Making a Difference

Josie Brodfuehrer, Staff Writer

People die everyday.  They die from car accidents and homicides and war and diseases.  But one of these deaths can be prevented.  One of these deaths doesn’t have to happen.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, according to Medical News Today.  At the top of the death list, heart disease may seem formidable, but it doesn’t have to be, things can be done to educate people, to research, to save lives with better technology.  This disease may seem foreign to the Leonardtown High School community, to but it doesn’t have to be.  Raiders, you can get involved with your high school Help A Heart Club.

Help A Heart aims to raise money for the American Heart Association, encourage heart health, and help “hearts” in the community through charity work.  Within the club, students work together to make a difference well beyond their school community primarily through fundraisers and service events within the community.  

The American Heart Association is the recipient of Help A Heart donations.  The association aims “to improve people’s health and reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.” The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease. Comprised of 22.5 million volunteers and supporters, the American Heart Association is able to fund innovative research and promote health education thanks to the donations of millions.  Research and education conducted by the American Heart Association has saved lives after diagnosis and prevented the onset of heart disease.

The club hopes that events and fundraisers will not only allow the American Heart Association to advance medical treatment and education of potential patients, but will draw attention to the severity of the disease and the importance of heart health for all high schoolers.  

The president of Help A Heart at Leonardtown High School, Samantha Schwalbe, a senior, is dedicated to the club’s mission and importance.  Her favorite part about the club is that students are able “to raise money for a good cause, bring people together, and help the community.”

Help A Heart is a rather new club being offered at Leonardtown High School.  The club was started in the fall of 2015 by Amrik and Ramnik Gill, two members of the graduating class of 2016.  Though the club found some success in donations with Popsicle and hot chocolate sales, it was never really able to diversify and expand its service and fundraisers.  Karson Harris, current vice president and Leonardtown senior wants “to help the club get off its feet and do real things that help the American Heart Association.”   Members and leaders within the club have begun event planning and correspondence with the help of their sponsor, Julie Walsh, to achieve the goal of increasing service from last year.

Don’t let all of the goals of Help A Heart deter you raiders, the club needs you to help them make a difference.  Help A Heart is still in need of more members and is offering leadership positions, so make sure to join before it’s too late.  The club meets every other Friday in Mrs. Walsh’s room, E11.  If you have any further questions feel free to contact Sami Schwalbe or Karson Harris, the club’s leaders.