War Amps, James Jordan
Posted By David Pyett
James is a Safety Event Coordinator with War Amps and studied Multimedia Design at Durham College. He is also an amputee, born without an arm below the elbow.
The War Amps started at the end of WWI as a result of the number of disabled Vets returning from battle to a country ill able to handle their disabilities. These Vets needed to provide for their families and lead productive lives but there were no services available for them. As a result they joined together and became their own source of information and services. The War Amps grew greatly after WWII when even more Vets returned to Canada. This time though, there was an organization to meet the new Vets and provide support and services.
In 1946, the War Amps introduced their signature Key Tag return service where if your keys are lost, they are picked up by bonded courier and returned to the owner. To date, 1.5M sets of keys have been returned. There is no obligation to make a donation to the organization for this service but satisfied users donate funds that allow the organization to carry out all its services. War Amps is funded solely by donation and does not receive any government grants.
In the 60’s, the War Amps noticed that there were many child amputees with limited services available and in the 70’s, the Champ program was started. The program is available for any Canadian citizen under the age of 18 and once you are registers continues for life. Champ provides assistance with the cost of standard limbs that is not covered by other parties and the full cost of recreational limbs which are not covered by any province or health plan. Champ also provides support and mentoring to by young amputees and their families. Annual Champ Seminars are held which bring the amputee and family together with other families and allows the amputees to see how others deal with their disability and provide support for parents.
James works within War Amps as a special advisor and works with regions to put together PlaySafe parade floats which are peopled by Safety Ambassadors, young amputees that get the message out to play safe to avoid accidents such as those experienced by the ambassadors.