This past year has been a very good year. Our everyday joint actions to raise funds and find new sponsors, and all the other work that comes with that is motivated by the single-minded goal of helping disabled children. We want the Gift from the Heart Foundation to always be the place that the children and their families can come to and get they get the help they need. In 2011, the needs of seventeen children from Poland were met; and their treatments and consultations took place in a variety of cities throughout the United States – mainly Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, West Palm Beach and Shreveport. There were moments of uncertainty regarding the outcome of surgery, as there were likewise moments when tears of joy were shed, as we watched a child take their first steps on their own. We experienced joyous greetings and sad goodbyes, as we parted with all those that are in our care.
By expanding our team with the addition of a teacher/counselor we are able to start a new program: “Summer Camp at the Foundation” – a free program for local kids with special needs that provides games, fun activities and fieldtrips to interesting places that will be the source of much joy and healthy development. The parents also get a break. Passed summer, “Vacation at the Foundation” also serve as an after-school program and Saturday school. Aside from receiving care and entertainment, the children also get tutoring.
The New Year has begun, and as always our plans are ambitious; our hopes and expectations even more so. In the first quarter we will welcome six children from Poland – two are returning for follow-up consultations, and four will be undergoing surgery. Furthermore, other children are waiting for a doctor’s decision regarding their case. Aside from creating “Vacation at the Foundation”, we will continue with everything that has been set in place the previous year. However, there will also be yet another program implemented in 2012. We’re calling it pre-academy, and it’s an integration program for children three years of age and older. There are still other programs and services that we would like to create and implement for the benefit of the community (like we said, our plans for this coming year are very ambitions), but this of course creates a financial need that needs to be met in order to proceed. The challenges before us are great, but we hope to make the mountains a little smaller, resting confidently in the fact that you will be with us in these endeavors. We know that we can count on your support and assistance.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and kindness. We thank our wonderful volunteers, sponsors, donors, and all those that think about our kids. We thank you that you help us help them.
Olek was one of seventeen children that we assisted in 2011. He received the SDR treatment at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Along with Olek’s mom we all shared tears of joy and watched in disbelief when her son started to walk on his own. She never thought that such a day will come. Below is the “Thank You” letter from Olek’s parents.