Less than a week into my role as interim CEO for WomenHeart in late July, I was the lucky recipient of an email from Sharonne Hayes, M.D. director of the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo and long-time friend to and collaborator with WomenHeart. She asked whether WomenHeart might be interested in meeting Danielle, a determined woman with heart disease who worked with photographer Candy Hoehn to create a stunning set of photographs of eight women with heart disease. The photographs showcase how beautiful scars can be in a captivating way with red scarves. Danielle and Candy were looking for the right forum to share the photographs to raise awareness about heart disease.
Fast forward to early Oct., and I met our newest WomenHeart Champions. Their stories were gripping, from a marathon runner to an Army veteran. It was also my first time to meet and spend time with some of our district leaders (DL) who are serving as mentors/big sisters to the new Champions. They, too, have powerful stories, along with deep wisdom from helping other women.
WomenHeart’s upcoming #GivingTuesday campaign will feature one of those district leaders, Robin. She had her first heart attack when she was 46 years old and currently has 15 stents. Robin’s beautiful photographs and story, the eight other women from Danielle’s photo project, and the four other WomenHeart Champions, are now part of a limited edition calendar being offered as a gift to our supporters this year for those who make a donation of $50 or more this #GivingTuesday!
I personally am a beneficiary of charitable donations from giving benefactors. I had to put myself through college and law school, and scholarship funds helped make my experience possible. Many of us have given pledges to phone-a-thons, walkathons, and other fundraisers where we were moved by the stories of people and causes that make a difference.
WomenHeart is an organization whose stories I hope will move all of us to act on #GivingTuesday. Robin and her heart sisters – nearly 900 other courageous WomenHeart Champions – give us a common sense of purpose and a community that we want to support. Their training as Champions is made possible only through the generosity of donors, like you.
We need you, and we are grateful for your financial support on this national day of giving. Please tell your friends, families, churches, employers, colleagues, and social media supporters that WomenHeart would be the perfect #GivingTuesday organization to support this year! Thank you.