Ask any stylist, job coach or dating expert and they’ll tell you that red stands out. Eyes are immediately drawn to it. Some even say that the color red is a confidence booster and makes you feel powerful. Maybe that’s why we chose the color red to signify our fight against the No. 1 killer in women. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that it’s also the color of our hearts.
In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.
Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women.
This coming National Wear Red Day, Feb. 2, 2018, will mark 15 years since the initial National Wear Red Day, which was first observed to bring national attention to the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and to raise awareness of women’s heart health. And looking back on all we’ve accomplished, we’ve really made tremendous strides.
• Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
• More than one-third of women has lost weight.
• More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.
• 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
• More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
• One third of women has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
• Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.
• Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.
But despite our progress, more work is crucial. 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year. But what’s more powerful? Millions of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends making a change.
Join us and many other local businesses and engage in Heart Month! Turn your office red, pass out educational materials (provided by the AHA), and host a FUNdraiser to support the efforts of Go Red For Women.
How can your business support the American Heart Association?
Cardiovascular diseases are our #1 killer, but 80% of deaths can be prevented with education and lifestyle change. Help us get the word out!
Engage in National Heart Month! (Or feel free to choose any time of year that works for you!)
Below are ways to help support the educational efforts of National Heart Month (February)
• Participate in National Wear Red Day, the 1st Friday in February, February 2nd, 2018.
o Encourage employees to wear red
o Decorate window displays, lights, sidewalks, signage, etc… in red
• Offer educational material to staff and clients regarding signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease or stroke (provided by the AHA).
• Host an internal fundraising event to benefit the AHA (can be done any time of year, for any duration). Examples include (but are not limited to):
o Paper Heart Sales
o Pay to Wear Jeans Days
o Mobile Food Sales- Host healthy snack cart
o CEO Embarrassment & Change for Change – Whether it is a pie in the face, dunk tank, or any number of other activities, embarrassing the senior leadership is always a popular activity. Conduct a change for change drive. As a part of the drive, give all of the Leadership Team (or selected staff) a bucket with their picture next to it. Any coins add to the total amount and dollar bills take away from total. Leadership that raises the least gets embarrassed.
o Balloon Pop – Sell tickets to pop a balloon for a prize (prizes are to be donated by your company and could include gift cards, PTO, special parking privileges, etc…). Place confetti or paper inside select balloons and sell raffle tickets to get a chance to pop the balloon with proceeds going to Grand Rapids Go Red For Women. Those who pop a balloon with paper are winners!
o Red Dress Challenge: Employees donate money for which executive they want to see in a Red Dress. Typically, it is done with male executives but can also be women. A variation would be to have the executive wear our Hearty costume.
o Healthy Cook-Off Competition or Pot-Luck: pay to taste, donations come back to the AHA
o Water Infusion Station: create a “water buffet” for individuals to infuse their own waters (fruit, herbs, veggies, etc…)
* Be sure to take photos to be displayed on our social media! You can also tag us at @AHAWestMI *
How we will give back to you!
• We will post pictures on our Social Media of employees engaging in Heart Month
• We will do a Social Media “Thank You” for participating in Heart Month
Contact Amy Teske for more information, resources, ideas, and to get involved! Amy.Teske@heart.org or 616.482.1503
Thank you to our Local Sponsors:
Thank you to our Media Sponsors: