Donegal volunteers are being called on to help the Irish Heart Foundation raise a half million Euro this May to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest.
Back in 1990, almost 16,000 lives were lost annually to heart disease and stroke in Ireland but thanks to the ongoing support of Happy Heart volunteers, this number has fallen dramatically by 40% to just under 9,300 deaths per year. Heart disease remains the biggest killer in Ireland and it accounts for one third of deaths in Donegal with 369* families losing a loved one annually. (*CSO 2012).
The Happy Hearts Appeal first began in 1990 when as many as one in two people in Ireland died from heart disease and stroke. For 25 years every May, Donegal volunteers have been at the heart of the community selling happy hearts and raising vital donations to prevent the development of heart disease and stroke among children and adults in Donegal and nationwide.
With the support of local SuperValu retailers, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Hearts Appeal aims to raise a target of €500,000 to make adults and young people CPR-aware this autumn and reduce the number of lives lost to sudden cardiac arrest around the country. The heart and stroke charity is calling on individuals and groups in Donegal to sign up this April to give 60 minutes of their time to support Happy Hearts collections during 15-17 May or to organise their own Happy Hearts fundraiser.
Irish Heart Foundation Regional Fundraising Manager for North West Toni Bourke said: “Imagine if you could give 60 minutes of your time and in return this gift gave hundreds and thousands of Irish families the hope of extra heartbeats? Every year in Ireland, 5000 families have to endure the sudden loss of a loved one to cardiac arrest when their hearts stop beating. More than 80 of these lives lost are young adults, teens and babies. We need your help to sell happy hearts this May and raise €500,000 to deliver a national CPR campaign so more people know what to do when a person collapses suddenly with cardiac arrest. With your support, we can turn every volunteer gift of 60 minutes into extra heartbeats. Please answer our call and volunteer today.”
Martin Kelleher, managing director added: “We are delighted to support the Irish Heart Foundation’s 25th Happy Hearts Appeal this May to deliver an urgent national CPR awareness campaign to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest. At SuperValu we believe in local, we care about the communities in which we operate and our network of 223 stores at the heart of communities across Ireland will help to communicate the importance of this lifesaving appeal.”
Join a Happy Heart team today! Register now on www.happyhearts.ie or Toni Bourke on 086 380 6941 or call the Irish Heart Foundation head office on 01-6685001.
The Irish Heart Foundation is the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke and relies on public donations for 95 per cent of income. The Irish Heart Foundation is committed to best practice in fundraising and adheres to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising, promoting transparency, honesty and accountability.