For the Florida advocacy team, August was a time for reconnecting with old volunteers and meeting with some new ones. During the week of August 25, David Francis, Government Relations Director, and Julie M. Howell, Grassroots Director, set out to host four advocacy trainings in three days in Southwest and South Florida.
Their first stop was Bonita Springs. Meeting early Tuesday morning, champion volunteers celebrated past successes in Florida and learned about the 2015 legislative priorities of the American Heart Association (AHA) and how they can help through You're the Cure. After an hour and half of active dialogue, discussing healthy food financing initiatives, teaching high school students CPR, and much more, attendees joined You're the Cure and signed petitions in support of CPR in Schools. After the successful training, David and Julie took their show on the road.
Next stop - Miami, where they hosted two trainings on Wednesday due to the overwhelming interest of volunteers. At both trainings, volunteers shared why they're involved with the AHA and their desire to create policy change in their community to improve heart health. Such an inspirational group!
David and Julie finished up their week of trainings in Ft. Lauderdale. On Thursday, many key volunteers familiar with the AHA's community events, such as Heart Walk and Heart Ball, gathered for the chance to learn about another way the AHA is working towards its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. They enjoyed speaking about their current involvement with the AHA and how they can help the organization even more through You're the Cure.
Overall the local market visits were very successful. David and Julie made some new friends and hopefully inspired some new champions for the AHA's advocacy efforts. Thank you to all Florida advocates - new and old alike - who took time out of their busy schedules to attend. We're counting on your continued support as we look forward to 2015.
Special thanks to Leslie Amick, Laurie Mahoney, Dan Thorpe, Jessie Spicer and Islara Souto for securing meeting spaces and inviting staff and volunteers to attend.