The Issue: Financial and Emotional Toll of Heart Defects
Congenital heart defects, which affect 36,000 children a year, can put children at risk of certain medical conditions that may require surgery, transplants, and long-term hospitalization, according to data from the American Heart Association. To care for and stay with children who are spending extended amounts of time in the hospital, parents often sacrifice careers, financial stability, and their own personal health and well-being. Providing meals free of charge to these devoted parents can help reduce their daily sacrifices and keep them healthy so they can focus on their child.
The Campaign: Providing Meals to Parents of Ill Children
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Angel’s Pediatric Heart House to provide meals for parents with children currently under hospital care. For every $20 raised, Angel's Pediatric Heart House can provide lunch and dinner for one parent. Having warm meals available to them can help fulfill parents’ daily needs and free up time for them to spend in the hospital with their child and funds to pay for their child's care.
Angel's Pediatric Heart House
After Dr. Angel Perez passed away due to kidney cancer, his wife and children discovered a way to honor his memory. Sonia Perez and her daughters were hosting a recreational picnic for his former patients, many of whom were affected by congenital heart defects (CHD) or childhood acquired heart disease, when they realized that these patients and their families needed somewhere they could gather and receive non-medical financial, emotional, and social support outside the hospital. The Perez family founded Angel's Pediatric Heart House to fill this need. The organization provides free programs and services to South Florida children living with CHD such as financial support during a child’s hospital stay; family fun day social events, which provide opportunities for cardiac kids and their families to come together; monthly hospital outreach to three area children’s hospitals and a free infant items donation program through a partnership with a national baby store retailer. Its programs also function as a tool for group healing. Mommy and Me groups provide opportunities to gain support, the Miles and Millas program delivers care packages to kids undergoing heart surgery, and a national CHD awareness campaign spreads encouragement to families and distributes Heart Shadow Buddies to kids in hospitals.
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