Guest Blogger - Lisa Michael
As many of you know, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement recently celebrated the 10th annual Wear Red Day. When I initially got involved as an advocate with You're the Cure, this event was one of the easiest and best places to begin my service. During my first year, I was nervous as I presented my story to my colleagues at work, asked them to wear red and requested that they donate what they could. Fortunately, I had a compassionate boss and an encouraging staff turn out in support. In fact, I've been hosting Wear Red Day long enough that they've come to expect it every year!
This year was the best yet – not because I raised a lot of money – but because I touched the most people. It's amazing how talking to people about my preparations led to a chain of events that surpassed anything I could have planned myself. Here's how it went:
- I attended a new craft group and made some scrapbook-style signs for my event using old brochures and prints. Here I was able to tell my story to an old high-school friend and her mother.
- While my family has known about my previous Wear Red Days, they've never held events. Then, the week before the Day, my sister and my mom volunteered to make heart-shaped cookies for their respective colleagues. I was able to give them some handouts to set on the tables, too. I found out later that each of them had shared my story with the people around them at work and they had set out envelopes for donations. This basically tripled my fundraising efforts!
- I always bring goodies to set up in my staff room. This year I brought some sweets, carrots cut into the shape of hearts (thanks, Mom!), strawberries, and blueberries. I also printed the new research article that details the benefits of the berries.
- I co-teach a leadership class on Fridays, so when I arrived, my colleague asked if I wanted to explain to the students what was happening that day. I ended up showing a video about the Go Red For Women campaign, sharing my story, and making a connection to the Jump Rope for Heart event that we'll at the school in two weeks. I'd never talked to my students about Go Red before this year, but they were really interested and excited to get involved!
As you can see, my event was successful because I reached out to others. It's not too late to sponsor a Wear Red Day – the whole month of February is Heart Month! Start small, tell your story and wear RED.