From the heart
Hannah Harrington encourages more schools to host a Heart Art Show to benefit the IWK.
“So far, we have raised $10,000, and if we could get other schools involved it would be so cool because seeing so many people care and a tiny idea turn into something huge would be unreal.” Hannah Harrington
Hannah Harrington doesn’t know what she would do without her younger brother, Quinn.
Nine-year-old Quinn underwent open-heart surgery at Halifax’s IWK Health Centre when he was just six weeks old.
Hannah, who was nine at the time, felt that her family members had a positive experience and were treated with care at the hospital. And because of that, she wanted to ensure other families felt the same way.
That’s why she created the Heart Art Show at what was then her school, Queen Elizabeth Elementary in Kensington.
Now 17 and a soon-to-be graduate from Kensington Intermediate Senior High School, Hannah is making it her mission to get more schools participating in the IWK fundraiser.
“We’re sending out a written letter from me as an invitation talking about my idea, and we’re going to see how many schools we can get involved.”
Her goal is to have all Island elementary schools host a bydonation fundraiser on Feb. 12 where students create and sell any type of art that involves hearts to symbolize her brother’s surgery.
Quinn, who is now the same age Hannah was when she started the fundraiser, attends Queen Elizabeth Elementary and plans to do what he can to raise money.
“I feel like it would be nice to help kids that went through the same thing I did,” he said.
Looking back, Hannah is impressed with what her fundraiser has accomplished.
“After our first year we decided we would ask other schools, but this year I decided I wanted it to be a big event.
“So far, we have raised $10,000, and if we could get other schools involved it would be so cool because seeing so many people care and a tiny idea turn into something huge would be unreal,” she said.
She and Quinn share an interest in basketball, swimming and movies.
“After everything he went through, you realize how much more you appreciate having him in your life,” said Hannah. “Having a sibling is great, but this makes him that much more important.”
She said the Heart Art Show is a great event, and it shows how a community supports someone and their ideas.
“It’s nice knowing you get to help other people.”
Lynn Anne Hogan, P.E.I. philanthropy officer with the IWK Health Centre Foundation, said for Hannah to have been in Grade 4 when she made the connection that other families should have a positive stay at the hospital is wonderful.
“She still has that passion, which is remarkable.”
Hogan said Hannah’s school did the fundraiser until she graduated from Grade 6, and Bloomfield Elementary began in the second year, raising $8,000 to date.
Money raised supports critical care areas, such as purchasing new equipment, funding research and supporting programs.
“Fundraisers like this are what make the hospital world-class,” said Hogan. “P.E.I. children deserve nothing less than the very best.”
She thinks Hannah is a smart, young lady, who shows leadership.
“It’s a testament to her family. They have instilled some amazing values in her,” added Hogan.
“I hope more schools will join her Heart Art team because it’s a magical event, and it’s very touching.”
Quinn Harrington gets a kiss from his older sister, Hannah, who is encouraging all P.E.I. elementary schools to participate in her Heart Art Show, which raises money for the IWK Health Centre. Quinn underwent open-heart surgery at the hospital when he was six weeks old.