What an incredible experience I had this month when the American Heart Association invited me to travel to Oklahoma City to speak at the OKC Sweetheart Lobby Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol. I was a 2016-17 AHA Sweetheart in Arkansas, and it was such a privilege to speak to young women that were sitting where I was just last year - except for the Oklahoma City part. I didn’t know at that time that I would have the opportunity to volunteer in so many other ways for the AHA beyond that first year.
I shared with them my “WHY” for wanting to get plugged in and advocate with the AHA as well as how I have become an advocate with the AHA after my year in the Sweetheart program. I am able to write this monthly blog, volunteer with Jump Rope for Heart events, read to local elementary students about developing heart-healthy habits, and even do “Twitter Takeovers” at signature AHA events.
One of the most important things that we did as a group that day was talk to Oklahoma lawmakers about heart-healthy policies. Talking to your lawmakers can make a big difference in order to make sure states adopt more heart-healthy policies.
Also, I was able to do a Twitter takeover and Instagram story takeover for the Oklahoma’s You’re the Cure accounts. I posted about events all throughout the day. I posted about who we talked to, what activities we did, and facts about heart disease. It was such an honor to be chosen as one of the speakers. The Sweetheart program truly made a difference in my perspective on my health, helped me become more aware about an educational path towards becoming a cardiologist, and a desire to make a difference in my community by sharing with others how they can become heart-healthy. If you or someone you know is about to be a sophomore in high school, I would most definitely check out this wonderful program! You can email Allison.Hogue@heart.org and she will connect you to the right person!
Governor Mary Fallin talks with Oklahoma Sweethearts
As much as I enjoyed flying for my first “business” trip, experiencing a beautiful new city, and speaking about something I love to a brand new audience, the best thing about this day was that it created more volunteers. Several Oklahoma sweethearts decided that they too would like to write blogs, do twitter takeovers, or help with educational or fundraising events. That is so awesome!!
Today, I challenge each of you to join me and get involved with the lifesaving advocacy work of the American Heart Association. Add your voice by simply texting ABBY to 46839 right now or visit yourethecure.org/join. It only takes a few moments, and you will be a part of a powerful movement to save lives.
I’m so thankful that when given the opportunity to share my passion with others, it provides life-changing opportunities. Until next time….
All my heart,