My wife’s keys came home in the mail today. They went missing two months ago; it must have happened between our car in a mall parking lot and the Tim Horton’s inside the mall where we had dinner. There was a keychain with a car key, two house keys and a War Amps tag.
This will make sense to Canadians. Since I’m not sure if a similar program exists in other countries I will explain. The War Amps is an organization founded in 1918 to help soldiers who had lost limbs during the war. That work continues today, but now they are also providing prosthetic limbs, encouragement and support to children who have lost a hand, an arm or a leg.
In a stroke of genius in 1946 they began the key chain program which provides work for amputees, raises money to provide prosthetic limbs for amputees, and provides a valuable service to all Canadians.
The key tags are produced in sheltered workshops and are mailed to all Canadians. Donations are optional, but everyone should have one of these tags on every keychain that they use. Each tag bears a number that is linked to the keychain owner in the War Amps database. Someone who finds a keychain and has no other means of identifying the owner can put that keychain in the nearest mailbox. Canada Post will send the keys to War Amps who will identify the owner from their database and mail the keys back to the owner, at no charge.
That is what happened to my wife’s keys. We had one other key for the car, but the rubber facing had broken off and I needed to use the point of a ballpoint pen to push the buttons. So I bought a new key, at a cost of over $500. That is extravagant, but I really needed to replace my key. Now we once more each have a fully functional key.
We have used War Amps key tags for as long as I can remember and know that they return thousands of keys to their owners every year. This is the first time we have been a beneficiary and are thankful there was a War Amps tag on that keychain. We are also thankful to the person who found the keys and dropped them in a mailbox.
2 thoughts on “Thank you War Amps”
We have a similar organisation in Britain, it’s called the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association – BLESMA. But they don’t do the key thing!
BLESMA once had a President called Lord Lever. He had been a popular and useful MP but never really knew why he been invited. He wasn’t really British (having moved from Russia as a boy to escape the pogroms), he had never served in any branch of the armed forces, and had all four of his limbs.
Here in Canada, Cliff Chadderton was CEO of the War Amps from 1965 to 2009 (when he was 90 years old). He lost his right leg below the knee in World War II.