Garrett using his bike device thanks to public support of the Key Tag Service.

Campbell River ‘champ’ benefits from Key Tag Service now in its 70th year

As The War Amps 2016 Key Tags are mailed to B.C. residents this week, 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 Garrett Warkentin, 7, of Campbell River.

Warkentin was born a left arm amputee and has received financial assistance for the cost of artificial limbs and recreational devices. Growing up, he has also attended regional CHAMP seminars where Champs and parents learn about the latest in artificial limbs, dealing with teasing and bullying and parenting an amputee child.

“Thanks to CHAMP’s support, there’s nothing Garrett can’t do. He was recently fitted with a bike device that allows him to hold onto the handlebars, giving him more control and confidence when riding,” says mom, Julia Warkentin.

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. The Key Tag Service continues to employ amputees and people with disabilities.

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, young amputees like Warkentin are able to live full and active lives,” says 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.