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Upcoming Minnesota Advocacy Opportunities - Volunteers Needed!

Calling all survivors, caregivers, advocates, donors and volunteers! We have a few volunteer opportunities coming up in the next couple of months! Check them out below and contact Jess Nolan if you can help!

Transportation Forward Action Nights
Various dates in April 2016
Sierra Club, 2327 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
The legislature is in full swing and we need your help! We'll be reaching out to supporters to invite them to call their legislators. It's a fun easy way to make a difference! Training will be provided.
Click here to sign up!

Mankato Go Red for Women Luncheon
May 5th, 2016
Country Inn & Suites, Mankato, MN
We are looking for one volunteer to collect petition cards and recruit new advocates to our network. The volunteer will be needed from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

Twin Cities Heart Walk
May 14th, 2016
The Advocacy Department needs 6-8 volunteers for our upcoming Twin Cities Heart Walk on Saturday, May 14th, 2016 at Target Field. We will need help from 6:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. working at the advocacy information table, collecting petition cards and recruiting new advocates to our network. All volunteers will be dismissed in time to participate in the opening ceremonies and the walk that morning. All volunteers will receive a You’re the Cure t-shirt.

Most Powerful Voices Health Fair and Concert
May 21st, 2016
Shiloh Temple, Minneapolis
Two volunteers are needed from 12:00 - 2:30 PM for the advocacy table at the Most Power Voices Health Fair. Volunteers will be dismissed in time for the concert starting at 3:00 PM.

Please let us know if you and your friends and family can help at this event by contacting Jess Nolan at jess.nolan@heart.org including the event name, and the names of those willing to volunteer.

YOU ARE THE CURE!

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Education is Why!

Meet one of the MN State Advocacy Committee members, Andy Iverson.

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What is your Why?

Education. There is so much we can do to live healthier lives as individuals and as a society the most people just aren’t aware of. The American Heart Association does a great job informing the community and legislators about the small and big steps we can take towards healthier lives.

What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

I had been volunteering as a Heart and Stroke Ambassador group and started hearing about all of the great work the Advocacy Committee was doing. They had just successfully advocated for teaching CPR in schools and testing newborn babies for congenital heart diseases and I thought wow this group really makes a huge difference, I want to be a part of that!

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

I’m most passionate about issues that have to do with children. The AHA does a great job advocating for all children to have an opportunity to be healthy. It doesn’t seem right to me that a child doesn’t have a safe route to walk to school, access to healthy and nutritious food, or opportunities to be active.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

My favorite advocacy experience was my first Heart on the Hill. I had never been to the State Capital, lobbied, or even met with my representatives so I was a little nervous. The AHA staff members did a great job making sure that all of the advocates like me who were probably a little nervous had the confidence and knowledge to speak to the issues and the positive impact new policies could have on communities in Minnesota.

What is your favorite way to be active?

I love to be outdoors. I play soccer, go running, and take trips up to the Boundary Waters.

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

My favorite vegetable is brussel sprouts.

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The 2nd Annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day was a Success!

The 2nd Annual Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day was held on March 16th, and it was a huge success! Thank you to all the volunteers, staff and attendees who made this event happen! There were nearly 300 attendees who received excellent training throughout the morning program then met with 132 state legislators (!) in the afternoon to lobby for kids' health  for Phy Ed standards and Safe Routes to School funding. We had over 40 students and chaperones from the Rochester and White Bear Lake/Irondale schools who showed their support as well!

During the morning training Senator Melisa Franzen spoke about the importance of Safe Routes to School. Represenative Kim Norton was given a lifetime achievment award for being a champion of children's health!

Attendees also dropped packets off at the offices of all 201 legislators and Governor that included petition cards in support of Physical Education and Safe Routes to School.

Our virtual lobby day action alert sent an additional 205 messages to lawmakers during the day from advocates who could not be in St. Paul.  Our text-to-act mobile alert sent 126 messages to lawmaker's social media accoutns from attendess.  We also made a HUGE buzz on social media! We had 251 engagements on the Minnesota Twitter account and overal 766 hashtag mentions throughout the day!

Check out a few photos from the day below!

Professional photos: By Rebecca Studios
Photos: Lobby Day Attendees

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Symposium Attendees Taught to "Rethink Your Drink"

Attendees at the Worksite Wellness Symposium learned just how much sugar is in their daily beverages. We started out our 15 minute breakout session with a Price is Right style game, "Higher or Lower?"  Attendees had three plates of sugary treats in front of them, next to a 20 oz bottle of soda.  They had 30 seconds to determine whether the treat had a higher or lower sugar content than the soda.  Before the next game they were given facts on how much sugar the American Heart Association recommends for adult women, adult men, children, and teenagers. 

The next game was "The Sugar Shuffle!"  Attendees had two minutes to match up the amount of teaspoons of sugar with the correct drink on the board.  They were surprised at how much sugar was actually in the beverages they and their family consume every day!

Before they moved on to the next session, we asked them to sign a "Rethink Your Drink" pledge card, pledging to consume zero sugary beverages for the entire month of March, which happens to be Nutrition Month.

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The Good Food Access Fund Campaign Kickoff was a Success!

This past Tuesday, the Good Food Access Fund Campaign Kickoff took place at The Wilder Center in St. Paul.  We were fortunate to have a group of more than 100 health, food, equity, agriculture and community-development advocates, led by the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition. The Good Food Access Fund seeks to address the insufficient access to healthy and affordable foods in Minnesota.

At the kickoff event, we learned about new key research findings surrounding healthy food access, availability, and affordability issues in Minnesota. We also spent time exploring ways to engage with and support the Good Food Access Fund Campaign.

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Family is Why

Meet one of our top advocates, Dawn Moen!

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What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

Growing up I was a lifeguard and had to take American Heart Association CPR certifications that were offered in my area. Seven years ago I began participating in the Twin Cities Heart Walk as part of a friend's team who had a child that had complications with his heart. Because I teach fitness classes in my spare time, about five years ago I was asked to do the warm up for the Twin Cities Heart Walk at Target Field for several years before switching my efforts to more of a policy and advocacy role for the Heart Association. The great news is that heart disease is for the most part preventable through diet and exercise and so advocating for policies that make the healthy choice the easier choice are a win/win that make me feel like I am making a difference.

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

Safe Routes to School, active transportation and walking and biking advocacy are my passion. A healthy lifestyle can be attributed in large part to being physically active and there is no easier physical activity than walking or biking. Having adequate pedestrian and biking infrastructure surround our schools and major community hubs will ensure that our children have access to some of the cheapest and easiest forms of physical activity. This can instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime thus preventing the diseases that accompany a sedentary lifestyle as they grow.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

I would have to say it is a tie between doing the warm up for the Twin Cities Heart Walk in front of over 10,000 people on Target Field and the Healthy Kids Coalition Advocacy Day at the Capitol. Both were incredible for very different reasons. The Health Kids Coalition Lobby Day was an incredible experience where I was able to see activism in action! Meeting with our legislators to explain the importance of Safe Routes to School and active transportation as well as testifying before the House Transportation Committee made me see that my voice mattered. Doing the Twin Cities Heart Walk warm up at Target Field in front of thousands of enthusiastic participants that came from different walks of life but shared a common goal was exhilarating!

What is your favorite way to be active?

I love running, biking, swimming and teaching group fitness classes. Having a newborn baby in the house I have also recently rediscovered an appreciation for a nice long walk with my children where we are able to talk.

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Nothing beats a crunchy Minnesota-grown Honeycrisp apple.

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Register Now for the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day 2016!

Register now for the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition Lobby Day!

Don’t miss a chance to lend your voice to help improve the health of Minnesota kids by attending our 2nd Minnesotans For Healthy Kids Coalition Day at the Capitol. Join us on March 16, 2016 to advocate with others around the state by talking with your lawmakers.

During the morning you will attend advocacy workshops and trainings and then put those new skills to the test by meeting with your state legislators. Breakfast and lunch are included, and meetings with your state legislators will be scheduled for you.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
Minnesota History Center
345 W. Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55102
8:00 AM—4:00 PM
 
Register online now!

Or call 952-278-7928 by March 2, 2016
 
 
This year's issues include:
Quality Physical Education
Safer Walking and Biking 
 

For more details and to register, visit www.heart.org/MNHealthyKids

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Join us at the Good Food Access Fund Campaign Kick Off!

The Good Food Access Fund campaign is off to a GREAT start for this legislative session.  Senator Dan Sparks (DFL) is our chief bill author, and we are building grassroots and organizational support throughout Minnesota.

Please join us for our campaign kickoff event on February 23, 2016 to learn more about this initiative to bring healthy, affordable food access to underserved communities throughout our state.




Good Food Access Fund Campaign Kick Off
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Registration and Lunch starts at 11:30 AM
Program 12:00 - 2:30 PM

REGISTER ONLINE HERE!

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
451 Lexington Parkway North
St. Paul, MN 55104

Lunch will be provided. No cost to attend but advance registration is required.
Free parking is available at the venue.

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Exploring New Places is Why!

Meet AHA's Communications Coordinator, Emily Schnacky!

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What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

My career with the American Heart Association began February 2015 when I joined the team as a communications coordinator. I was quickly introduced to the many issues and policies the American Heart Association is actively working on in the state of Minnesota. Knowing that I could make a difference in the health of the community by sending a simple email to my legislators and spreading the word on social media ignited my passion for advocacy. 

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

Strengthening physical education in schools and creating safe routes to combat childhood obesity and encourage a more walkable community. This is so important because not only does physical activity help children thrive academically and socially, but it teaches them healthy habits they can carry into adulthood.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

Last year’s Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition lobby day was my first experience meeting with lawmakers at the capitol. I’ll admit, I felt a little intimidated at first, but that quickly changed as the other advocates in my district group were so helpful and passionate about policy change. As a group, we gained support from the lawmakers we met with and left the meetings knowing our voices mattered.

What is your favorite way to be active?

Jogging, hiking, biking, yoga – it’s too difficult to pick a favorite.

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Strawberries

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New Year, New You and New Volunteer Opportunities!

Happy New Year! There are a lot of opportunities for you to get involved in fighting for a healthier Minnesota in the next several weeks. Be our hero by taking action in your community AND earn points which will allow you to move up in the You’re the Cure ranks! Below are a list of all the opportunities we need volunteer help with in the coming weeks. Please contact me right away if you are able to help!

You’re the Cure Recruitment Opportunities (5 pts for each event)

Help us collect petition cards and recruit new advocates to our campaign by volunteering at the advocacy table at the following events. To volunteer, please contact Jess Nolan at jess.nolan@heart.org

Twin Cities Area

Go Red For Women Expo at the Mall of America: Saturday, February 13, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Mall of America (24 volunteers needed, two shifts available)

Rochester Area

Go Red For Women Luncheon: Thursday, February 11, 9:30 a.m. to Noon, Mayo Civic Center (2-4 volunteers needed)

Duluth Area

Go Red For Women Luncheon: Wednesday, March 2, 9:30 a.m. to Noon, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) (2-4 volunteers needed)

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