By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
14-year old Samantha Thompson is on a fundraising mission. The eighth grade student of Mildred Junior High School has been nominated as American Heart Association’s Teen of Impact for the Southwest Region.
The new AHA program began in February as part of the association’s “Go Red for Women” movement. The selected teens are provided with an opportunity to make changes in their own lives and their communities, accomplished through taking charge of their own health, and advocating for policies to improve health in their own communities.
“I have a team and there are weekly challenge activities, but the main part of it is fundraising,” Thompson said.
For Thompson, however, the campaign is a personal one. As she was born with a heart defect, and has had three heart surgeries. To maintain her health, she has have yearly check-ups with her cardiologist, and takes medication daily for her heart.
Thompson has done drives for the AHA in the past, taking part in the “Jump Rope for Heart” program and raising $1,500 in the process each year, making her one of the top fundraisers.
As of this writing, Thompson has raised $7,138.27. Upon hitting the $6,000 milestone, she took a pie to the face live. On Thursday, March 10, Cici’s Pizza will donate a portion of their ticket sales to her cause.
The young representative has set a new goal of $15,000 before the campaign’s deadline ends on Thursday, April 7. The final night features a Zoom meeting where the teens find out who raised the most points and funds. The top contributor gets a $1,000 scholarship.
“Know that this is going to a really good cause through the American Heart Association that helps others,” Thompson said. “Also, this is really special for me as I was born with a heart defect, so I have a connection through the American Heart Association, so it’s really special for me to get to do this.”
“I want people to know this is going to a great cause, and every dollar raised is going straight to the American Heart Association.”
You can join Thompson’s team by visiting her donation page, or by texting “SAMANTHATOI” to 71777.
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