Today, we’re introducing you to a woman, brand and cause that is close to our (and your!) hearts. Heather Umen Turetzky, director of partnership marketing and public relations for Burlington Stores, has been working with WomenHeart to provide information, training and support for women’s health initiatives, raising more than $3 million over the last three years. Here, we’re chatting with her about the importance of adding philanthropy into a company’s business structure, and why women’s health should be on everyone’s minds…
HOW DID BURLINGTON STORES BECOME INVOLVED WITH WOMENHEART?
Burlington started working with WomenHeart over four years ago to launch its Red Dress Initiative. It quickly turned into a successful cause marketing campaign that raised funds to support women’s heart health, as nearly 43 million women are living with heart disease, and women are our core customer. Since then, we’ve been committed to raising awareness about the importance of women’s heart health.
This year we added the Heart of Fitness Tour to the campaign, which served as a fun way to further engage with our customers and provide them with the tools they need live a healthy lifestyle. […] These events also offered free heart health screenings (blood pressure measurement, waist circumference, and a risk factor questionnaire) from heart health professionals, bilingual educational materials and more.
WHY IS THIS CAUSE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
As a woman, I feel a personal responsibility toward raising awareness and helping to educate women nationwide about living heart healthy and doing so in a fun way. Women can easily take charge of their health and reduce the risk of heart disease by 30-50% by engaging in some kind of physical activity. Combining quick and easy exercise with a fun and rewarding shopping experience at Burlington, along with providing education to our customers about the importance of living heart healthy, was crucial toward our overall goal.
HOW CAN PEOPLE GET INVOLVED?
Through March 31, customers are invited to donate $1 or more at check out at any Burlington store nationwide to benefit WomenHeart to help increase awareness and education about the importance of women’s heart health and support women living with heart disease. Customers can also purchase any dress at Burlington and Burlington will donate $1, up to $25,000, to benefit WomenHeart to help fund lifesaving heart health education.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF CHARITY WORK?
At Burlington, philanthropy is a part of our heritage. It’s really the most fulfilling part of what I do day in and day out. I am truly lucky to be able to develop and further our national philanthropic initiatives that help real people and their families in communities surrounding our store locations nationwide! And it’s of course not just me; it’s an entire team of 30,000+ associates across the country that make it all possible. I love knowing that I work for a community-minded company and am able to see the benefits of all that we do. […] It’s all very rewarding work and the best part of my job!
WHAT IS THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
‘Believe anything is possible.’ Those that know me know that I am a forever optimist and I reach for the stars whenever possible, while of course, infusing reality when necessary.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO INCORPORATE PHILANTHROPY INTO A COMPANY’S BUSINESS PLAN?
It is proven that when consumers are aware that a brand ‘gives back,’ they become more loyal to that brand, especially if it’s a cause or initiative that touches them personally. It’s human nature and at Burlington, it’s a no brainer given that ‘giving back’ is part of our DNA.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN TO GET INVOLVED?
Paying it forward makes you feel good. Try it. You may like it! I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around. So, pay it forward – make a call to a help that go-getter get that job, or pay for that cup of coffee for the person behind you in line. They will remember, trust me. And so begins the cycle.