You guys, I am super excited about this post because I get to announce a really awesome opportunity to spread CHD Awareness. So about 3 years ago I did something called the 32for32 project, where I did 32 acts of kindness for my 32nd birthday in order to raise CHD Awareness. The following year I was able to do some lobbying for CHD research in Washington, DC, which was amazing. Last year I did 10 acts of kindness in 10 locations in the area and when you looked at them on a map it made the shape of a heart. Each of those projects gave me a really great chance to teach people about CHDs while doing some great things for people in need in my community. Over time I’m heard from people who were inspired by this and wanted to be a part of it somehow…well here is your chance!
I’m happy to announce the 3forCHD project!
During this year’s CHD Awareness Week, February 7-14, I want to unite heart families and friends all around the world and encourage them to do three acts of kindness in an effort to educate people about congenital heart defects and hopefully play a part in finding a cure.
Three. That’s it.
Three things: that can be feeding the homeless, volunteering at a nonprofit, bringing treats back to the staff at the children’s hospital where your heart warrior got their care. It can be anything! It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it doesn’t matter where you live. All I’m asking is for all of you to join me during that week to make a real difference in people’s lives. Imagine if 100 of us do this: that’s 300 acts of kindness…300 real, tangible ways for us to help people in need! That’s AMAZING!
So I need you to step up and do this with me, I need you to be excited about this with me: I want you to share this with your friends and family. Invite them along: maybe partner with other families where you live and do something awesome together. Whatever it is, I know that together we will make a big impact!
I’ve made a Facebook event page where you can “join” the event (keep in mind you’ll be doing all these activities right where you live) and post pictures, videos, and stories of your acts of kindness using the hashtag #3forCHD. You can use the same hashtag to share throughout all of social media leading up to and during the event. Let’s take this thing worldwide!
I’ve also made up this handout for you to use:
Print some out and give them out when you do your 3 acts of kindness. Once Feb 7th hits, I will add a “sticky” post to the top of my blog that will welcome anyone who has received this handout and is brave enough to come here to this blog. It’ll have more information about CHDs and what they can do to continue being involved. It’ll remain there for a couple weeks after the event, too.
Will this require some money? Maybe. Will this require your time? Yes. But what we need – most of all – is your heart. I believe that if we give back, with all our hearts, we will create a movement where people know about CHDs and will help us make enough noise to increase funding for research and one day find the cure.
So I have just one more question for you…
WHO’S WITH ME?
It’s hard to believe there are only a few days left in Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. The great part, though, is not only did we have a great week, but that EVERY week for my family is CHD Awareness Week! I wanted to send off the official CHD Awareness Week (and beyond) with a bang. My 32nd birthday is coming up on Feb 17th and I wanted to do 32 acts of kindness for my 32nd birthday, in an effort to continue to promote CHD Awareness. I’m calling it the 32 for 32 Project.
From Feb 14-17 I will be running all over the Charlotte area doing kind things for others. These include bringing bagels to the CVICU nurses at Levine Children’s Hospital, bringing donuts to the residents at the Ronald McDonald House, donating clothes to those in need, buying lunch for someone who is hungry, donating food to a food bank, thanking local firefighters, writing letters to special people, reading a book to a local kindergarten class, and the list goes on and on. With each act that I do, I will leave behind a little card explaining why I’m doing it, and it looks like this:
I have to say I am VERY excited about it. Please note, though, that this project isn’t about ME. It’s about my Nolan and ALL the heart kids in the Charlotte area and beyond. The whole point of this is to go above and beyond myself not to just help people who are hurting, but to make people aware of CHDs. So far, the response has been overwhelming. This past Friday an article appeared in our local free newspaper, the Union County Weekly about the 32 for 32 project…you can read it here: http://www.unioncountyweekly.com/news/2014/02/kindness-in-the-name-of-nolan/
I’ve also been contacted by a local news station, who wants to follow me on one of my excursions either Friday or Monday. I will also be talking with a local radio station as well. This is GREAT because it will provide a means for MORE people to hear about CHD Awareness!
This project has been a lot of work, but it’s been a lot of fun to plan. I know the 14th thru the 17th are going to be bonkers and I’ll be exhausted when it’s done, but it will be worth every single moment. My hope is that people will strive to do the same thing, no matter their age. Maybe you can’t do all those acts for your birthday….so instead, maybe you can do those acts of kindness throughout the year. That would be awesome: if everyone worked to do nice things for one another, think about how our world will be changed.
I am going to try my best to tweet all my stops using the hashtag #32for32 (@TeamNolan1) and I also plan to upload photos to Nolan’s facebook page as well (facebook.com/SupportTeamNolan). I want to send a big thank you to everyone for the support!
February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week! This is a great opportunity for heart families everywhere to really share their stories and raise awareness. Awareness leads to funding, and funding leads to research!
There are a lot of awesome things going on this week, and I’ll be blogging about it as much as I can…I’ll just say you don’t wanna miss it! So let’s start this party off right…since we live in the Charlotte area, I wrote to the Mayor’s office to ask if he would sign a proclamation declaring it CHD Awareness week in Charlotte. And guess what came in the mail yesterday:
How awesome is that?! It’s really incredible that not only does Charlotte have an incredible heart team at Levine Children’s Hospital, but that Mayor Cannon supports heart families too! I plan to bring frame this and present it to Nolan’s heart team this week. As much as I would love to keep it, I definitely want to share it with all our local heart families!
Now for some facts you need to know about CHDs:
- CHDs are the most common birth defect
- 1 in 100 babies will be born with a congenital heart defect
- 40,000 babies will be born with a CHD this year. That’s enough to fill Madison Square Garden…TWICE.
- There is no cure for CHDs
- CHDs are the leading cause of infant death due to birth defects
- Despite the prevalence of CHDs, funding for research and treatment remains embarrassingly low
Be informed…then spread the word about CHDs! Please continue to read the blog this week to learn more about CHDs and find out other cool stuff that’s going on.