Guyana Resource Center
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Valentine’s Day Brings “Heart-to-Heart” Program For Guyanese Kids
Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Tues. Feb. 14, 2006: Valentine's Day may be largely for lovers but one Caribbean-based organization is today giving love in a different way to Guyanese children with heart defects.

Beginning today, Valentine's Day, through March 15th, HERO International, founded by R. Allen Stanford, chairman of Stanford Private Wealth Management, will launch Operation “Heart-to-Heart,” a promotion to fund life-saving operations for the sick kids from Guyana.

Last year, Operation Heart to Heart’s effort funded four life-saving surgeries for Guyanese children. This year the goal is to help 10 more children, ages 4-11, to gain a healthy beating heart.

Individuals interested in supporting the “Heart-to-Heart” program can purchase a teddy bear from Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company at http://www.bhteddy.com/. Click on the "Save a Life" promotional banner at the bottom of the page and a US$5 donation will be made directly to the "Heart to Heart" fund. Donors who contribute will receive a teddy bear sporting a bright red 'I Love You' T-shirt and a tag that informs their sweetheart or loved one that a donation was made on their behalf to help a child in need.

The money raised is used to fund care for the children at the Frontier Lifeline Hospital in Chennai, India. The India support was negotiated by First Lady of Guyana, Varshnie Jagdeo because of the lack of cardiac surgeons in Guyana. Jagdeo runs the Kids First organization in Guyana. In commenting on the alliance, Jagdeo noted, “I am very happy to be part of this project and commend the team on this humanitarian venture and urge others to lend their support and help to make a positive difference in the lives of our children.”

By September 2005, four children traveled to Frontier Lifeline Hospital – and by mid-October all four had undergone successful surgery and were able to return to Guyana for follow-up care.

The month-long program was born after HERO International Directors Boris and Teresa Emanuel visited First Lady Jagdeo in Guyana in December with Caribbean Star Airlines' ‘Share the Gift’ program. They were impressed with her commitment to helping those less fortunate, and moved by the plight of these young children.

HERO International aims to building a bridge of hope and stability for Caribbean families in distress. It was launched in 1998 in Antigua. – Hardbeatnews.com