War Amps celebrate 75 years of key tag service – assists youth

(Thanks to War Amps CHAMP Michaela Blakslee can ride her bike with the help of a special device around her neighbourhood. Photo: The War Amps)

The War Amps begins its 2021 key tag mailing to Stittsville residents this week with the theme “You Are a Part of What We Do”. This year marks the milestone of their 75th anniversary for the Association’s Key Tag Service and paying tribute to the public for helping make it a success.

In a letter that accompanies the key tags, parents Tracie and Jeremy describe how The War Amps has supported their family. From the day their daughter, Michaela Blakslee who is 6, was born missing part of her left arm, as well as some fingers and toes, War Amps has been there for the family.

As a member of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, Michaela receives financial assistance for artificial limbs and devices. She also attends regional seminars where Champs and their parents learn about the latest in artificial limbs, how to deal with teasing and staring, and parenting an amputee child.

Michaela’s artificial arms, which she calls her “helper hands”, include one for everyday use and another that she uses for activities like bike riding.

“Without the funding from The War Amps, it would be very difficult for us to get her any prosthetics at all,” say Tracie and Jeremy. “Whatever isn’t covered through our workplace insurance and the government, The War Amps steps in so she has these devices to help her through daily life.” 

The Key Tag Service was launched in 1946 so that returning war amputee veterans could not only work for competitive wages, but also provide a service to Canadians that would generate funds for the Association’s many programs, including CHAMP. The Key Tag Service continues to employ amputees and persons with disabilities and has returned more than 1.5 million sets of lost keys to their owners.

Each key tag has a confidentially coded number. If you lose your keys, the finder can call the toll-free number on the back of the tag or place them in any mailbox in Canada, and The War Amps will return them to you by courier, free of charge.

The War Amps receives no government grants and its programs are possible through public support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service. For more information, or to order key tags, visit waramps.ca or call toll-free 1-800-250-3030.


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