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Oracle Heart Walk (AHA)

Maria McAlister-Young | mmcalisteryoung19@dtechhs.org | September 24, 2018

Red tents and heart balloons could be seen on the geese infested grass next to d.tech’s campus last Thursday, September 20th. It was all a part of an annual event hosted by the American Heart Association at Oracle, called the Heart Walk.

For the past several years, the American Heart Association has held one of their four Bay Area Heart Walks at Oracle. As an official Oracle Volunteering Event, it happens at 11AM-1PM, so that employees can take a break from work to walk for the cause. Out of approximately 3,100 total Heart Walkers, 2,400 were Oracle employees.

At the event there was a small VIP area for the biggest donors, as well as CPR stations where participants could learn CPR, apples and bananas for a quick after-walk snack, small games like cornhole, and a survivors’ tent, where people living with heart diseases could share their stories. Donna Kato, the communications director for American Heart Association Silicon Valley, explained “the way that we amplify our message is through the people who are right in there fighting for their lives.”

Physical activity is an essential part of a person’s health. With Oracle’s main products being database software technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products, it’s no surprise that their work very often “entails a lot of sitting. And that kind of sedentary lifestyle or working modality is not good for anybody. You need to get up and move around,” explains Colleen Cassidy, Executive Director of Oracle Corporate Citizenship. Hosting the Heart Walk allows Oracle to encourage their employees to get out and walk for a good cause.

Additionally, hosting at Oracle means the money that is raised through donations and walker registration goes to the American Heart Association’s  research, policy efforts, and work in underserved communities to spread awareness and promote healthy living. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. It is also the leading cause for both men and women, meaning it’s impact cannot be understated. Maria Gonzalez Olson, Senior Vice President of the American Heart Association Silicon Valley, elaborates that the money “has gone right back into the community with heart saving messages.”

If you believe in this cause, or just want to get out and have a nice 5k walk next year, Oracle would be delighted to help d.tech students and staff register early and participate in the walk for next year. As Cassity puts it, “Most of the time the right thing to do is right in front of you and it’s just a matter of recognizing it and taking action and contributing the resources you have to affect positive change in the world.” The goodness of your heart may lead to the goodness of others’ hearts.

For more information about the American Heart Association, visit  www.heart.org.


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