One of the American Heart Association’s approaches in the fight against childhood obesity was to team with noted child-nutrition activist and philanthropist Kelly Meyer to create the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens. The gardens are used as real-life learning laboratories for students to learn what it means to be healthy. The American Heart Association provides the materials for planting day, garden beds, organic soil, seedlings and plants, cooking demonstrations and other fun activities. In Orange County, the program has taken off with more than 15 schools participating in the program. A partnership with Disney resulted in 2 school gardens, and wonderful media opportunities. I was responsible for coordinating with Disney’s media team, writing joint press releases and media advisories, pitching media, and serving as a liaison to media on event days.
Go Red Month
Every February the American Heart Association hosts their annual Go Red Month. I was tasked with raising awareness for Go Red Month activities in Ventura and the Central Coast. This included Little Hats, Big Hearts; a Go Red Luncheon and Go Red Strut in Santa Barbara; as well as Luncheons in Ventura, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. The Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign recruits volunteers to knit red beanies for newborns to raise awareness of congenital heart defects. I planned and executed two media days at our sponsor hospitals for the Little Hats, Big Hearts events, using them as a kick-off into our February Go Red Month festivities. I also worked with our media sponsors to run in-kind public service announcements in the weeks leading up to our Luncheon events. The entire public relations campaign was extremely successful resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in advertising equivalencies and nearly one million dollars raised for the organization.
Little Hats, Big Hearts Santa Maria
Little Hats, Big Hearts Oxnard