The War Amps key tags are a familiar sight in many Canadian households. The free service has ensured the safe return of over 1.5 million sets of lost keys to their rightful owners since amputee veterans launched the program in 1946.

The organization itself was created in 1918 following the First World War. Part of the registered charity’s mission is to help children who were born with missing limbs or lost limbs in accidents. Known as The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, it provides financial assistance to families for the cost of artificial limbs and recreational devices. And this past December, a young equestrian got the gift of riding because of CHAMP.

Elora Klassen, a thirteen-year-old rider from Manitou, Manitoba, is missing her left foot, so the CHAMP program helped get her fitted with a special prosthesis that allows her to ride comfortably and safely. “This device lets my leg move more easily when horseback riding. It has a good connection with the horse, puts my foot in the correct position for riding and most importantly, it alleviates the discomfort in my hip and knee,” says Klassen. “I just want to say thank you to The War Amps for providing me with the means to ride with greater ease and enjoy the experience even more.”

The Association encourages their ‘Champs’ to develop a positive attitude towards their amputation and try any activity they set their minds to. “Elora’s determination and zest for life is an inspiration to all around her,” says Danita Chisholm, executive director of CHAMP. “Thanks to the public’s support of The War Amps Key Tag Service, we are able to help young amputees reach their goals.”

To learn more about the service and the work of The War Amps, visit their website here.