For the past three years, I have had the privilege of meeting inspiring advocates with the American Heart Association. As we quickly approach my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a few moments and express what I have been thankful for over these past years at the AHA. Although it is difficult to narrow my list, here is my best shot.
Our volunteers are without a doubt what I am most thankful for. The people I get to meet and work with are truly an inspiration. I am consistently impressed with their determination, resolve, and energy. Many of our advocates are heart disease or stroke survivors, who have overcome so much adversity and have become empowered to make change. I am consistently amazed by their strength and it motivates me daily.
I have the great joy of bringing in volunteers from all over the country to our nation’s capital to meet with their members of Congress. Whether it is urging Congress to invest in more heart and stroke research, protecting healthy school meals, or increase physical education, our advocates take DC by storm every year. Before they arrive, most are understandably nervous or anxious. But after each event, almost all of our volunteers return to their home states feeling more empowered and motivated than before. It is truly an awe inspiring transformation to witness.
All of the work we do would not be meaningful if it did not get results. Throughout the country, our volunteers improve public policy to create a healthier America. More states than ever have cleaner indoor air, free of harmful cigarette smoke. Over 1 million high school students will be trained in lifesaving CPR before they graduate. An increasing amount of newborns are now screened for congenital heart defects before leaving the hospital. These are just a few of the victories we have seen… all thanks to our wonderful advocates.
On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you. Thank you for all of your hard work!
All this week we are highlighting members of the You're the Cure Federal Grassroots team. Check out our first blog by Hailey Clements!