To Hopeful Hearts Guangzhou founder Asha Hoffman, the sound of a beating heart is more beautiful than any melody ever composed because it is the sound of life. That’s why the native born Dutch woman set up her organization in 2012 to help children with life-threatening cardio conditions.
Last year, Hopeful Hearts saved the lives of nine children.
(Hoffman in the Dutch Flea Market)
“The first time I heard of Hopeful Hearts, I was living in Chongqing,” said Hoffman, who was impressed by what the organization does through another contact in the Chongqing Hopeful Hearts and got interest to the team. So one year later, the Dutch woman, who is also a mother, finally decided to set up the Hopeful Hearts team in Guangzhou when they moved here.
As a charitable organization, Hopeful Hearts was first founded in Nanjing by two expat women, Helene and Mira, who found an abandoned baby on the side of the road. Later, the baby was discovered to have a heart defect that finally took his life.
The two women then decided to set up Hopeful Hearts to raise funds for surgery for children with urgent and complex heart conditions. “I was quite inspired by them,” said Hoffman. “I think I want to do something for China so I just started it when I moved to Guangzhou.”
After moving to Guangzhou, Hoffman learned that many new-born babies from low income families are given up after testing positive for heart diseases. “It’s very sad to know that, for them, it’s a matter of no money means no life,” said Hoffman. “When the problem comes to their second-child, third-child, especially if it’s a girl, they have problems.”
Heart surgery costs for newborns can be more than 50,000 yuan (about USD 8,000). Some local poor families have an annual income of only 7,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan (about USD 112 to USD 1600).
Hopeful Hearts works with the hospitals to get a special discount for surgery and then helps to pay part of the cost depending on how much money each family can pay themselves. “It is very important that the parents have to raise funds by themselves, which means they really want to help and are ready to fight for their kids.”
“It’s harder to say ‘No’ than to raise the money, especially when you have become their last hope,” explained Hoffman, who added that usually they will receive ten requests from the families per year, but the fund is limited. “So we have to do surveys very carefully and hold meetings to know more about each family and see whether we have enough money to help.”
(Hoprful Hearts raising money in Utahloy Family Fun Day)
What the Hopeful Hearts teams (Nanjing-Chengdu-Guangzhou) are really looking for is the family’s determination to fight for their child’s life which is why the organization schedules several post-surgery visits to the families.
It’s a lot of work to organize events to raise money for the children. But Hoffman said she sees this as her full-time job even though she is an unpaid volunteer like every other team members.
“Beside that it costs a lot of time to ask support from schools, companies, friends, ect. People have to believe in a charity before they donate money… And we understand this.”
But the close contact, that the Hopeful Hearts Guangzhou has with the hospital team and the families they support, has given a strong persuasion to the people who support the team. And the donators were impressed when the team led them to the hospital and show them what kind of work the Hopeful Hearts does, as they can see where their money is going.
“We prefer to give something back to the donators and let them feel their donations are from their heart,” said Hoffman.
About Hopeful Heart
Hopeful Hearts is a non-profit charity run by a group of expats and local volunteers in Nanjing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Germany. The organization’s sole aim is to raise awareness and funds in order to provide life saving heart surgeries for children of low income Chinese families.
Beneficiary: The Amity Foundation In Favor of Hopeful Hearts
Recipient's Bank: Bank of China Nanjing Centre Sub-Branch,
Bank Account Number:
5105 5820 9952 (for USD)
4611 5820 9832 (for HKD)
5404 5821 1474 (for Euro)
5430 5819 1301 (for RMB)
Swift Code: BKCHCNBJ940
Postscript: Donation for Hopeful Hearts Guangzhou