The War Amps, a non-government-funded organization dedicated to assisting amputees and people with disabilities, began the 2023 key tag mailing process to residents of Airdrie and the surrounding area on May 15.
According to a War Amps press release, the Key Tag Service was initiated in 1946 to help employ veterans who had lost their limbs in the Second World War, while also providing a service that helped maintain the association’s programs.
“The key service provides year-round employment for Canadian amputees and people with disabilities at the War Amps sheltered workshop,” said Lisa Dejong, War Amps regional representative. “This is a place for people to work creating the key tags.”
The service offers employees competitive wages and creates funds for the organization's various initiatives, including their Child Amputee Program (CHAMP).
“Through this program, financial assistance is offered for things such as artificial limbs, especially support limbs which are not often covered by health care, Dejong said. ”These are really important for children to be able to do all the things other children do.”
The program also hosts seminars for children and their parents, where they cover topics such as bullying/staring and parenting a child who has experienced an amputation.
According to the press release, the Key Tag Service has returned more than 1.5 million lost keys to their rightful owners.
Each key tag provided by the War Amps contains a confidentially coded number. When someone misplaces their keys, anyone who finds them can either contact the toll-free number printed on the back of the tag, or deposit the keys in any mailbox across Canada, completely free of charge.
Since the program doesn’t receive government grants, The War Amps relies solely on public support to sustain its programs.
“Donations from the key tag service are the main way that we fund this organization,” Dejong said. “The key tags are always free, but if people find value in the War Amps programs or services, donations are very appreciated.”
People interested in learning more about the War Amps, placing an order for key tags, or obtaining additional information can visit the organization's website at waramps.ca or contact the toll-free number 1-800-250-3030.
According to their website, people renewing their driver's license in Alberta can also sign a consent form releasing their name and address to The War Amps to get their key tags.
Participating in the Key Tag service or donating will contribute to the War Amps' mission of supporting amputees, funding prosthetics for children, and organizing educational seminars through the CHAMP program.