Guest Blogger: Lisa Michael
National Heart Month has come to an end and I want to share a simple way to keep the message going all year: be persistent.
Since beginning my advocacy journey with the American Heart Association, I've realized the importance of persistence. I've worked at the same school for several years now, and every year, I look forward to February's Go Red for Women Day. This is when I get to tell my personal survivor-story and spread the word about women and heart disease.
The first year at my school, of course, was a bit rough. Here I was, a new staff member, asking my colleagues to support a cause I really cared about and trying to get them to care about it too. I raised a little money (really more like sympathy donations) and went back to my normal routine.
The next year, I timidly spoke up again, hoping that I could start announcing earlier and win more consistent support. I brought in some treats and some brochures, and I raised a little more... it had improved a bit, but wasn't where I envisioned it could be.
It wasn't until after three or four years of hosting a Go Red Day that I realized how much my staff had come to count on this day in February. Go Red Day wasn't just a poster on the wall anymore, it had become a tradition. It moved beyond a simple donation, but began to touch people in a real way. The American Heart Association and my passion for its mission seemed to have become our normal routine. I now find it easy to not only share my story and message in February, but at any time of the year.
This kind of integration is possible at your workplace, too. You only have to find your passion for the cause and keep talking about it - even when you don't think others are paying attention - because here's what I learned from a group of fellow teachers: they really are.