The average cost of a child's hole in the heart operation at the hospitals we work with is RMB 25,000. In comparison to the cost of similar operations in many overseas countries, this is a very modest cost.
However, many families in China (particularly those living in rural communities) are not fully covered by medical benefits and are unable to raise the amount of RMB 25,000 to pay for such a life-saving operation for their child.
Heart to Heart Shanghai (known as Gift of Life Friends until 1 July 2006) first became aware of the need for others to sponsor such operations when we worked in liaison with the Rotary Club of Shanghai. As a group of non-Rotarians we had accepted the Rotary Club's suggestion that we establish play sessions for children who had been sponsored through the Rotary Gift of Life scheme at the Shanghai Chest Hospital and we soon realized that many other children and their families needed such support.
The Rotary Club of Shanghai refers to their Gift of Life project as "a crusade of the heart, touching children in peril". We could not agree more with this sentiment and Heart to Heart Shanghai initially directed the sponsorship money we raised directly to the Gift of Life Scheme to sponsor heart surgery for needy children at both the Shanghai Chest Hospital and the Wuxi Children's Hospital.
We have successfully continued our sponsorship fundraising activities but from 1 July 2006 we do so independently as Heart to Heart Shanghai. We continue with the established practice of directly paying the funds to the hospital for the medical costs associated with the surgery and treatment of each sponsored child. A key criterion for all selections of sponsored children is that their family is unable to fund the surgery themselves and that an independent third party has substantiated this.
Heart to Heart Shanghai raises such needed sponsorship by various means. Some individuals, groups and companies generously donate the entire RMB25,000 for a child's sponsorship. Many of these individuals wish to keep such donations private and if requested we will fully respect their wishes.
Others contribute lesser amounts of money, which Heart to Heart Shanghai combines with other donations to reach the required RMB25,000. Shanghai groups including the American Women's Club of Shanghai, the Australian Women's Shanghai Group, Brits Abroad Social Group, the International Mothers Support Group and the Shanghai Expatriate Association have all contributed to our sponsorship funds as have schools such as the Shanghai American School (SAS), the Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) Changing campus and the Dulwich College Shanghai.
All donations be they large or small can make a significant impact to a child's life and Heart to Heart Shanghai welcomes and appreciates all such donations.
Heart to Heart Shanghai also raises sponsorship money through the sale of its Heart Bears, its Heart to Heart Shanghai custom jewelry, books and other products
Click here for more information on full or part sponsorship of a child's operation.