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5 Ways to Recognize American Heart Month

5 Ways to Recognize Heart Month The Arc Amplified 1

5 Ways to Recognize American Heart Month

The month of February is recognized in the United States as American Heart Month.

It is a month during the year when we increase our focus and raise awareness about cardiovascular health and heart disease. Everyone can participate in some way! Heart health is important for all of us. And, there are easy ways for you to get involved!

Here are 5 ideas:

1.  Share information about heart health, risk factors of heart disease and heart-healthy living tips. Find plenty of social media friendly, digital content on the American Heart Association website at The theme for Heart Month 2022 is hypertension, aka high blood pressure, a leading risk for heart disease and strokes. Find a ready-made toolkit of shareable content about hypertension on the website.

2.  Spread the word about the Million Hearts Campaign! This is a public push to remind people to prioritize their cardiovascular health and to get their medical care back on track after delays and disruptions in care resulting from COVID-19 shutdowns. This is important! Find more information and social media content to share HERE.

3.  Take time to recognize Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week, Feb. 7th­ – 14th. Congenital heart defects describe a variety of different heart conditions that are present from birth. CHDs are the most common birth defect in the United States and significantly impact the disability community. You can help spread awareness about congenital heart defects, their occurrence rate and treatment, recent research and medical advancements in care. Click HERE to find information to share.

4.  Donate blood. Donating blood has a direct impact in our community. Your donation can literally save lives! Locate a convenient blood drive near your home, work or school using the Red Cross “Find a Drive” website or through Bloodworks Northwest.

5.  Join the “7 Days of Self Care” Challenge. Heart healthy living is important for everyone… including yourself! Celebrate American Heart Month 2022 by joining the self-care challenge (find it here!) and sharing your progress on social media to raise awareness.

BONUS POINTER: When sharing information and raising awareness on social media, don’t forget to include these hashtags in your posts: #OurHearts AND #HeartMonth


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

Recognizing American Heart Month 2022

44. American Heart Month 2022 The Arc Amplified

Recognizing American Heart Month 2022

The month of February is recognized each year as American Heart Month — a time during the year that encourages a focus on cardiovascular health, aka HEART HEALTH.

Heart health is important for everyone!

Many in our community have experienced previous heart issues, or were born with congenital heart defects, and others, due to underlying conditions or predispositions, may hold a higher risk of future cardiovascular conditions.

Understanding heart health is especially important now as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we learn more about the relationship between COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease.

For parents and caregivers, who often experience both acute and chronic stress, Heart Month is also a timely reminder to schedule an annual wellness check-up.

Whoever you are, and whatever role you play in our community, I encourage you to take time during this month ahead to learn more about cardiovascular health, your personal risk factors and steps you can take to help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Quick Facts About Heart Disease:

  • “Heart disease” can refer to several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease in the United States.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
  • Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can increase an individual’s risk of heart disease.
  • There are steps you can take to promote heart-healthy living. (Click here to learn more!) While it is important to understand your own risk factors for heart disease, taking steps to improve your overall health, where possible, may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular issues.

(Note: The above information is shared from the website.)


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

10 COVID-Safe Date Night Ideas for Parents and Caregivers

COVID Safe Valentines Dates The Arc Amplified 1

10 COVID-Safe Date Night Ideas for Parents and Caregivers

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Yes, it’s here again!

Like so many of you, I hoped this year would be different, that the world would be in a better place, and that we could once again safely venture out to — you know??? — enjoy the brilliant luxury of a night out. It is a wild idea in these prolonged pandemic times, I know…

And yet, as we cruise into the month of February, it appears that we will all be spending another Valentine’s Day in some degree of isolation.

Is it disappointing? Yes. Of course it is.

Should we throw our hands in the air with a “to-heck-with-Valentine’s-Day” dramatic flair?

No! Of course not.

We may just need to adapt and plan ahead, and throw a bit of creativity in there for good measure. But, as family caregivers, adaptability is already our bread-and-butter.

Spending quality time with our partners — whether we go out or stay in — is important. That is especially true for all of us parent-caregivers who struggle to find time to focus on anything but our kids.

Valentine’s Day is an excuse to focus on the special relationships in your life.

Grab on to that opportunity, people!

Here are 10 ideas for planning a COVID-safe, date night at home.

*Stay tuned for a future article featuring creative ways to find respite care for the kids*

1.  Recreate your favorite date night of the past. Do you remember the excitement of your first date? What about that honeymoon trip to Disneyland, or that weekend getaway to Vegas? Or, maybe that one, AMAZING night you once shared following an unexpected lay-over in Atlanta? Perhaps your best date ever was closer to home, where something monumental happened: a first kiss shared with the love of your life? A proposal? Whatever it is, take time to recreate the fun of that night at home. Make your own version of the meal you shared, dance to the music that played.

2.  Register for a virtual cooking class. Work together to create a meal for a dinner and movie night in your living room. There are now many opportunities to participate in virtual workshops, including cooking classes. If you happen to be a couple who would rather brunch, than dine — never fear! There are brunch-making and sweet-baking virtual classes for you too. A bit of research on trusty, old Google should do the trick!

3.  Plan a Zoom double-date with friends in a far-away place. Increased social connectivity via online platforms has proven itself to be one of the few silver-linings of the pandemic era. Take the time to reach out to friends who live in a far-off place (or even not so far away — your choice!) and schedule a Zoom date. Watch a rom-com while Zoomed together, play a couple’s game, or simply enjoy a glass of good wine, big laughs and an hour or two of reminiscing.

4.  Spend a Saturday afternoon outside together. Invest in some quality time and a healthy dose of fresh air. Make a plan to spend a Saturday together doing your favorite outdoor activity. For the runners of the world: Plan ahead to map out a new route through surrounding neighborhoods, and stop at a café for coffee or a tasty treat to refuel you along the way. If you enjoy hiking: the greater Seattle area is home to some spectacular winter hikes. (Click here for ideas!)

5.  Share a pot of your favorite hot drink and plan your summer together. Yes, it is only February. However, those with previous experience in certain activities, like yurting or attempting to snag your kid a spot at youth summer camps, know that late winter is the prime time to start making plans and booking reservations for a summer of fun. And, while it sounds simple, a cold, February evening spent cuddled up on a couch, with a hot drink in hand, dreaming of the warm, sunny months ahead, also sounds pretty dang cozy and wonderful.

6.  Sign up for a home based, ceramics class. Even some local studios and galleries now offer a virtual option! Find a fun, hands-on, art class online, or look locally. For example, Glazed & Amazed in Edmonds has Pottery To-Go Paint Kits available, which are perfect for a low-key, date night at home. If you are really itching to get out of the house in a COVID safe way, places like Salish Sea Ceramic Studio, located in downtown Everett, offer private pottery classes for two.

7.  Schedule a “Pizza & Pie” night. Have your favorite ingredients delivered to your doorstep and spend the evening throwing dough and baking pie. Make something simple (traditional pepperoni pizza and apple pie, anyone?) or venture into the more artisanal. Whatever your taste, pop on some fun tunes and spend the evening in the kitchen with your partner, dancing, laughing and creating a memorable meal.

8.  Date and Donate for Heart Month. February is recognized as American Heart Month (because #hearts), and blood supplies nationwide are currently at critical lows. What better time to schedule an appointment to donate blood! And, why not turn it into a Day-Date with your partner?! Schedule concurrent appointments at your local blood bank, or during a pop-up blood drive in your community, and grab take-out to eat at a nearby park before heading home. It’s quality time for a quality reason! (Also: Heart Month serves as an annual reminder to schedule a check-up of your own. It’s important that we take care of ourselves too! Get those wellness checks on the books.)

9.  Set up a home spa experience for two. Order all of the fancy lotions and face-masks ahead of time, lower the lights and draw a bubble bath. Splurge to pamper yourselves with the spa-day oils in aromas that you would never otherwise buy, or explore making your own products. Enjoy yourselves, even if the spa experience lasts only for the overlapping hour of the kids’ soccer practice and scout meeting. Savor those rare, quiet and calming moments together.


10.  Enjoy a personal chocolate-tasting together at home. Set a budget and task both partners with finding unique and flavorful chocolate bars. (Thanks to the internet and next-day shipping, no chocolate bar is out of reach!) Carve out an evening together to enjoy tasting and talking about your finds. Extend the experience by pairing your chocolates with local PNW wines. (Here are some tips from the experts to get you started!)

However you celebrate, and whenever you are able to carve out time in this hectic life we call caregiving, I hope you savor every ounce of joy the time brings you. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

Snohomish Fun Run

Chase the Grinch 5K 2021 Community Inclusion Story The Arc Amplified

Family Fun in Snohomish:
Chase the Grinch Outta Snohomish Fun Run

10 year-old JoJo and 11 year-old L.J. are brothers and best friends. This active duo are both students attending their school district’s online academy. Mom, Sherri, says virtual school has allowed her sons to catch up academically and thrive. But, Mom is always looking for inclusive opportunities to provide her sons with new experiences in the community.

2021 Dec Run LJ and JoJo 3“I often check The Arc’s newsletter for things to do. In December it mentioned this run in Snohomish.” Sherri registered JoJo and L.J. for the Kids Dash at the Chase the Grinch Outta Snohomish Fun Run. It was further than the boys had ever run, but the experience paid off. The boys’ participation earned them some racer swag, including a Santa hat, bib with their registration number, finisher’s medal, and snacks. They even got a personal visit and photo-op with the Grinch!  Sherri said their family will definitely look for other local Fun Runs to participate in because “it was so fun!!”

When not racing, JoJo and L.J. are building their skills at boxing classes. Mom enjoys the boys’ boxing lessons because it gives her a little respite and creates time for her to work out at the boxing studio’s onsite gym.

The Arc of Snohomish County’s Recreation Guide, Facebook page, and Arc Happenings emails are great resources for connecting with things to do.

Or contact The Arc’s Community Outreach Coordinator, Teri McKeehan at or 425-258-2459 x108 to help your family connect with inclusive recreational opportunities near you.

Don’t hesitate to try something new; you may discover a new hobby or hidden talent!


~Submitted by Alaina Kube, Parent to Parent Coordinator

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The Arc office is open by appointment only

Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm

127 E. Intercity Ave. Suite C
Everett, WA 98208

(425) 258-2459