Tamara Bloor is the new coordinator of the Saskatchewan Heart and Stroke Foundation's February Heart Month campaign in Estevan, and she's looking for volunteers to help out in a couple of capacities.
The first is through their door-to-door canvassing efforts. They'll be responsible for visiting about 20 to 25 homes, Bloor said.
“We estimate that takes about four to five hours of your time,” Bloor said.
Between 40 and 45 volunteers will be needed to serve as canvassers, she said.
They're also seeking on-line canvassers who can send e-mails and messages via social media to friends and family to ask for their support.
“This is something that's growing,” said Bloor. “A lot of the on-line canvassers are door-to-door canvassers as well, and they do the on-line work to supplement.”
“But I have talked to a few people who were past door-to-door canvassers, and because of their work situation, or their health concerns, or a changing lifestyle, they are choosing to do on-line canvassing this year.”
On-line canvassing has only been happening in Estevan in the last couple years, Bloor said, but it has proven to be effective.
She would also like to see a stronger business campaign, and so she's looking for businesses to be involved with the “Share your Heart” program, in which red, cutout hearts are sold and displayed at retailers; and “Wear what you Love,” in which businesses allow employees to wear red or dress casually at work if the employees donate to Heart Month.
Bloor is in her first year with the local campaign, but she was involved the effort in Prince Albert for the two previous years. She said she really enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to work with the community.
“This year, being back home and having the opportunity to work on the campaign in familiar territory, was really attractive to me,” she said.
Bloor's grandfather had heart disease, and was very passionate about the campaign in Estevan, as he was a door-to-door canvasser.
“He had a life-saving surgery that extended his life by about 13 years, and I really think that without the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation – and the research that they do, the treatments, surgeries and prevention of heart disease and stroke – that I would have had those additional 13 years with him,” said Bloor.
Heart Month isn't just about fundraising, she said. It's also about creating awareness of the foundation; and educating people about the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, the treatments and the preventative care.
There will be a rally at the Estevan Public Library on Thursday, January 30, starting at 6 p.m., to kick-off Heart Month activities. It will be an opportunity for Bloor to meet with the Heart Month volunteers, and to thank them for their service.
The canvassers will pick up their canvassing kits at that time.
It will also be a chance for heart disease and stroke survivors – or those who have family who have been affected – to explain why they support the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and why they appreciate Heart Month.