When Tina Charles' Aunt Hopey, one of her biggest fans, passed away three years ago, she had a realization that her life and resources could be used for the greater good. To honor her aunt's legacy, she established the Hopey's Heart Foundation dedicated to raising awareness for sudden cardiac arrest and placing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, recreation centers, and parks. Moreover, the foundation educates youth about cardiac arrest and how to properly use an AED.
Tina admits that running a foundation and raising funds is more difficult than she had anticipated. With encouragement from her mother and her aunt's spirit, Tina has persevered and thrived. As of today, they have donated 200 AEDs around the world and are partnering with the AAU and other initiatives to further the cause.
Aside from Tina's determination, there are other factors that have contributed to Hopey's Heart's growth and success. First, the mission is deeply personal, rooted in the loss of a loved one. Still, the issue is universal, and therefore, it touches the hearts and minds of the community and, more importantly, donors. Secondly, Tina's cause is unique, especially compared to the countless athlete foundations that support the same themes - education, fitness, and nutrition. The foundation stands apart, yet remains incredibly relevant as cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Athletes should take note of how Hopey's Heart Foundation has positioned itself as personal but universal, specific but practical.
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