Pumped Up for Another Heart Walk

Favorites Nov 13, 2012 No Comments

Pumped Up for Another Heart Walk

By Ruth Michel

Tampa Bay 2012 Heart Walk

Red hearts covered the front desk. Pictures hung of a handsome little boy tempting us to donate a dollar. The floor was full of T-shirts, and it wasn’t even Friday. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day either. It was time for the annual Heart Walk organized by the American Heart Foundation of Tampa Bay.

Grand Incentives came together to support our Director of Marketing, Christie, and her son, Darian, as did 16 family members who walked by her side on November 10. If you had met Darian before, you would have been delighted to participate in this fundraiser. With his ear-to-ear grin, it was hard to imagine the four open heart surgeries he has overcome since his birth in 2005. Darian was diagnosed with congenital heart defect HLS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) within 24 hours of life.  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome occurs when parts of the left side of the heart (mitral valve, left ventricle, aortic valve, and aorta) do not develop completely. The condition is present at birth.  Without surgery the outcome is fatal.

Christie hit her thousand-dollar goal out of the park as $2,350 trickled in. A whopping 1.5-million-dollar event meant she was not alone in her passion for advancing heart and stroke research and treatment. There were over 30,000 walkers in attendance at this years walk, making it the biggest turnout in Tampa Bay history.

“The support of my coworkers was overwhelming and will never be forgotten,” Christie said.

Employee Giving Programs

Whether it’s going green or fighting childhood obesity, the average company has its cause. So, how do you get your employees involved in the process? Involving them in a cause can increase loyalty, improve moral, humanize your business and please your brand advocates. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Start a giving campaign at your work
    1. Find a cause or group of charities your business values.
    2. Make it optional for employees to make tax-friendly donations that come right out of their paychecks.
    3. Match their donations and double their giving power.
  • Volunteer time
    1. Once a year, host a day of service where your employees take a break from their daily duties to serve their community.
    2. Did a tornado or flood hit nearby? Encourage your employees to join clean-up efforts and support them with time off.
    3. Is the Muscular Dystrophy Association “arresting” local employees for their Lock-Up fundraiser? Let your department join in.
  • Donate goods
    1. Arrange for a bloodmobile to visit regularly.
    2. As the holidays approach, organize a food drive for the homeless or gift collection for local children.
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