Join us!
June 2019

June Assembly:

Tuesday, June 4             9:30-12:30
Tuesday, June 11           9:30-12:30
Tuesday, June 18           9:30-12:30
Tuesday, June 25           9:30-12:30
Thursday, June 27         17:30-20:30


June Events:

Friday-Sunday,  June 1-2          Commune Market
Friday-Sunday,  June 7-9          Brew for Love
Saturday, June 8                       Shanghai Centre
Thursday, June 13                    Comedy UN Show
Friday, June 14                         SUIS Shangyin
Saturday, June 15                    Jiashan Market

Thank You to Gary Lee and “Friends”

May 11 was a beautiful day for a walk so that is what Gary Lee and almost 100 of his friends did for Heart to Heart that morning.  There were toddlers, teenagers and adults – novice walkers and veterans.  There were courses of 6km, 12km and 24km depending upon how dedicated you wanted to be.  The pace was leisurely (for the shorter distances) and the air of celebration high.  Lots of new friends were made and acquaintances rekindled.  Most importantly, a child was fully sponsored for heart surgery from the generous donations received from the participants.  Thank you, Gary, for bringing us all together for a great cause – to help Heart to Heart!


Message from the Knitting Team

Special Orders:  Knitting Really Pays Off!

Over the years various companies, schools and organisations have asked H2H to produce special knitted outfits for the heart bears. They want to help sponsor surgeries while at the same time reminding people about their institution.  Heart to Heart sponsors around 10 surgeries a year through these orders and we hope you’ll consider ordering some bears for your company, school or group.

Sometimes special orders are for events where hundreds of bears are outfitted the same. One such event was a Scottish Ball complete with heart bears wearing kilts, waistcoats and heart festooned tams. Other times special orders may be just one design to mark a special event.  They’ve ranged from limited edition Christmas cardigans, hundreds of red and gold Chinese New Year cardigans, to cardigans in the colours of various schools or universities sometimes complete with school logos.

Several times companies have requested two types of outfits for one event.  For example, a company may request cardigans or other outfits that are given to guests at an event. Then the same event may call for a limited number of very distinctive cardigans or outfits to be auctioned off at the company event. These latter outfits invariably entail extra work by our talented Heart to Heart knitters, but can really bring in the big dollars at auction. The idea has always been to create extremely desirable outfits that will incite a bidding frenzy.

Some special orders are on a small scale.  This is fine just as the big orders are.  One time a single Vincent Van Gogh heart bear was created to be auctioned at the Heart to Heart Art for Hearts art show.

So, if you know of a company, group or event that could use a special added “something” and you would like to benefit Heart to Heart, let us know.  We’d love to make something for you!

Please note that for large orders of special knitted outfits, we need at least one month’s notice for every 50 bears ordered.  Since we aren’t a factory, the earlier we get an order the better.

Henan Field Trip Recap

We had another great field trip to Henan province in May.  Twenty volunteers braved the eleven hour bus ride to experience so many things that only a H2H field trip can provide – fun, an intimate view of children’s lives far away from Shanghai, great food, history and visits to rural schools.  Although there were a few situations where we definitely wished our sponsored children could have better living conditions, the children were all doing well and seemed happy.  We wish all of you had been able to be on the trip with us to see the miracles H2H brings about.  It made all that driving and loading/unloading of hundreds of donation bags in the heat totally worthwhile.

So what did we really do?

We dedicated 4 new rural school libraries.  The children, teachers and headmasters were all really pleased.  The library books and computers will make huge differences for each of the schools.   Thank you sponsors!  The libraries were:

Library 135 – Yuancun Temple Primary School (虞城县李老家乡袁村寺小学) – Donated by Friends of Dulwich
Library 136 – Yangzhuang Primary School (商丘虞城县稍岗镇杨庄小学) – Donated by Morgan Stanley
Library 137 – Dazhaolou Primary School (睢阳区宋集镇大赵楼小学) – Donated by Morgan Stanley
Library 138 – Qinggangsi Primary School (睢阳区路河镇青岗寺小学) – Donated by St. James’s Place Foundation

We want to thank GAP for providing hundreds of GAP shorts, sweatpants and hoodies to hand out on the field trip.  It’s the best advertising anyone could ever hope for.  The students at the rural schools loved them.  We also handed out pencil cases, pencils, stuffed animals and story books for each of student in most of the schools.  To say the children were excited is to put it mildly.  We will be sending all the sponsors pictures and write-ups about our visit to their sponsored school so they can see the schools and children they missed.  I know they will be pleased on the results of their donations!

We also went to visit 8 of our previously sponsored children in their homes.  Some of the situations were still rather dire, but all but of the children were flourishing and looking forward to brighter futures – even Wang Ziyan who is featured in this newsletter.  The children we visited were:

H2H Child #1101 – Zhou Changzhi – now a 3 year old boy (He is an orphan so we visited him in his orphanage.)
H2H Child #1179 – Zhang He – now a 4 year old boy
H2H Child #1193 – Wang Nuoyi – now a 2 year old boy
H2H Child #1238 – Cui Enci – now a 5 year old boy
H2H Child #1256 – Sun Haozhan – now a 10 year old boy
H2H Child #1291 – Zhang Xinke – now a 3 year old girl
H2H Child #1330 – Li Nannan – now a 10 month old girl
H2H Child #1363 – Wang Ziyan – now a 5 year old girl

As you can surmise the field trips give participants a great insight into what we do at Heart to Heart — and why we do it.  We get to go into rural schools, interact with children and teachers and see the magic of bringing books and computers into their lives.  The kids are so excited and oh so lovely!  It’s also wonderful to go to the homes of children we’ve sponsored for heart surgery and to see them looking well and getting on with their new lives.  Most of them are really excelling.  It’s also nice to see the financial burdens lifted from families because they don’t have expensive medical bills anymore.  Heart to Heart saves and changes lives.  It’s so easy to see on a field trip!  Consider going with us next time – September 16 – 19. We’ll be going by high speed train to some location further away than we normally go.  Write to if you’d like to reserve your place.


Laptop Desperately Needed (New or Used)

Hi everyone.  Shanghai and the world are filled with generous people donating towards heart surgeries through us.  We really appreciate it!  100% of those funds are used for heart surgeries.  That means that we have no money AT ALL for salaries/budgeting/reimbursements/expenses/etc.  Normally, that works really well.  Every now and then, however, something breaks in our office and finding a means to fix it or get a new one gets a little “dicey”.  At the moment the Heart to Heart laptop (on which literally 80+ hours of work a week takes place) is dying.  Rapidly.  We’ve had it for years and it was used when we got it.  It’s time for another!  If you have a gently used laptop (any brand except Apple – sorry!) and you’d be willing to donate it to us, please let me know.  We’d love to have it before our old one dies completely.  Just contact me on WeChat (Karen-H2H) or email (  THANK YOU!

Featured Sponsored Child: Wang Ziyan

If we could fix everything in the universe, we would, but we can’t, so at H2H we try to chip away at things to the best of our ability.  Such is the case with Wang Ziyan (H2H Child #1363) , a little 4 year old girl from Henan province. When Wang Ziyan was 2 years old, she was diagnosed with complex CHD.  She was constantly short of breath, had purple lips, and a rapid heart rate. Due to severe family difficulties, she had not been to have the surgery she needed until H2H received a donation from the Shanghai Savage Club this year.  Their full-surgery sponsorship was timed perfectly for her application.  Fortunately, Wang Ziyan responded really well to her open heart surgery and her complex defect seems to be repaired.  Last week we visited her in Henan province.  As a result, we saw what a miracle it was that she had ever survived to come to Shanghai for her surgery.

Wang Ziyan lives with three people – her 91 year old grandmother who has diminished mental capabilities, her 52 year old uncle who also has mental capacity issues, and her 50 year old uncle who has severe mental capacity issues.  Her father is deceased.  Her mother was on hand when we visited Wang Ziyan, but she is a completely non-functional person and lives somewhere else in the village.  It was heartbreaking.  Wang Ziyan’s grandmother and uncles work on their small farm which makes them no money and barely helps them get by.  Fortunately, the government gives them 5,000 yuan annually as a minimum living allowance or they would have nothing.  (The government has also given them some goats to help them start a revenue stream in the future.)  We are used to seeing some dire situations, but their living conditions were extremely bleak.  How little Wang Ziyan with her complex CHD condition survived the cold winters without heat and in her “home” situation, we will never know, but she did.   She won our hearts in the hospital with her cute little smile, her exclamations of joy when we played with her and finally when she started to talk with us.  Now that we’ve seen where she came from, she is even dearer to our hearts.

What is going to happen to our bright little miracle girl?  Well, things are looking up.  Since her surgery, it seems that everything in life is changing for her.  A distant aunt is taking Wang Ziyan to live with her.  (They are pictured here with the Peppa Pig that we gave her.)  We met this aunt while we were there and she seems to be a lovely, caring person with no diminished capacity issues at all.  In addition, a “Big Brother/Big Sister” type volunteer group from a nearby city has decided to help Wang Ziyan.  They will be taking her to do things in the city every other weekend so that she will have things to do that she wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.  Hopefully, these combined efforts plus the generous hongbao the Shanghai Savage Club / H2H gave to her aunt to help with her expenses and education will make a huge difference in her life.  We hope we will eventually see the smart, lively little girl we know is within her emerge and astound all of those around her.

Thank you to everyone who made her surgery, care and future possible.

Meet H2H Sponsors – Hilary and Paul ThompsonPaul and I were lucky enough to spend 3 years living in Shanghai and it was during that time that I learnt about H2H.  I used to help with the assembly team and anything else that was needed. I had told Paul about the work H2H did, but it was not until we both went on our first field trip that we realized what they really did! It was such an amazing experience.  To meet the families and children whose lives had been changed so dramatically made a huge impression on us both.

When it was time to leave Shanghai we decided to donate our air purifiers.  H2H sent a note out to people to bid for them. When 2 weeks later we received a text to say that a little girl had just had her operation and that the money from the purifiers had helped pay for her surgery, we were thrilled. It made us realize that we could really make a difference and decided that even though we were leaving China, we would carry on supporting H2H.We moved to Bratislava in Slovakia and after settling in, we decided to try to raise some more money. We organized a sponsored cycle ride to 3 countries in one day – Bratislava is on the border to Austria and Hungary and the ride took us through each country, finishing at a point where all three borders meet. Once we starting telling people what we were planning, they all wanted to join in – we ended up with 16 people taking part in the ride and lots of others supporting us. Our target was to raise money for a child’s operation.  The cycle ride plus a tea party, two charity lunches and the sale of Christmas decorations and family recipes got us to our target! In such a short time of living in Slovakia our new friends have been so generous and are always asking us about H2H and latest news.

Bratislava has a Chinese Cultural Center and school for the Chinese community – The Yangtze Cultural Center – and during our time here, we have gotten to know the people who run it. They very kindly let us give a presentation to their students and parents, along with some members of the Chinese Embassy. Everyone was really moved by the work H2H does and after the presentation, 1,300 EUR was collected in donations with promises of more fundraising in the future, which is wonderful.Last September we returned to China to visit friends and family. We wanted to donate a library to a school during our trip and Karen organized this for us.  We joined the field trip to Guizhou Province and it was brilliant to see the children and the school we were helping. They all sang a song for everyone to say Thank You – a memory that will always stay with us!The work that H2H does and all the people involved in it are amazing. The things they achieve and the difference they make is incredible but I think what is also brilliant is that they enjoy it and have fun at the same time. Thank you for letting us be part of it!

Heart to Heart truly appreciates individual sponsors like Paul and Hilary.  They have really made a difference.  We all can!

Featured Volunteer: Jane Bouvé 

My name is Jane Bouvé – I came over to Shanghai from Brussels, Belgium in February 2016.  Asia is a life changing experience and actually living in Shanghai at this time is incredible.  There is everything to do here! My husband works in the Food and Beverage business and as many other “better halves” I am unable to obtain a work visa.  I have been extremely lucky to have lived and worked in some wonderful places from working at the Australian Egg Marketing Council in Sydney to match-making in a London dating agency.

When I arrived in Shanghai, I joined the Shanghai Expat Association where I met Lindy.  She dragged me along to Heart to Heart on a Tuesday morning and since then, I haven’t looked back! From the word “go” it has been an extremely rewarding and energising experience knowing that my involvement can help give those children the lifesaving heart surgery they so desperately require. Also meeting many like minded people and having a giggle as we sort and pack the endless stream of donations is great.

There are many different tasks that one can get involved in at Heart to Heart – some of which I would be a disaster! I know my limitations!  Sewing and selling are certainly not on the top of my list!  For me, the most exciting part of the volunteering  is going on the field trips visiting amazing rural parts of China which you would not normally see.  On these trips prepared and packed donations are given to the previously sponsored children and their families in their homes and libraries, sports equipment etc are given to chosen schools.

Without the incredible tireless work from people, especially Karen, DJ and Nancy all this would not be possible – they are truly inspirational.

Welcome to Our New Volunteers!

Hospital Playroom Volunteers

Weekend Visitors

Roisin Bergin
Catherine Ting Wei

Weekday Visitors
Kate Panayotopoulos



Sign up to be a Volunteer! 

Want to sign up to volunteer? Here is a new easy way! Just scan the QR code and fill out the info. It takes less than a minute!

Join Our WeChat Group! 

The H2H WeChat account is in place.  We hope you’ll follow us on it!  Just scan the QR code to get started.

We want to give a huge thanks to Alie Wang for creating and maintaining it for us!

With your support over 1,405 children,  138 libraries and 1 school sports equipment package have been sponsored!

Follow Us Online

In addition to our webpage at, we are on WeChat, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Join us to share pictures and get updates!

WeChat Group Chats:

Assembly Team
Events Team
Knitting Team
Playroom Team
Sewing Group

Contact Us:

General Information:
Admin:  Drew Seaman, Karen Carrington, Mark O’Rourke
Assembly Director:  DJ Wizniak
Assembly Team Backup:  Drew Seaman
Chinese Language Communication:  Alex Tsou & Yen-ling von Meister 
CSR and Group Volunteering Manager:  Bev Darle
CSR and Group Volunteering Team:  DJ Wizniak, Drew Seaman, Giuseppina De Leonardis
Donations (New and Gently Used Goods):  DJ Wizniak & Drew Seaman
Events Manager:  Harrison Carter
Events Set-up Manager:  Therese Burke
Executive Director:  Karen Carrington
Field Trips: Karen Carrington
Finance Director: Zhang Xiaoguang
Finance Team:  Amy Lu
Knitting Manager: Helen Anderson
Legal Counsel/Director:  Zhang Qi
Media and Marketing Manager:  Alie Wang
Media & Marketing:  April Chiasson, Jessica Kaufenbert (photography) and Katie Littlefield (remote)
New Volunteer Coordinators: Anh Ly Moellers (new application processing and hospital volunteers), Ross Abantao (assemblers & playroom orientation), Karen Carrington (knitters and sewers)
Newsletter:  Debi Carter & Ana Alexander
Newsletter Proofreader: 
Karen Carrington
On-line Projects Manager:  Nancy Kong
Playroom Manager:  Liz Xue
Project Management / Processes & Procedures:  Anne Stehlin
Promotions Team:  Alie Wang, Ann Stehlin, April Chiasson and Mike Ferrari
Rural Library/Sporting Equipment Sponsorship: Karen Carrington
School Liaison Management Team:   Maria Christoforatos & Nicola Burton
School Team Members:  Lili Zhang
Sewing Team Manger:  Stefanie Sauer
Sponsorship & Hospital Visits Managers:   Karen Carrington & DJ Wizniak
Sponsorship & Hospital Visits Team: Drew Seaman, Helen Anderson, Maria Christoforatos, Nancy Kong, Steve Lee, Therese Burke
Webmasters: Jung-Woo Lee (website), Eric Wang (database), Karen Carrington (content)
Website Pictures (remote):  Lenel Roux
WeChat Account:  Alie Wang

Office Location

YODA Cardio Thoracic HOSPITAL
Address: No. 218 Long Cao Road, Xuhui district, 200235 Shanghai
Driving Directions: Longcao Road (between Caoxi Road &Longhua Road)
Metro Directions:
– Line 3 & 12 “Long Cao Road Station” – Exit 4 – Turn left (it is the next building)
– Line 1 & 12 “Cao Bao Road Station” – Exit 4 from the SOUTH platform – Turn right
8 minutes walk (it will be on your right)
Bus Routes:
– Bus 50 (Caohejing Road stop or N Caoxi Rd, E Tainlin Road stop)
– Bus 111 (Long Wu Road -­Longcao Road stop)
– Bus 120 (Longcao Road stop)

Many Ways to Support Us!

Did you know that Heart to Heart is a 100% volunteer organization?  With no paid staff we always need people to volunteer.  Here are just a few of the ways you can help us.

Visit Us at an Event

Check out our ‘Support Us‘ section following the calendar.

Donate New or Gently Used Goods

Clothing, toys, toiletries collected from hotel visits, company swag – as long as it is not electronic or breakable, we will find a use for it.  Please contact

Donate Your Time

Help out in our hospital playroom, join an assembly session, schedule a special group volunteering session for you and your coworkers, knit or sew bear clothes at home or with friends.  There are countless opportunities.  We definitely need your help!

Other Donations

You can help support our food card program, our rural school library program, or become a heart surgery program sponsor.  Contact us to find out how you can help.

Tell Your Friends About Us

Pick up a flyer at an event and pass it on. Bring a friend to a volunteer session. Enlist your friends from home to make a donation (contact our executive director to find out how you can make this happen).