Roanoke Go Red for Women Luncheon helps local women and families build healthy lives

The American Heart Association and F&S Building Innovations encouraged Roanoke Go Red for Women Luncheon guests to support the health and well-being of individuals served by the Bedford Pregnancy Center and Street Ransom by donating personal care items. The two local charities and the American Heart Association share a common goal of helping Roanokers build healthy families.

The luncheon’s ‘Building Healthy Families’ theme and support of Street Ransom and the Bedford Pregnancy Center stemmed from the passion of Alicia Smith, Chair of the Executive Leadership Team for the Go Red for Women campaign and the association to make an impact on the health and wellness of women and families in Western Virginia.

Children and teens who are abused, witness violence or face other adversities are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases in adulthood, according to a scientific statement by the American Heart Association published in the Association’s journal Circulation.  Stressful life events may also be linked to higher incidents of heart attack, stroke and other types of cardiovascular disease among adult women.

“Sometimes coming to events like this helps people heal, if they’ve been through (heart disease or stroke), just being with other people who understand what they’ve been through and can recognize and put an arm around them,” Smith said of the event.  “It’s an opportunity to see there are other people who care.”

Donations were collected at drop-off locations such as the Roanoke American Heart Association office, Grandin Court Baptist Church and F&S Building Innovations.  Guests of the luncheon also brought toiletries, personal hygiene products and baby items to the luncheon May 17.  Donations were packaged at the event by volunteers and delivered to Bedford Pregnancy Center and Street Ransom in June.