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Holding Out for a Hero: Easy Ways to Help in Your Community

Ways to Help in Your Community

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. From the young child who saves up their allowance and donates it to a homeless shelter to the volunteers at a soup kitchen. We all have the ability to be a hero.

There are simple, tangible and lasting ways we can be a hero. Here are a few that are easy, don’t cost anything, and can truly make a difference.

Volunteer at an animal shelter. Shelters always need help. You can reach out to friends, co-workers, neighbors and collect food, toys, and blankets. Shelters always need these supplies. You can also volunteer your time and help clean cages, groom the animals, and play with them. AAWL is Arizona’s oldest no-kill shelter. They provide a safe and nurturing environment for animals. They are always looking for foster homes to watch over animals that need a little extra TLC.

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the United States. Spotting the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke could save someone’s life. Heart attack symptoms differ in men and women. Men often describe the moments before a heart attack as if an elephant is sitting on their chest. They may also sweat, have a headache or feel a tightening in their jaw. Women can have chest pressure but often times they feel pain lower in their chest or abdomen and it comes and goes. They also may experience pain under their arm. In both cases, quick action can save a life. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, don’t delay. Call 911. Chewing an aspirin can also help, but only do so after calling for emergency help. If the person is not breathing, you need to perform CPR. Be a hero and learn how by taking a class. If you live in the Phoenix-Metro area, the Halle Heart Museum offers classes.

Strokes are a bit easier to identify. Just remember FAST.

F stands for facial drooping, usually on one side. Look for a crooked smile.

A stands for arm weakness, difficulty raising arms.

S stands for speech difficulties, an inability to form coherent sentences.

T stands for time. Time is of the essence, call 911 immediately.You can be the hero in your own life by doing all you can to prevent heart attacks. Get a physical once a year. Know your blood pressure numbers. Know your cholesterol levels. Make sure you move 30 minutes a day, at least 5 times a week. Eat veggies, cut down on red meat. Consider eating vegetarian once a week. If you smoke, quit now. There are free cessation programs that can help.

Being a hero doesn’t have to involve an enormous act of courage. It can be something small that gives you just as much happiness as the person you are helping.

Learn more about those giving a helping hand on this recent episode of Su Vida.

Jackie Morales introduces a meditation program to young children:

Cox partners with the Phoenix Chamber to help get employees up and moving:

An inventor of prosthetic feet shares his gift with those who can least afford it:

Cox’s Connect2Compete distributes 50 computers to families in the Osborn School District: