MIAMI, FL,–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 19, 2003–It was a year for removing life-threatening tumors, correcting congenital heart defect, fixing cleft lip plates, cornea, heart and liver transplants, and restoring hearing to a child born completely deaf. This is why the International Kids Fund (IKF) at Holtz’s Children’s Center in Jackson Memorial Hospital measured its success this year by saving one life at a time.
The International Kids Fund was developed last year to answer the overwhelming need to cover the cost of life-saving, critical and urgent medical treatment to disadvantaged children from Latin America and the Caribbean who are unable to receive treatment within their country of origin. The children who received care during this inaugural year came from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Trinidad, Antigua, Cuba, Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Argentina, Jamaica, Uruguay, Chile, Cost Rica and Bolivia.
“Caring for one hundred children and raising one million dollars in one year, represents tremendous dedication on the part of our board of directors, and generosity of so many corporate partners and the community, who we reached out to for a contribution,” stated Juan N. Cento, chairman of the board for IKF. “It’s significant for each person involved with IKF, because we are able to see the children before and after their care is given and the transformation is absolutely moving. We help save lives – – children’s lives, and there is no bigger reward than that!”
The IKF program also has a star-studded team who helped bring additional recognition and support to this cause. Mario Kreutzberger, better known as “Don Francisco,” host of the television hit, “Sabado Gigante,” is the Honorary International Celebrity for the IKF organization, who led a roster of other celebrity contributors, which included Gloria Estefan, Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, Chayanne and Barbara Palacios.
“IKF has already established a goal for year two,” stated Rolando Rodriguez, director of the Jackson Memorial Foundation. “It is to hit five million dollars! I want to be able to help every child that comes to our door. It is just tragic to deny hope to any one of them.”
Achieving this goal will again require the increased and ongoing support from a variety of corporations, the local Miami-Dade community members and other non-profit organizations, like the United Way, which can now channel specific donation requests designated for the IKF program through its annual fundraising campaign. In addition, the IKF program will be looking for a strong level of commitment and support from the international consulates to help expand its fundraising efforts into the countries of origin from the children entering or currently in the program.
To contribute, volunteer or find out more about the International Kids Fund, please contact 305 585-5888, or log onto http://www.jmfkidsfund.org. Credit card donations can be made online. To contribute by check or money orders, send donations, made out to: The Jackson Memorial Fund, Attention IKF, P.O. 012297, Miami, FL 33101.
THE INTERNATIONAL KIDS FUND
The International Kids Fund, a program of Holtz’s Children’s Hospital, seeks to provide life-saving medical care to needy children from Latin America and the Caribbean who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. The Fund will ensure those children receive the best care possible at one of the nation’s premier medical teaching hospitals, the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.