We Are EmPOWERED To Serve
Have you ever wanted to make a small change to your family’s health? Eating more fruits and veggies maybe?
Does your family have hereditary health problems that you are trying to avoid? High Blood Pressure or Diabetes?
Do you see those in the communities around you suffering from an issue and you wish you could help? YOU CAN, WE CAN!
Last week I walked along the hallways and sat among people who’ve made the decision to make a change in the lives of those around them; even if it’s a small one. Some fed the hungry out of their own pockets, some provided reliable transportation to and from work, while others completely transformed their communities with assistance to health care networks. I had the distinguished honor of attending the EmPOWERED To Serve Summit at Gallaudet University, sponsored by the American Heart Association. It was here that the issues, impact and solutions were discussed concerning the health and wellbeing of those in underrepresented communities across the country.
EmPOWERED To Serve (ETS) is a movement that exists to improve the overall health within multicultural communities. The key objectives are to: 1.) Increase healthy living behaviors 2.) Enhance the chain of survival and 3.) Expand access and empower communities.
In August, EmPOWERED To Serve launched the Urban Business Storytelling competition as an opportunity for companies, organizations and individuals to help influence and drive community change. Over 130 individuals, businesses and organizations answered the call to identify fresh and innovative ideas that can be activated in communities to remove barriers and improve health and wellbeing. The competition came down to 10 finalists that had the rare opportunity to win 1 of 3 prizes (first place $30,000, second place $20,000 and third place $10,000) that would allow them to expand their reach to impact a greater area.
First Place: Gospel Run, Founder Nyasha Nyamapfene
Gospel Run is a public health organization created to inspire healthy transformation and expanded possibilities in the individuals, families and communities. The Runs unite gospel enthusiasts, runners, and walkers from across the Midwest and beyond in fellowship, fitness, and fun. Next year, Ms. Nyamapfeme and her team plan to bring Gospel Run to DC, so be on the lookout.
Second Place: MEANS Database, Co-Founder Maria Rose Belding
Since the young age of 14, Maria knew that she had a heart to serve. She convinced a few family members and friends that food is life by collecting and delivering food to those who needed it most. Simply stated, people waste a lot of food but instead of throwing it out, call Maria. After years of balancing the life of a full-time student, philanthropist and entrepreneur, she embarked on a partnership with Food Connect to increase their reach exponentially. MEANS Database notifies food banks and pantries of food donations in their neighborhood. Food Connect delivers surplus food from retailers to community organizations serving the hungry across the country.
Third Place: Goffers, Founder Cecil Wilson
At just 21 years of age, Cecil Wilson has established trust, partnerships and a team of happy helpers within his community. Goffers is a local and on-demand delivery network that provides on-demand mobile task assistance from faces customers know and build relationships with. Services include tasks that lend customers time savings like grocery shopping, laundry delivery and prescription refills.
Each of the business models presented were phenomenal and really made me see how a need so monumental can be addressed when we work together. Take a look at each of the finalists and read about their work in the communities they serve.
As I walked around I noticed several signs titled “What is Your Why?” and “_______ is Why.” It made me think, ‘why do I make my family stick to a semi-healthy diet? Why do we go outside to run around in the yard daily? Why do I worry about maintaining a work-life balance and if I too will deal with health conditions surrounding my family through generations?’
WHAT IS MY WHY? LIFE is my why. FAMILY is my why. PURPOSE is my why.
WHAT IS YOUR WHY?
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases.
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About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke.
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Disclosure: Although this is a sponsored post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.