The Evolution of Gift of Life

The Evolution of Gift of Life.

Maximizing Our Impact to Help More Children


Gift of Life is a Rotarian-based organization that has evolved over the past 4 decades into a global network of caring.  Our traditional model for providing care to children with heart disease from emerging countries was to bring one child at a time to the United States for treatment.  For the first 30 years of our existence, this was our primary means of providing hope to children who were not able to receive treatment in their country of birth.

Although this remains an important part of the Gift of Life Global Network, we have now evolved, enabling us to help address the crisis that exists today for children with heart disease throughout the world who lack access to treatment. Through the strategy we have developed, over 99% of the more than 3,500 children each year we provide care to are treated in their country of birth.

Our Evolution

45 Years of providing hope to children with heart disease and
healing little hearts around the world

1 in 100

This year, approximately 131 million children will be born. Statistically 1 in every 100 will have a congenital heart defect.


Gift of Life International initiates ‘Our Hearts are in…’ program focused on the development of sustainable pediatric cardiac programs in select emerging countries


In 2003, GOL was formed with the following Guiding Principles:

  • Develop new GOL programs
  • Maximize the capacity of existing GOL programs
  • Develop partnerships with like-minded NGOs
  • Tell the collective story of GOL programs



Children Treated Annually

Throughout our Global Network of Caring


First - ever GOL recipient received
second chance at life



Children Treated

From 80 Countries Across 5 Continents

In 2008, GOL global network celebrated saving our



1.3 Million

Each year, 1.3 million children are born with congenital heart disease, and 93% of them are born in a country that cannot care for them.


Rotary Clubs


Rotary Districts

Support Gift of
Life Efforts
Around the World

Our global
network consists of


Autonomous Gift of Life programs