One hundred years ago, a group of amputee war veterans returning from the First World War banded together under the common goal to help other amputees and The War Amps was born. While their initial goal was to support fellow veterans, over time the scope of this organization has grown to serve all Canadian amputees, including children. Although most Canadians are aware of the support that the War Amps organization provides to amputees and their families, there are a number of ways that they’re helping in our communities every day that you may not be aware of. Here are a few of our favourites.
They Inspire Amputees to Get Back to the Activities They Love
The War Amps provides financial assistance to help amputees with the cost of artificial limbs, but they also provide resources that can help inspire amputees to better use those new limbs to enjoy activities they feel passionate about. The Prosthetic Limbs and Devices listing in the Living With Amputation section of their website offers an extensive collection of devices that are available to assist amputees with a wide range of sports and hobbies, including:
- Baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, curling and many other athletic devices
- Drumming aids and guitar pick, horn instrument and violin devices
- Airplane flying devices
- Photography devices
They Regularly Save the Day for Non-amputees Too
Since the debut of their Key Tag service in 1946, the War Amps organization has returned over 1.5 million lost sets of keys to their owners. As technology makes key fobs increasingly expensive to replace, this service can save individuals hundreds of dollars. A special arrangement with Canada Post means that if your keys are lost, the person who finds them simply has to drop them in a Canada Post box and they’ll be returned to the registered address free of charge. Don’t have a key tag? You can order one here: https://donate.waramps.ca/eforms.aspx?keytags
Their Resources Can Help Guide the Way Back to a New Normal
For new amputees and their families, navigating life in a whole new way can feel like a daunting task. Helpful complimentary booklets available on the War Amps website can support people through that transition. Topics include:
They’re Making Our Roads Safer
The DRIVESAFE program positions child amputees as memorable messengers to communicate the costs of dangerous driving. To help remind Canadian drivers of the importance of safe driving, The War Amps shares defensive driving tips, distributes DRIVESAFE windshield stickers and features the DRIVESAVE message in public service announcements, on parade floats and on key tags.
They’re Helping ALL Kids Play More Safely
The PLAYSAFE Program takes a “kids-to-kids” approach to child safety to make children more aware of potential dangers in their play environment. Safety Ambassadors from the War Amps’ Child Amputee program, many of whom have lost limbs in accidents while at play, give presentations, host displays at community events, ride on board The War Amps PLAYSAFE parade float and appear in videos and public service announcements to warn other children about the importance of spotting danger before you play.
A hundred years of service is a remarkable milestone and the staff at Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics is honoured to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible organization. To learn more about The War Amps, visit www.waramps.ca