Top Nonprofits to Support During American Heart Month
By Becca Stewart
Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Nearly 18 million people around the globe die of heart-related illnesses each year, including heart attack and stroke. And in America, heart disease ranks as the No. 1 cause of death.
In an effort to educate people about heart health and reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the first proclamation in 1964 to recognize the dangers of heart disease. Each year in February, American Heart Month focuses attention on issues like heart health, prevention, healthy diets, exercise, smoking cessation, and access to medical care.
Charities to Support During American Heart Month
Join us in raising awareness of by donating to one of these nonprofit organizations. Each is dedicated to cardiovascular health awareness and disease prevention. Every bit counts towards saving lives.
Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle does not function properly. There are many causes and types of cardiomyopathy. However, all cardiomyopathies have serious and potentially fatal side effects.
Cardiomyopathies can impact adults and children. About 1 in 100,000 children under 18 will be diagnosed with symptoms. For the families of these children, this diagnosis is often overwhelming and frightening. The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation works to help these patients and their families at every step of the journey.
CCF works to save lives through research funding, raising awareness, educating parents and medical personnel, and advocating for healthcare changes on Capitol Hill. The organization also supports patients and their families through financial assistance, critical information, and support.
“CCF has helped us through this loss and grief. It’s a community that feels like family and a place that provides so much support. I don’t know where I would be without them.
They have helped educate me on Cardiomyopathy when so many know so little about it. We had so many unanswered questions, yet they continue to provide answers to many questions, support, and a community of people that understand.
They have given me light when I was in complete darkness. They do so much for so many people and families like mine. I am thankful for them.”
-Stephanie, Client Served
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) affects some 365,000 Americans each year. Nine out of ten of those impacted will die. SCA can happen at any time, to anyone, often without the person ever knowing there is an underlying issue. Children, teens, and adults are all susceptible to SCA events.
However, interventions such as CPR and automated external defibrillators (AED) can save the life of someone suffering an SCA. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s mission is to increase interventions and decrease deaths and disabilities due to SCAs.
The organization works to increase survival rates through community education, including CPR and AED training throughout the country. In addition, they provide free AEDs to schools, sports facilities, churches, and other public gathering areas to help increase survival rates. SCAF also supports research that helps medical professionals better understand SCA and the public reactions to an SCA emergency. Finally, this nonprofit supports SCA patients and their families, helping them improve their quality of life.
“The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a tremendous organization for those of us who have “died and lived to tell about it.” Even though most of us have never met, the SCAF gives us an opportunity to be connected and to share our experiences and feelings about our life-changing event. Many of us did not really realize just how lucky we are. The information and awareness that is spread with this group’s efforts is making a BIG difference in the rising rate of sudden cardiac arrest survival. Stories of other survivors have helped in my CPR/AED teaching in getting students to realize what a difference they can make in helping to save lives!”
-Anonymous, Client Served
Heart Care International is a network of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who offer their services pro-bono to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Children and young adults in developing nations receive heart screening, treatment, and surgery at no cost, giving them life-saving medical care that they would otherwise not be able to access.
Since its inception in 1994, Heart Care International has saved the lives of over 1,000 children and young adults from Central and South American nations. The organization continues to provide free heart screenings, and medical experts continue to train medical personnel in these nations.
“A united force of altruistic individuals whose one common goal is to gather, share knowledge and apply resources to help in the treatment of congenital heart disease in children. Heart Care International has been instrumental in providing life-saving procedures and equipment to the many different Pediatric heart Surgery programs stretching between Central America and South America since the 1990s. Thank you, team HCI for being champions in a fight against Congenital Heart Disease.”
CardioStart provides free life-saving surgeries and other medical procedures to those living with heart disease in developing nations worldwide. To date, the organization has conducted more than 550 operations for children and adults in some of the poorest countries.
The staff and volunteers at CardioStart not only save lives through hands-on medical interventions, but also help educate local populations about effective healthcare methods and prevention. Through their extraordinary efforts, CardioStart is giving new life to people who would otherwise not survive.
“CardioStart is not affiliated with any religious or government organizations and insists that all clients are never charged for their services. The primary goal is sustainable education and training in order to expand cardiovascular services to areas of the world where that care is minimal or non-existent. All volunteers cover the majority of their expenses and give their time and expertise willingly. The amount of donated equipment and supplies is remarkable and invaluable to the recipient facilities. CardioStart works hard to lessen the inequities in the world in terms of cardiac care. It is a very worthy organization.”
Join us in saving hearts around the globe. This World Heart Day, please consider donating your time or resources to one of these worthy organizations.