FEBRUARY celebrates Heart & Stroke Awareness Month

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Heart Month is a national campaign that mobilizes Canadians to rally together in raising awareness and funds that have an enormous impact on the lives of all Canadians. Through the generosity and compassion of volunteers, the Heart and Stroke Foundation is able to apply life-saving knowledge, education and advocacy that generate real results and give us more of the moments that we all live for.

WHAT IS HEART MONTH?

Heart Month is the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s key opportunity to reach millions of Canadians in February and alert them to the risks of heart disease and stroke. Today, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

Our hearts and bodies are fragile and no one is safe from the risk of heart disease and stroke. Yet, there is so much we can do to protect them. This is why it is so critical that we rally together in raising funds for life-giving research that can help extend the lives of all Canadians.

Canvassing: The centre of Heart Month

Volunteers are the face and the voice of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Heart Month is a critical time when we depend on you to share our message.

One of the most important initiatives in Heart Month is door-to-door canvassing. Our team of volunteers canvasses neighborhoods across Canada raising vital funds to give Canadians longer, fuller lives. This is your opportunity to create a movement in your community – a movement toward better health.

This broad, National campaign was inspired by a fundraising initiative called “Heart Sunday.” The concept was adopted in British Columbia in the mid-1950s and then in Ontario in 1958. The funds raised from Heart Month are critical to supporting the Foundation’s life-giving research and initiatives that help lengthen the lives of people in communities all over Canada.

There’s more than one way to make a difference during Heart Month. You can help us give Canadians more time by knocking on one door, sending one email or organizing one event. Click here to learn more.

heart month canvass onlineOnline canvassing is a great way to raise even more money for critical life-saving research – all from the comfort of your own home. From your own personal fundraising webpage, you can collect funds by sending emails to your friends and family.

Your potential donors will be able to make a safe and secure payment online, and they’ll automatically be issued an electronic tax receipt.

Their donations will be tracked to your unique website address, so you’ll know just how much of an impact you’re making!

If you are currently a canvasser, click here for your online canvasser kit pick up and return information.

Helpful tips

  • Canvass in the early evening on weekdays and during the day on weekends – as these are the times that your neighbours are most likely to be at home.
  • Begin in early February so that you have plenty of time to revisit people you don’t find at home on your first visit.
  • Keep track of homes where no one was home and try to return at least one more time to ask for a donation. If there is no answer on your second visit, leave behind the Door Hanger. (Door Hanger availability varies by Province).
  • This is a heart shaped piece that canvassers can hang on the residents’ door handle, mailbox, or railing that contains a message to donate online.
  • Write your name clearly in the white box provided on each door hanger. Please ensure you are registered as an online canvasser before distributing your heart-shaped door hangers.
  • The door hanger will prompt your neighbour to visit heartandstroke.ca/give. As a registered online canvasser, your neighbour will be able to help you achieve your fundraising goal by donating directly to your personal Heart and Stroke Foundation donation web page.
  • After you have completed your route, visiting each home twice, remaining Door Hangers can also be distributed to your friends, family and colleagues, in order to drive online funds directly to your donation page.

Raise $500 or more and become a Gold Heart Canvasser!

You’ll be recognized for your accomplishment by receiving your own gold heart lapel pin, and you’ll be entered into a draw to WIN the latest iPad!

  • To learn more about being a Gold Heart Canvasser, click here.
  • Hand out all of the brochures – Let your neighbours know, whether or not they made a donation, that they can learn more about our healthy living e-tools detailed in the Heart Month Brochure.
  • Be sure to thank everybody for donating and try not to feel disheartened if people choose not to donate. Either way, you’re performing an important task.
  • Canvassing should be a fun and social experience so consider taking a friend or family member along with you. It’s a great way to teach your children about volunteerism and community involvement.
  • Keep your kit with you all the time – you never know when you’ll run in to one of your neighbours. Also consider canvassing at your work-place (please get permission first).

RETURN YOUR KIT AND DONATIONS

Once you have finished canvassing:

  • Count all donations and place them inside the money envelope.
  • Fill in the required information on the front of the money envelope.
  • Return your kit, money envelope, receipt book and volunteer button to your Captain or local Heart and Stroke Foundation office before the end of March (or as per the instruction via your Leadership Volunteer). Please don’t throw away your kit or receipt book (CRA regulations requires that the Heart and Stroke Foundation collect all receipt books at the end of the campaign).
  • Ask your Captain or a Heart and Stroke Foundation staff if there is a Wrap Up Celebration in your area.
  • If you live in an Apartment Building…
  • Invite people to a central spot. It’s a great way to tackle an apartment building. Leave a notice to residents using the white space provided in the Apartment Poster. Click Here for the Awareness Poster.

    The projected revenue for the 2013 Heart Month campaign is $1,600,000 at a cost of $480,800 (excluding overhead allocations). It is important to note that this cost includes the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s vital investment in health promotion and public awareness.

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