PIERRE, S.D. – Tuesday marks the first ever Inspired Giving Day in South Dakota.
More than 200 businesses and other organizations are encouraging South Dakotans to donate to help the American Heart Association promote healthier living.
The long-term goal is to help South Dakota communities become free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Kevin Sypal, regional vice president of the American Heart Association of South Dakota, says the donations will partly go towards working with state lawmakers to bring more health conscious initiatives to South Dakota.
"And that can be anything from having CPR in schools as a graduation requirement,” Sypal explains. “Also, like Medicaid expansion and working on educating the communities about the impacts of smoking."
Sypal says smoking is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. He says kicking the habit along with adopting other healthy behaviors can reduce the risk for heart disease by as much as 80 percent.
Tuesday also marks the final day of National CPR Awareness Week. Sypal says the association has trained more than 40,000 South Dakotans in how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"We are also working on getting CPR training kits in schools to educate every person graduating high school every year,” he adds. “Those are going to be future potential lifesavers. So, that's one of our goals as well."
Anyone willing to donate can find more information on the American Heart Association's website at www.heart.org/sdgives