Dr. John Oswalt, co-founder and a driving force behind HeartGift Austin, was recognized as our RecognizeGood Legend in December 2010. HeartGift was created to provide funding, coordination of care, and medical services for children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) who live in developing countries where the opportunity for medical intervention is scarce or nonexistent. Along with fellow co-founders Ray Wilkerson and Jim Hoover, Dr. Oswalt planned the formation of HeartGift for over a year before hiring an executive director, and the almost-immediate growth and success of the organization was quite surprising even to those original board members. From its launch in Austin way back in July of 2000, HeartGift has now formed chapters in San Antonio, Louisiana, Houston and Fort Worth – and has served 173 patients from 25 different countries around the world.
Each and every story that comes out of HeartGift Austin and its supporting chapters is incredibly touching and inspirational. The children served, and perhaps even moreso the parents of those children, are provided with hope when there seems to be no hope. The obstacles are substantial – medically, financially, and often bureaucratically – but the resulting success stories are absolutely phenomenal.
Austinite Dorian de Wind recently wrote a beautiful op ed in the Austin American-Statesman that’s well worth a read – click here for the full article. HeartGift is always in need of donations, as well as volunteers for everything from airport welcomes to translators and host families. You can donate to HeartGift here, or take a look at all the available volunteer opportunities here.
Please take a moment to read some of the heartwarming success stories resulting from wonderful Austin residents, and show this wonderful organization your support in whatever way you can!
There’s plenty of good happening all around us, right here in the Austin area – it’s actually pretty amazing once you let yourself start looking for it. It’s happening at your office, in your grocery store, and even during rush-hour traffic. It happened yesterday, it’s happening right now as you read this, and it will inevitably happen once again tomorrow. While we can never say ‘thank you’ enough to these self-effacing do-gooders, we at RecognizeGood believe it’s worth a shot. Drawing attention to the good in our community not only rewards those deserving citizens on the receiving end, but also inspires those all around them. Take a couple of minutes to shine a spotlight on the next selfless act you see in our community – you can use our website to make a recognition, or simply use the hashtag #ATXgood on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Tell the world about the person who changed yours. By recognizing good, you inspire MORE good – and what could be better than that?