heart-felt appreciation from the AHA

every now and thing something happens that reminds me why i do what i do.  and november 5th just happened to be one of those days.  all dolled up in a red top (of course), i treked up to the american heart association offices in downtown los angeles for a very special reason.  a few weeks earlier nicolla ross, senior director of community health, had contacted me to let me know that fitlosophy had been selected as the recipient of an appreciation award for “outstanding achievement in support of the american heart association’s efforts in cardiovascular science education and community programs” for 2009-2010.  what an honor.

here’s the back story:  i had met miss ross just about a year-and-a-half before at the women’s conference in long beach where i’d approached her at the GO RED booth, letting her know that we HAD to do some kind of initiative together because 1) heart disease is the #1 killer of women and 90% of fitbookers are women, 2) i have always loved the GO RED campaign marketing and branding, and frankly, 3) red’s my favorite color!  a few months later we met for lunch and i guess it was exactly about a year ago this month that we began brainstorming the initiative which eventually became the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT program.  utilizing social media, which the american heart association hadn’t yet ventured into at that point, this 12-week campaign followed 5 bloggers through the AHA’s BetterU program, they used a fitbook to log their journey, and they blogged along the way!  we also launched the first ever BLOG YOUR HEART OUT DAY on february 12th where we rallied bloggers around the world to join us in spreading the GO RED message.  [read here for the press release on the BYHO campaign launch and results]

as i reflect on the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT campaign: it was a blast, a ton of work made possible by a team of incredibly talented women, and absolutely worth all the time and effort toward such a worthwhile cause.  so to receive such an honor in return is just wonderful.  it goes to show what a good idea, a talented team with BIG hearts, and a lot of hard work can do.  shout-out to the BYHO team: lani (designer extraordinnaire), joanna (chief organizer), jodi & sahar (da’ bomb bloggers!)!

fast forward.  after tooling around los angeles and loving the one-way streets, i finally found the quaint little red brick building that houses the AHA, complete with signs reminding you take the stairs instead of the elevator (thank you!).  the meeting kicked off with nicolla presenting fitlosophy with the award – here’s what she had to say:

“Each year our Affiliate honors outside organizations whose contributions in advancing our objectives have been exemplary.  It’s an honor to have fitlosophy as the recipient of our 2009-2010 Appreciation Award for Outstanding Achievement for their help in furthering our objectives in the area of Cardiovascular Education and Community Programs. Blog Your Heart Out is such an authentic and innovative campaign. Spreading our messaging on heart disease prevention in women through this social media effort was not only fun, but impactful. Thank you fitlosophy for extending our messaging throughout your social media networks and helping us save lives one heart at a time in the process.”

honored, i accepted the award on our team’s behalf…and then we got down to business as we laid out plans for BLOG YOUR HEART OUT 2011, as well as other initiatives.  fitlosophy is going to be donating fitbooks to an upcoming go red por tu corazon event, as well as learning more about the AHA’s newest program to fight childhood obesity: teaching gardens.  the energy was infectious in the room as we plan for 2011!

here’s what i love about fitlosophy: we can make it, shape it, and mold it to be whatever we want it to be.  and since day one i’ve always wanted to give back.  and we have, in ways both big and small.  in church one time i heard a saying that stuck with me: “we’re blessed to be a blessing.”  as i see all that has happened for fitlosophy in (almost) 3 short years, i can’t help but know that giving back is not just a joy, but our responsibility.  i’m proud of 24 hour, target, fitbook junior…all of those things that exemplify the hard work that we’ve put in, but this for me shows that we are making a difference that has a lasting impact.  so we’re officially launching our fitgiving initiative this month (great timing with thanksgiving right?).  fitgiving is our (on-going) commitment to HEART-FELT, action-based initiatives that give back while improving the health + wellness of others for the betterment of our world.  so learn more about fitgiving online - we even share ideas on how you can give back and give fit with us!

interested in how you can get involved, give back…be a blessing?  make sure and sign-up for our e-newsletter which has great ideas for giving back this holiday season.  another saying i heard that i love: “live simply so others can simply live.”  imagine what a better world we’d live in if we all lived this way.  just take one minute and think of just ONE thing you can do today to give back, a self-less act for no reason for someone else.  i guarantee you this: it usually does more for your heart than the recipient.

with all my heart,
angela



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