A word from the CEO

Picture1To say we’re on a roll this year would be quite an understatement. You’ll see from the Blog and our quarterly newsletter that we’ve been very busy with our fund raising efforts, events, and our partners and sponsors have been equally busy helping us with donations and services that help us save the precious lives of the children who really need our help.

We do have some pretty daunting challenges facing us though. I’d be lying if I said that it’s a bed of roses being a charity in today’s economic climate. It’s no surprise that times are getting quite tough—even for the biggest and most successful companies out there.

It came as a shock to South Africans when we heard the dreaded “R” word [recession] spoken in the media recently and although we haven’t lacked support from our very generous sponsors and partners, we are at the same time mindful that money is not as readily available as it was a few years ago—particularly for CSI and philanthropic endeavors.

This is why we’re challenged here at the WSPCCA to find new and innovative ways to raise the necessary funds to continue all the good work that our surgical teams do on a daily basis. Although raising money is a huge focus for us, we are always in need of donations in kind—particularly pharmaceuticals and consumable – which help us reduce the costs of the various surgeries that we perform here at the hospital. We’re currently on a push to get more pharmaceutical companies on board to help us out with surgical stock and if there are any company reps or “people who know people” out there that think they can help us, we’ll be very happy to take your call.

Part of the work that we do here at the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital’s cardiac unit also includes performing surgery on children that are covered by medical aid. We’re also appealing to the parents of these children to consider a small monthly debit order donation, which will go a long way in helping us to keep the money rolling in and happy, healthy children walking out of the hospital with a new lease on life.

Before I sign off, I really need to say a very special thanks to a number of people and partner companies who go about their business behind the scenes—assisting me and the WSPCCA team to be all we can be for our patients.

To the Sisulu family and our sponsors, your ongoing and unconditional support is priceless. To Patsy Hartly, my PA and child liaison officer, my office administrator, Jacqui Stander, and our part-time fund raiser, Maddy Hicklin, thanks from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. To the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital catering, housekeeping and security teams, you’re always there when we need you and we value your contributions to the foundation highly.

Lastly, I need to thank my PR “A’ Team at Tribeca Public Relations and our new advertising partner, Red Nail Advertising, who are doing amazing work for us in the media.

** That reminds me, we’ve set up an SMS donation line so PLEASE remember to SMS “Heart” to 38208 as often as you can to make a donation to the WSPCCA. Each SMS costs R10 and a huge chunk of that comes straight to the foundation. **

Until next time,

Lynda Bleazard

(I’m also on LinkedIn now so be sure to search for me and add me to your network).

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About The WSPCF

The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (WSPCF) is a philanthropic paediatric cardiac foundation for Africa, focussing on delivering life-saving surgery for underprivileged children with congenital heart disorders from across Africa. It also aims to develop diagnostic and treatment skills amongst Africa’s medical fraternity and conducts critical research into paediatric cardiac healthcare. The cardiac surgery or intervention is undertaken at the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa situated in Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, , as well as at Cape Town’s Netcare Christian Barnard Memorial and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals. The WSPCF was founded by Dr. Robin Kinsley in 2003, and was established as a living legacy to the late Walter Sisulu and his widow, Albertina, both of whom dedicated their lives to helping children in need.
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