On 25 August 2018, a Nanjing charity event put on by Hopeful Hearts for the international community raised￥31,000, making it one of the organisation’s most successful events.
Founded in 2003, the non-profit charity continues the legacy of a baby boy named Loetje, who was abandoned at the base of a tree in Nanjing.
Two expats, Hélène and Mira, living in Nanjing at the time, found the boy. He was later diagnosed with a heart defect and despite receiving medical care, passed away.
Based in Nanjing, Chengdu and Guangzhou, Hopeful Hearts charity aims to raise money to help fund life-saving heart surgeries for children of low income Chinese families.
“The money that’s raised goes 96 percent to hospitals in Nanjing for children from poor families that need heart surgery. The rest goes to Amity foundation for administration”, charity member and organiser Katrin Koss told The Nanjinger.
“All of our members work for free. We have four hospitals in Nanjing that work together with us. They contact us if a child from a poor family with a serious heart condition is born there or is transferred to them. Then we check their insurance, income and family situation, and decide if we can help by supporting the missing money needed by the hospital so the child can get the lifesaving surgery.”
The End of Summer Party, held at a refurbished factory in Nanjing’s Creative Culture Park, 1865, was a huge success, with over 150 people in attendance. Event organisers say it was the biggest they had done for some time.
“I think the event was a great [success] and people had fun. We got many good comments and people are already asking if we will do this again in the future, which I hope we can do”, Katrin said.
Many different businesses, professionals and organisations including hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, schools and bakeries, expatriate and local, from around Nanjing pulled together in order to make the evening enjoyable for all, and many products and prizes were donated for a raffle.
In addition to the raffle prizes, a designer fridge was successfully auctioned at the event. Buffet food, drinks and entertainment were all provided for by local Nanjing businesses in the hopes of raising enough money for local children who are in desperate need of financial assistance for the healthcare.
“Often the children are really sick and have only a few month to live, since their parents never had the money for the surgery, even if they knew about the heart disease. Like the little 7 year old girl from northern Jiangsu that arrived at Women’s and Children’s hospital in May. Her lips and fingers were already blue from the lack of oxygen and her parents were in despair”, Katrin explained.
“Despite her really serious condition, she drew pictures with my colleague and me in her hospital bed and was in a good mood. Luckily, we had raised enough money with events in spring and had received a generous donation to help her. She received her first surgery successfully and was sent home for further recovery. She is doing good. Since she received her surgery so late, she will need another surgery most probably in December. We will use part of the money we made this weekend to cover the costs of her second surgery.”
“Our last patient just received surgery 2 weeks ago. And she had her birthday in hospital last week and celebrated her new life”, Katrin added.
When asked about the next steps for Hopeful Hearts, Katrin informed The Nanjinger they will be taking part, along with other Nanjing charities AmyYang, Pfrang and Ray of Light, in the Multi-charity event “10,000 steps in 28 days”, which is in September, and then will begin preparations for the Christmas market.
Each year, Hopeful Hearts also holds a garage sale in May and teams up with other local charities to take part in the Christmas Market and Concert, organised by Nanjing International Club, a Golf Tournament in Spring, as well as the World Cup event at Nanjing International School. Other events include a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and bake sales at schools.
With members from many countries, including China, Germany, England, USA, India, Israel and Italy, Hopeful Hearts is keeping the spirit of charity alive in Nanjing, and helping expats and locals to give back to the community.
Wishing to donate to, or volunteer with, Hopeful Hearts? Contact The Nanjinger; we will put you in touch with the right person. All donations can be provided with a receipt.