HEART OF CHARLESTON COMMUNITY SERVE DAY
Taking the Heart Ball Beyond the Ballroom
The goal of a Heart of Community Serve Day is to take the Heart Ball campaign beyond the ballroom and into the community by providing opportunities to engage employees in compelling and meaningful volunteer activities that support the mission and health equity work of the American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association will invite area companies to participate in and rally around a designated “Community Serve Day” during the campaign and provide volunteer options along with toolkits that include step by step guidance to help companies execute various activities independently. The impact of these activations can be highlighted and celebrated at local Heart Ball events across the country.
By completing the Company Sign-up Form, your company is agreeing to organize a Heart of Community Serve Day volunteer activity using one of the American Heart Association volunteer activity toolkits. The American Heart Association is confident that through the use of the toolkits, each company and its volunteers can find an opportunity to give back to the community in such a manner as works best for each individual company. Questions? Email: email@example.com.
AHA Gratitude Event Volunteer Activity
Chronic workplace stress can be as risky to health as secondhand smoke. On the flip side, managing stress can improve feelings of happiness, purpose and gratitude, all of which can keep hearts and minds healthier, and make it more likely for people to stick with healthy habits. In fact, positive mental health and well-being is associated with beneficial health behaviors such as smoking cessation, heart-healthy eating, increased medication adherence and regular check-ups and health screenings.
Little things like “thank yous” can go a long way in helping support and improve mental well-being for both the people showing gratitude as well as for those being thanked! The American Heart Association invites companies to host a “gratitude event” where your employees will create unique thank you cards to hand-deliver to local collaborative organizations and individuals doing shared work with the AHA.
The goal of this project is to ensure that thank you cards go to workers who are often under-recognized and often disproportionately from historically excluded groups including certified nursing assistants (CNAs), nursing home staff, cafeteria workers, cashiers in grocery and general merchandise stores and custodial and maintenance staff. AHA resources to support mental well-being can be printed and included with these special messages to increase the impact of the gratitude activity.
Hands-Only CPR Awareness Volunteer Activity
Did you know that each year nearly 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and only 8–10% of cardiac arrest victims survive? When bystander CPR is performed before EMS arrives, survival rates increase 200%! Unfortunately, bystander CPR rates and bystander AED use are consistently lower among Black individuals and in Black communities, Black and Brown communities are more likely to incorrectly believe that special training and certification are required to perform Hands-Only CPR, and in a 2017 study of more than 19,000 people who had cardiac events, only 39% of women received CPR from bystanders in public compared to 45% of men. You can help address these disparities by volunteering your time with the American Heart Association to learn about the lifesaving skill of Hands Only CPR and share this information with others! This Hands-only CPR Volunteer Activity consists of a variety of activities that can be completed over a two-week period anytime, anywhere.
Companies that select this volunteer activity will have the option to:
Host a Hands-Only CPR Awareness event using an AHA CPR & First Aid Anywhere Kit to educate customers and employees about this lifesaving skill! A one-time purchase of the training kit is required for this activity. Kits can be kept for future use or gifted to a community organization of your choosing following the event.
Note: Volunteers facilitating these trainings do not have to be AHA instructors or have a CPR course completion card. The course is video-based and lesson plans are provided to teach the skills of CPR and first aid. Simply follow the steps provided in the kit!
In the Company Sign-up Form, be sure to indicate whether your company is interested in the virtual or in-person event option.
Healthy Food Drive
A lack of access to adequate, consistent and healthy food contributes to negative health outcomes including chronic disease and poor mental health. Healthy food serves as the basis of cardiovascular health and eating healthy meals is easier when families can afford, or have access to affordable, nutritious foods. Food access organizations want more healthy options; it’s usually just a matter of not having access to high quality items. While food access organizations serve as an important resource in our community, the food donations are often low in nutritional value. A lack of access to the nutrition needed to support optimal health makes it difficult for food access organizations to support the health of shoppers and perpetuates inequities that contribute to negative health outcomes.
By hosting a Healthy Food Drive, your company will be providing a local food access organization with needed items to provide the nutrition access our neighbors need to live full, healthy lives. The American Heart Association will provide your company with step-by-step guidance to hold a successful healthy food drive including ways to locate local food access organizations, communication tips, event promotion materials, a guide for meeting nutrition and cultural needs, and more.
Blood Pressure Awareness Challenge
Uncontrolled high blood pressure robs us of precious time with our loved ones. It is a silent killer: a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease that causes unnecessary and inequitable disease and death. If we don’t help more adults control their blood pressure, we risk continual reversal of progress made fighting heart disease and stroke.
Consider the following:
Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure and many don’t even know they have it.
People with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease are at increased risk for serious complications and death from COVID-19, and these preexisting conditions are contributing to racial disparities in COVID-19 death rates.
According to data from 2018, more than half of Hispanic males and more than 40% of Hispanic females had high blood pressure, causing 7,137 deaths that year alone.
Because of ongoing societal injustices and systemic inequities, Black Americans have among the highest rates of high blood pressure in the world. This is an issue even for younger Black Americans. Their risk of stroke is about 1.5 times higher than other demographics.
Educating community members about blood pressure can go a long way in helping the AHA’s fight for a world of longer, healthier lives. Your company can help by rallying your employees to participate in a Blood Pressure Awareness Challenge volunteer activity where they will be asked to complete a series of outreach and awareness activities designed to reach thousands of people over a two-week period. The following calls to action will exponentially magnify our impact and further our goal of reducing hypertension.
THANK YOU to our Life Is Why Sponsors!