Monday, September 21, 2009

Have a Heart

Somehow, I've gotten myself volunteered to participate in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk in New Orleans in November. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity where I could actually do something to help people and hopefully make some new friends in the process. The hospital where I work is sponsoring this year's Heart Walk, so that seemed like a good place to start. I sent an e-mail to the event coordinator asking if she still needed volunteers to help with the planning or setting up of the event and before I knew it, I was signed up to actually be on a team. I don't remember ever actually agreeing to it but here I am.

You have no idea how intimidating this is to me. I'm no good at stuff like this. I'm terrible at asking people to sponsor me for things, or donate money to a cause I believe in because...well I don't know why exactly. I guess I just feel bad asking people for money--especially in times like these when the economy is so sluggish and lots of people are having a hard enough time just getting by. I think I tend to feel like if people want to donate to a cause they will because it's important to them. I don't want to guilt them into it. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. This is something I really feel strongly about and maybe I shouldn't see my support of a very worthy cause as a burden to someone else. I dunno.

Wow. I just reread the last two paragraphs and I'm pretty sure that's gotta be the worst sales pitch ever, of all time. See? Told you I was bad at this kind of thing. I'll try again. I'll tell you a little bit about why this particular cause is so important to me, and let you decide for yourselves how you feel about it.

An estimated 80,000,000 American adults suffer from some sort of heart disease. 80 MILLION. That's one in every three adults. This is something I'm passionate about because its something that truly has or will affect probably every single one of us at some point in our lives; either us personally or someone we are very close to. There are hundreds of other very deserving organizations that you could choose to support; the American Cancer Society for example is another great one. But because heart disease is the number one killer today, I feel like maybe it is the one that the largest number of us can relate to.

Two of my grandparents have had heart attacks in the past five years. That's scary enough in and of itself, but scarier still because I know that heart diseases are to some extent hereditary so it makes me scared that the same thing will happen to my parents and then to me and my sister one of these days too. Both of my grandparents are otherwise very healthy; they don't smoke, they're physically active for their age and they're not overweight. I guess my point is, if it could happen to them it can literally happen to anyone.

The American Heart Association was founded way back in the early 1900's by a group of doctors who were concerned about the lack of information on heart disease that was available to the public. Since then, the AHA has grown into one of the largest volunteer health agencies in the world. A major part of their mission still today is to make people aware; to educate them on heart disease. Risk factors, what to look for, detection and get the idea. There are four major branches of the AHA now, and Start! is the name of the one sponsoring the heart walk. It's all about promoting physical fitness/activity to stay healthy. And that's definitely something I can agree with.

Alright, enough with the history lesson. I'm going to wrap this up by posting a link to my Heart Walk website. I set a goal of raising $500 by November. I've never done this before so I have noooo idea whether that is realistic or not. Most people set goals in the thousands though, so I feel like surely I can manage to raise a few hundred. Please, please, please feel free to make a donation--each and every one, no matter how big or small, will be greatly appreciated and could help to save someone's life someday. And even if you don't make a donation, if you just want to go to the site and read a little more about AHA and the heart walk, that'd be great too.

This is a link to my personal Heart Walk page. You'll notice that I'm desperately in need of a little help to reach the $500 mark.

Thank you so much in advance...I'll stop soliciting you now.

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