In 1964, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease. In response, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson designated February as American Heart Month in order to spread awareness about the various heart diseases and their causes, as well as all the ways they can be prevented.
The month-long event is still relevant today, as heart disease and stroke are still the leading causes of death for both men and women in America. However, this often can be prevented when people are educated and know how to make healthy choices.
Gesture is proud to partner with organizations across the country that provide services to those struggling with heart disease, offer programs that educate the public on heart disease prevention, conduct research for cures for the various cardiovascular diseases, and so much more. The organizations below are three of many!
American Heart Association
Mission: To build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
The American Heart Association (AHA) is the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Since 1924, the AHA has grown and now includes 156 local offices. They also created the American Stroke Association in 1997.
- CPR training
- Education on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices
- Guidelines for healthcare professionals that help them provide quality care to their patients
- Education for lawmakers, policymakers, and the public as they advocate for changes to protect and improve the health of our country
Gesture has partnered with various chapters of the American Heart Association and has helped them raise nearly $2.2 million for their cause.
You can learn more about the organization on their website.
The Children’s Heart Foundation
Mission: The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) is a not-for-profit organization that funds the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects (CHD).
Betsy and Steve Peterson founded the Children’s Heart Foundation in 1996 in honor of their son, Sam, who died of multiple organ failure brought on by a sudden heart-related collapse when he was eight. CHF is the country’s leading organization solely committed to CHD research funding. They also collaborate with other organizations in the congenital heart defect landscape to plan events dedicated to raising funds for research, lead advocacy efforts with a legislative conference in Washington, DC, and more.
Gesture began its partnership with the Children’s Heart Foundation in 2016 and has helped them raise more than $321,000.
Learn more about the Children’s Heart Foundation on their website.
Gesture also partners with smaller, local organizations that support families dealing with heart disease. These organizations include:
- Jessie’s Heart Foundation provides support for children with heart disease that reduces emotional, physical and financial stress for the family.
- The Greg Olsen Foundation Receptions for Research has a program called The HEARTest Yard. This program supports families of children with congenital heart disease who are treated at Levine Children’s Hospital in North Carolina.
- Saving Tiny Hearts Society is passionately dedicated to eliminating Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) as a major health concern. They fund revolutionary life-saving research for the #1 Birth Defect worldwide, to improve, prolong and save the lives of countless children born with CHD.
In total, Gesture helped these organizations raise $364,200 in 2016.