Backpack Buddies

Backpack Buddies

 No child should ever go hungry, especially not in our own community. Children are our future and need full bellies to be able to learn their best in school. Rick’s Heart Foundation is proudly sponsoring L.A. Matheson Secondary School in Surrey, BC by sponsoring we are providing 30 kids with backpacks full of food to get them through the weekend. The Foundation also supplies shipping to Backpack Buddies, to help reach more schools. 

Learn how you can get involved at bottom of story!

BC has the highest child poverty rate of any province in Canada

Everyday, tens of thousands of children are going hungry in our communities. Today, the average two-parent, only child, family lives on less than $19,000 per year. With rent, basic living expenses and childcare costs all increasing ten- and twenty-fold in the last two decades, a crisis has emerged for families in our communities.

Basic needs like food, shelter and warmth are now in direct competition with one another. Families are often forced to make trade-offs. Forego dinners this week to pay rent. Skip perishable items so the fridge can be unplugged and the electricity bill kept low. The list goes on.

This is why Backpack buddies are so crucial for our communities’ children and why Rick’s Heart Foundation has decided to become a supporter. To learn more  about this amazing organization visit Backpack Buddies.

Hi Community,

I have to be honest with you – I never realized the extent of child hunger here in BC. I first learned about it back in 2012 by speaking with outreach workers and teachers. They shared stories about how they would store food in their desks to feed kids on Monday morning, paid for out of their own pockets.

20% of children in BC do not know where their next meal is coming from. To give this some context, the average Grade 4 classroom in our province has 23 students. That means approximately 4 students in EVERY classroom leave at the end of the day uncertain if they will have dinner that night. These kids are no more than 9 or 10, yet they already know the pain of an empty stomach and the anxiety of struggling with hunger.

You and I both agree that’s too much for a young child to bear, and together, we can do something about it. That’s why 19 new recipient schools were added to Backpack Buddies’ Friday delivery route this year. We’re now feeding an additional 292 children (1,293 total) in communities across Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. This holiday season, we need your help to reach them.

There are children in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and in cities on Vancouver Island that are waiting for your help – you can even pick which neighbourhood you’d like to reach. Will you consider supporting a hungry child today?

All it takes is $10 to provide a child in need with enough meals and snacks to keep them fed over the weekend. $360 supports one child for the entire school year. When you ensure a child has enough to eat over the weekend, you fuel their learning, health and personal well-being.

You can support a hungry child in the neighbourhood of your choice here:

Please give now to provide a weekend, a month, a semester or an entire school year of hearty weekends to a child in need today.

With gratitude,

Emily-anne King
Vice-President & Co-Founder of Backpack Buddies

Sturgeon Conservation

Sturgeon Conservation

Rick’s Heart Foundation believes strongly in Conservation. The Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Fraser River White Sturgeon. Their vision is a Fraser River White Sturgeon population that is strong, healthy and naturally sustaining for future generations.

To achieve their vision, they focus their resources and expertise on key strategies to:

a) conduct research relating to Fraser River White Sturgeon and to disseminate the results of such research;

b) educate and increase the public’s understanding of the Fraser River White Sturgeon by implementing public relations activities, educational initiatives, seminars and workshops;

c) take appropriate actions on key issues facing sturgeon.

As an environmental stewardship and research organization, the Society brings together a diverse community of stakeholders – leaders, all areas of government and First Nations, commercial and recreational fishing sectors, research and education – to work together and make a difference for Fraser River White Sturgeon. Priority areas include: mortality, habitat erosion, technology and recruitment of juvenile stocks.


This is why Rick’s Heart Foundation are proud to support ‘Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society’. Participating in their 2019 Gala by donating the Grand Prize for ‘closest to a random length fish encountered’. Winner of this prize was none other than Canadian country music star Brett Kissel.

Some interesting information:

White Sturgeon can live well over 150 years and grow to over 6 meters in length.

Fraser River White Sturgeon…

– Have survived two ice-ages; are living in the Fraser River.
– Survive in both fresh and salt water.
– Have captured the imagination of hundreds of students and future ‘sturgeon stewards’, through the FRSCS Sturgeon Education Program grades 4-7.
– Rely on help from the sport fishing, recreational fishery, First Nations, government and community leaders, environmentalists, conservation experts and the public community.

Keeping the Legend Alive! Raised Over $150K for Conservation!

Thank you to all our participants, guests, supporters, sponsors and the team of volunteers, for helping us make 2019 Event the best to date! We are excited to announce that the net proceeds from “Keeping the Legend Alive”; our FRSCS Sturgeon Conservation Challenge Gala Awards Dinner & Auction 2019, exceeded last years’ net; raising over $150,000 for the conservation of Fraser River White Sturgeon.

With 26 Challenge Teams fishing from April through October and covering the Fraser River from the mouth of the Fraser River at Steveston to beyond Hope, BC, our event has succeeded to share our sturgeon story with over 350 participants and guests at our Gala Dinner event.

Here are some data highlights:

– Teams collected data from over 290 sturgeon

– Of the 290 sturgeon sampled, over 140 new tags were applied

– And our recapture rate was 49% – which is significantly lower than our overall study at 74%!

Congratulations to our Team Winners:

– 1st Place – Newmont Goldcorp

– 2nd Place – Seaspan Marine

– 3rd Place – LGL “Forever Sturgeon”

Thank you Wes David for doing a fantastic job as our MC.

 A special thanks to Brett Kissel for a great performance and amazing entertainment, and to FRSCS Founder, Rick Hansen for an amazing keynote address that inspired all of us to focus our efforts and help make a difference.

Thank you to Rick Bourne, Langara Fishing Adventures, for providing us with the big prize – an incredible trip for four (4) to Langara Fishing Lodge. We are so grateful for your support.

Stay tuned…FRSCS Sturgeon Conservation Challenge 2020 date coming soon!!!!


We Want to Hear From YOU! Be the Voice for Sturgeon!

If you want to help make a difference, share your voice, get involved and make your concerns heard, please join our new Sturgeon Stewards Chat. This Chat is a unique way for people like you who care about this incredible species, to express your thoughts, priorities, and concerns about the future of Fraser River White Sturgeon.

Register on your mobile device and you will receive updates and information from the FRSCS on our conservation initiatives and have the opportunity to participate in brief surveys to collect your thoughts about ongoing sturgeon issues and priorities. You can help educate others, share the sturgeon story and also get active and engage in sturgeon advocacy.

Please join The Sturgeon Stewards Chat at and help us raise a strong voice for White Sturgeon.

Best regards, 

Sarah Schreier, Executive Director
Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society

NMO Program Update

NMO Program Update

“It is wonderful to watch the progress of a project, which the Diamond family and their Foundations have supported for many years.

Since 2008, research into Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)  has been conducted, with our support, by the UBC/VGH Hospital Foundation through the work of Dr. A Traboulsee and his team.

Recently the NMO Clinic has played an important role as a participant site in the clinical trial of a new and promising treatment, with a large pharmaceutical company. With national and international colleagues, they are making strides in MRI imaging for Multiple Sclerosis, are developing a Canada-wide database for NMO and related disorders, and working to speed prompt diagnosis and treatment of the NMDA disorder- perhaps familiar from the book “Brain on Fire”. Through ” Patient Day”, improved patient educational outreach services continue to be offered, too.

It is very gratifying to see the outstanding progress being made in British Columbia in NMO. We are proud to have played a role in making this vision a reality.”

~ Rick’s Heart Foundation

What is NMO?

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a central nervous system disorder that primarily affects the eye nerves (optic neuritis) and the spinal cord (myelitis). NMO is also known as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder or Devic’s disease. It occurs when your body’s immune system reacts against its own cells in the central nervous system, mainly in the optic nerves and spinal cord, but sometimes in the brain.

The cause of neuromyelitis optica is usually unknown, although it may sometimes appear after an infection, or it may be associated with another autoimmune condition. Neuromyelitis optica is often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis (MS) or perceived as a type of MS, but NMO is a distinct condition.

Neuromyelitis optica may cause blindness in one or both eyes, weakness or paralysis in the legs or arms, painful spasms, loss of sensation, uncontrollable vomiting and hiccups, and bladder or bowel dysfunction from spinal cord damage. Children may experience confusion, seizures or coma with NMO. Neuromyelitis optica flare-ups may be reversible, but can be severe enough to cause permanent visual loss and problems with walking.

Mayo Clinic Staff (2017, Dec 15). Overview [Web log post]. Retrieved Nov 4, 2019, from

For more on this story visit NMO Centre For Brain Health

Hurricane Dorian Relief

Hurricane Dorian Relief

Hurricane Dorian was the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Over 60 fatalities. Over 7 Billion in Damage. Winds over 185 MPH. Across the Bahamas, the storm left at least 70,000 people homeless. An estimated 13,000 homes, constituting 45% of the homes on the Abacos and Grand Bahama, suffered severe damage or were completely destroyed.

Abaco, Bahamas post Hurricane Dorian

Here at Rick’s Heart Foundation we strongly believe in working together to strengthen the impact. By supplying shipping in British Columbia to Disaster Aid and Soap For Hope we were able to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian. This relief was made possible as well by UPS, Disaster Aid USA, Disaster Aid UK and Ireland. We are grateful to these organizations for all they do.
This could NEVER have happened without volunteers.  We would like to thank everyone that gave Disaster Aid their at the warehouse in Victoria. Volunteers jumped into gear and packed boxes all day for this urgent shipment. As well all the incredible volunteers on the ground in the Bahamas, even today they are still working hard. 
Disaster Aid Canada has been coordinating with Disaster Aid USA and Disaster Aid UK and Ireland to get the support done right. 
  1. A $100.00 donation delivers a Water Filtration System for a family which will provide 170 gallons of water per day. Clean water saves lives.
  2. For a donation of $500 you can supply a family with a large 3 room tent. 
  3. For $1,000 you can provide a Disaster Relief Kit complete with a large family tent, a cook stove, pots and pans, dishes, eating utensils, water jugs, and tools.
All donations are greatly appreciated. Tax receipts are issued for all donations over $20.00.