Get Involved!

Put some heart into the New Year by helping the American Heart Association in its mission to build healthier lives in the Coastal Bend.

By: Erin Wilder

The closing of one year and the beginning of another is always a great opportunity for reflection. How can we make the coming year healthier and happier for ourselves and our community? While it’s true that many people give up on their resolutions within the first few weeks of the year, a significant number are successful. When you resolve to get involved with a mission or a cause, you are more likely to make your commitment stick.

There are many ways to get involved with the American Heart Association. Participate in one of our annual awareness and fundraising events: the Heart Ball, the Heart Walk and/or the Go Red For Women luncheon. Getting your school, company or church to participate in our programs is a great way to contribute to a heart-healthier community.

In Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend, our efforts to build a healthier community have included partnering with top companies, school districts, local hospital systems and EMS providers, community organizations and hundreds of incredible dedicated and passionate volunteers and supporters.

February is also American Heart Month, recognized as such annually by every president since LBJ first started the tradition in 1964.

Cardiovascular diseases and stroke are still the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of Americans, respectively, but the American Heart Association is celebrating 50 years of successes with extraordinary advances in cardiovascular health and consecutive annual declines in heart-related deaths.

These successes, and the continuous need for further education and outreach, continue in Corpus Christi this February. Our local chapter of the American Heart Association will be busy around town all month; here’s a few things we’ve got going on:

2018 Corpus Christi Heart Ball
Last year’s event raised more than $440,000, and this year, we hope to raise even more toward the fight against heart disease and stroke. The annual Corpus Christi Heart Ball attracts over 500 of the city’s community leaders in medicine and business, and is the American Heart Association’s premier fundraising event in the region.

This year’s “Heart of New Orleans” ball includes sounds of New Orleans jazz, delectable food and silent and live auctions. Local volunteers, supporters and donors will be recognized, along with the night’s honorees: Peggy and Avinash Ahuja; Mary and Charles Campbell, M.D.; and Hugo Berlanga, our featured survivor. Heart Ball raises funds to reduce death and disability from heart disease and stroke, our No. 1 killer and the leading cause of long-term disability.

National Wear Red Day
The first Friday of February is National Wear Red Day, a day to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Many think of heart disease an older men’s condition, but heart disease kills more women every year than all forms of cancer combined, and is women’s No. 1 health threat.

Awareness is key to transforming women’s lives and helping them mitigate their risk factors. All women – and the men who love them – are invited to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 2, by wearing red and sharing on social media with the hashtag #CorpusGoRed to amplify this lifesaving message.

Little Hats Big Hearts
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States, but thanks to advances in science and technology, more and more of these littlest hearts are surviving – and thriving. Volunteers for the American Heart Association spent the past holiday season knitting and crocheting little red hats, one for every baby born in Corpus Christi in the month of February to raise awareness of congenital heart defects and share infant heart health info with newborns’ families. This is the third year this national project has taken place in the Coastal Bend.

You can learn more about the American Heart Association and American Heart Month by visiting
www.heart.org. Or you can get involved locally in the mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, by following the American Heart Association at www.facebook.com/ahacorpus.

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