Townsend jump ropes for heart awareness

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By Julia Wojtkowski, Staff Writer

Each year, 36,000 American children are born with a heart defect. The Townsend Harris High School community strives to raise awareness of America’s number one killer and hosted its second Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart event on Thursday, February 14, 2019 (Valentine’s Day), during all physical education and health classes. On this day, students were hula hooping, jumping rope, and doing anything they could to get their hearts pumping.

Freshman Daniel Song stated, “Everyone did an activity of their choice. I was able to choose an exercise that I wanted to do for once.”

This event was organized by senior Ilma Aamir, one of the lead organizers and former head of the Charity Committee, who stated that “One of the events we collectively decided to plan [last year] was a Jump Rope for Hearts/ Hoops for Heart Event to raise money for children born with heart defects and also promote heart-healthy living.”

Sophomore Weiye Yasen stated, “My mom donates to the American Heart Association every month, so it was nice to see that my school community was doing their part in this movement.”

Students had been encouraged to give back to their community by collecting funds for the American Heart Association. Forms and envelopes were distributed in all PE classes and can also be picked up in Room 115. All participating students will earn 1 hour of out-of-school community service for every $10 they raise, prizes, and the knowledge that they are helping save the lives of many affected by this disease. “There are a variety of prizes provided by the organization for students who collect a certain amount of donations. Prizes will be sent to the school after our donations are processed and we will let students know when they are ready to be picked up,” said the Senate Charity Committee of the Student Union in a recent email.  

Students have until March 1 if they would still like to give in their donations envelopes. This year, “We are also accepting internet donations in order to allow students different forms of donating,” stated junior and current head of the Charity Committee, Ava Nabatkhoran. Students should enter the hours on and upload a photo of their collection envelope or online donation in order to receive credit.

The Senate Charity Committee of the Student Union reported that the THHS community raised over $3,000 last year, which was the first year of this event. The goal for this year is to raise as much, if not more. Ilma said, “so far, we have raised about $2,200 this year, and are expecting more donations throughout the next few weeks.” Townsend Harris also benefits from this process because the more money our school raises, the more funds the school will receive for new PE equipment. This is another step taken to ensure that students are consistently exercising in school.

Physical education and health teacher Jamal Bermudez concluded, “So much is due to our poor diets and the lifestyle that we lead, these are things that can be controlled if people became more conscious, which is what we are doing with this event… I’m grateful I have a position in which I can spread the word.”