmCham donated 60 percent of the proceeds from the American Independence Day Charity Celebration to Hopeful Hearts. The American, British, and European Chambers donated the funds from their 2015 ABE Chambers Christmas Charity Party to Hopeful Hearts as well. According to representatives from the organization, the combined funds from these two activities will finance a total of seven or eight surgeries for children from needy families.
During the hospital visit, AmCham representatives got to see their contributions in action. They visited one six-year-old boy who had already received his surgery and was preparing to leave the hospital that afternoon. He was happy and energetic, and when one of the Hopeful Hearts volunteers asked if his incision hurt, he said, “No, it doesn’t!” His family was also very grateful and presented Hopeful Hearts and AmCham with a handwritten thank you letter. Later, as they checked out of the hospital, the family waved goodbye with happy smiles.
AmCham and Hopeful Hearts visited a second family who is in the process of applying for financial assistance from Hopeful Hearts. The parents brought their two-year-old daughter to Chengdu from Xichang, where doctors had discovered the girl needed heart surgery while she was at a Xichang hospital with the flu. When the family arrived, the doctors discovered that the girl would need two surgeries instead of one, due to heart disease complications. The two surgeries will cost a total of 60,000 RMB, a huge financial burden on the father, who works as a farmer, and the mother, who is unemployed and only 20 years old.
In learning the family’s situation, Hopeful Hearts was able to verify their need for financial assistance and will continue processing their application. Once it is approved, Hopeful Hearts will contribute 20,000 RMB of AmCham’s July 4th funds to the girl’s surgery. The Chinese government will cover 30,000 RMB, and the family will pay the remainder. The family received this news gratefully, as they would be unable to pay for the two surgeries even with government assistance if Hopeful Hearts could not help them.
This visit reinforced to AmCham representatives the great work Hopeful Hearts is doing. The organization visits each applicant twice, once before the surgery to verify the family’s financial need, and once afterwards to ensure the child is receiving all the proper care and that the family has the means to return home. In order to give as much as possible to children in need, Hopeful Hearts is run almost entirely by volunteers and does not rent office space, instead operating out of the members’ homes. Nevertheless, AmCham found Hopeful Hearts to be very organized and professional during this visit, diligently checking all the facts with the families and hospital staff.
In short, AmCham is proud to support this high-caliber charity and the critical work they do in Southwest China. We believe this year’s partnership with Hopeful Hearts has been a success, and we believe this organization would be worthy of consideration for future AmCham CSR projects.