Grassroots Charity Raises Much-Needed funds for Heart Patients
Fifteen-year-old Maroubra local Mimi Perkin has founded a new charity, Hearts4Arch, in memory of her brother Archie, who passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest on January 3, 2020.
The charity’s goal is to provide every cardiac patient of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network with a mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) unit when they leave the hospital.
Miss Perkin told The Beast that it was an easy decision to do something special in her brother’s memory.
“As soon as Arch passed away, I knew I wanted to raise money. Growing up we had other disabled people in our family, so we always had that connection and I really wanted to help other kids,” Miss Perkin explained.
The fundraising efforts began with a surf competition in October 2020 with Maroubra’s South End Boardriders. That was followed by a fundraising concert with local bands Gully Days, Ben Darby and Mordor at the Paddington RSL in November.
The concert raised well over $8,000 and Miss Perkin said it was the sort of evening Archie would have loved.
“It was amazing, the vibes were so good! I didn’t know the bands before, but Arch had been to a Mordor concert and came home absolutely sweating,” she told The Beast.
“He’d had such a good time, so I knew it would be good.”
The charity is also selling merchandise to raise funds. The Hearts4Arch T-shirts, hoodies and caps are made in collaboration with Fair Share, which includes a small price premium (between 20 cents and a dollar) that is passed on directly to garment workers in India. This means that purchasing Hears4Arch merchandise does good twice, raising funds here in Australia and providing extra income to workers overseas.
All of the funds raised go towards purchasing Kardia mobile ECG units. The units are small enough to be stuck on the back of a phone and can measure heart rate through the fingers. Data is collected by a phone app and can be sent directly to a doctor to measure any irregularities in the user’s heart rate.
While the inspiration for the charity, and a huge amount of work, came from Miss Perkin, she also acknowledges that she couldn’t have done it without the support of friends and family.
“At first I didn’t want their help, but it was becoming really overwhelming, so mum sat me down and said, ‘Look I think it’s bigger than you thought it would be, and I want to help’. Our family friend Imby Langenbach was an awesome help too,” Miss Perkin said.
Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of the cause are also the youngest.
“Archie’s friends love it, they’re really involved. There are so many Hearts4Arch stickers up around Maroubra because of them, Archie would’ve loved it,” she added.
The young founder started the charity amid COVID lockdowns and tackling year ten at school. While she knows she will spend the next two years focusing on her HSC, Miss Perkin knows that she wants Hearts4Arch to keep going long-term and do as much good as possible.
“We definitely would like the surf comp and gig to be a yearly thing, even if I’m a bit more in the background the next two years, and after school I’d like to keep going with it and do even more,” she told The Beast.
For more information about future fundraising events and how to contribute, please visit www.hearts4arch.com.au.