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Tillsonburg 'champ' benefits from key tag service

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War Amps Child Amputee Program now in its 70th year

As The War Amps 2016 Key Tags are mailed to Ontario residents, the service marks 70 years of returning lost keys to their owners.

Donations to the Key Tag Service assist members of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, including Lydia Pileski, 6, of Tillsonburg.

Lydia was born a left arm amputee and, as a “Champ,” is eligible to receive financial assistance for the cost of artificial limbs and devices. She also attends regional CHAMP seminars where Champs and parents learn about the latest in artificial limbs, dealing with teasing and bullying, and parenting an amputee child.

Lydia loves the water and was fitted with a waterproof swimming arm.

“Her face lights up and a big smile adorns her face when she’s swimming," said Lydia's mother, Rebecca Pileski in a media release. "Thank you so much CHAMP and to everyone who supports the Key Tag Service."

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

Each key tag has a confidentially coded number. Should the keys be lost, the finder can call the toll-free number on the back of the tag, or deposit them in any mailbox, and the keys will be returned to the owner by bonded courier.

“Thanks to the public’s support of the Key Tag Service, we are able to help young amputees like Lydia live full and active lives,” said Danita Chisholm, Executive Director of the CHAMP Program.

The War Amps receives no government grants and its programs are possible through public support of the Key Tag and Address Label Service. 

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