For one day a year, women across the country dig through their closets and break out their best red outfits – and no, we’re not talking about Valentine’s Day.
National Wear Red Day, organized by the American Heart Association, raises awareness of the leading cause of death among women: heart disease.
One in three women die of heart disease or stroke each year, yet many believe it’s an issue that affects more men than women, according to the AHA.
So the organization created the Go Red for Women initiative, which aims to educate the masses and encourage women to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle, all while fundraising for programs and research about cardiovascular health.
“It’s time to be demanding when it comes to women’s heart health and ask others to do the same,” the AHA says on its fundraising website. “Wear red for awareness. Give for the mothers, sisters and friends that you can’t bear to live without.”
Go Red for Women has made strides toward empowering women to take control of their health: 91 percent of women involved with the initiative have visited a doctor within the last 12 months, compared to the 73 percent national average.
National Wear Red Day is held each year on the first Friday of February and it’s easy to get involved.
When: Friday, Feb. 1
Where: Across the United States
How to participate: To raise awareness, rock a red outfit, but you can also fundraise or donate to the cause. The AHA also encourages participants to share photos of how they’re supporting the cause on social media with the hashtags #WearRedDay and #WearRedAndGive.
How to donate: You can make a one-time donation to the Go Red for Women initiative or you can donate toward a specific fundraising page.
How to fundraise: The American Heart Association encourages women to create and personalize fundraising webpages that they can then send to friends and family to raise awareness and encourage donations.
Where donations are put to use: Fundraising revenue is put toward supporting “awareness, research, education and community programs to benefit women.”