Unique ‘Give A Heart’ event has something for everyone

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Pradip Rodrigues

This year’s ‘Give A Heart’, the popular Valentine’s Day event happens on the evening of February 2nd, 2019 at Versailles Convention Centre in Mississauga.

Give A Heart is an annual gala that began in 2011 when a group of youth decided that they wanted to display a more meaningful take on how they celebrated Valentine’s Day.

Besides dinner and dancing, various youth turning sixteen come forward and announce their registration to become organ donors in a segment called Special Sixteen. Couples mark this day by registering to become donors. The youth in attendance share their stories and commit to spreading love all year. They may choose to participate by growing their hair, donating blood or advocating for one of the simplest gestures – expressing love towards others. The gala geared toward families is attended by upward of 500 guests each year.

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The event is organized by over seventy volunteers and has received recognition from all levels of Government and notable community leaders. The annual Valentine’s event Give A Heart includes Salsa and Bollywood dancing, Henna tattoos, raffles and awards.

In an interview with Can-India News, Loveen Gill founder of the Amar Karma Organ Donation Society said she started this organization to create awareness of organ and tissue donation in the South Asian community.

“Holding this gala is a way of introducing and normalizing the donation of organs and tissues. Unfortunately, many people do not like to openly talk about the issue as it reminds us of death. This gala presents an opportunity to build a dialogue, speak about it and involve the youth,” she says.

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“At the gala we have youth groups put up skits, give speeches and we do things in a very creative manner. Couples sign up to be donors and we have one donor from the previous year tell his story to the guests,” she adds.

Loveen also talks about encouraging more mothers-to-be to consider donating their umbilical cords which contain master cells and can help many serious health conditions.

So, this is one gala with has the reputation for being one that gives guests great family entertainment as well as something to think about. The event is about giving guests an opportunity to network, entertainment has been planned for kids including having a clown and having face painting.

In short, there is something for everyone. -CINEWS

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