Treat Yourself While Helping Others with the Shop with Heart

300-shopAyear ago, Melissa Sands found herself in a dilemma. “Several young people in my life were graduating from either high school or college,” confided Sands. “I knew I wanted to get them each something truly special, but to be honest, I didn’t want to spend a fortune.”

A longtime supporter of the American Heart Association (AHA), Sands planned her grad gift shopping around the Shop With Heart Card event, a spring discount card fundraiser benefiting the AHA. With her card, Sands saved a bundle on gifts like The University of Texas cufflinks, Jon Hart luggage and bags, monogrammed mementos and college apparel from Houston standbys like Kuhl-Linscomb, Robert’s China Crystal and Gifts and Mark’s Clothiers. “My son is graduating this year, so you can bet I plan to use this year’s Shop With Heart Card to save on gifts for him and his closest friends,” said Sands happily.

Sands is one of many shoppers looking forward to this fun springtime shopping and dining event. The Shop With Heart Card works like most discount card fundraisers. People purchase the Shop With Heart Card for a minimum donation – in this case, a budget-friendly $50. Then, from April 22nd through May 1st, cardholders can use their card to save 20 percent off regularly priced merchandise at participating retailers and enjoy a complimentary dessert or appetizer with the purchase of an entrée at participating restaurants.

This year, over 500 retailers and restaurants from across Houston and surrounding areas, including Sugar Land, Katy, the Bay Area and The Woodlands have signed up to participate to support this great cause. A full listing of participating retailers and restaurants is available on the Shop With Heart Card website and in their annual Merchant Card Directory.

Heart Guild of Houston President and ABC-13 reporter Jessica Willey noted that many people forget that the spring shopping season can be nearly as eventful as the holiday shopping season. “Most of us have a lot going on during the spring months,” said Willey. “Between cleaning out the closets and updating the décor, buying gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations and weddings and getting your wardrobe ready for summer vacations, prom and the new spring and summer fashions, that’s some serious shopping! Why not save some serious cash while helping to save lives?”

The Heart Guild of Houston, a fundraising branch of the AHA, coordinates the annual Shop With Heart

Card event. Thanks to the generous support of volunteers, underwriters and sponsors, the Heart Guild is able to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from card sales directly to the AHA.

The AHA is one of the most recognizable and trustworthy non-profit organizations in the United States with a full 80 cents of every donated dollar going to fulfill the organization’s mission of “building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke,” the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers of both men and women. The AHA accomplishes this mission by funding research, education and community outreach across the nation and here in Houston.

“Heart disease and stroke have touched many of our lives,” said Shop With Heart Card Chair Julie Haral-son. “This is a small way to give back to our community, honor our loved ones and have a great time shopping, dining out and saving money. It’s mutually beneficial for everyone involved.”

The 2016 Shop With Heart Card is available at participating retailers for a minimum donation of $50. Visit for more information.

Shop With Heart Card Memorial Area Participants:

• 2 Lucy’s
• AerobiFit
• Back Row Home
• Bags & More
• Blue Willow Bookshop
• Body Mind & Soul
• Bowlmor Houston
• Bradley’s Art & Frame
• Brush and Blush
• Busy Body Home Fitness
• Carter’s Pet Depot #2
• Chocolate Pizazz
• Designs By Grace
• Faded Rose Antiques at MAI
• Get Personal Too
• Hanson’s Art & Frame
• Houston Jewelry
• Initials Gifts and Monogramming
• It’s All About You!
• J. Dall Hair Salon
• Josephine’s Day Spa
• Kaleidoscope – Studio of Interior Design
• Leibman’s Wine & Fine Foods
• Leighton Hale Antiques
• MAI – Memorial Antiques & Interiors
• Mark’s Clothiers
• Mirta Tummino Studio
• My Workshop Picture Framing
• Paisley House
• Paisley House Linens + Luxuries
• Robert’s China, Crystal, Silver & Gifts
• The Shade & Drape Co.
• The Shade Tree & Accessories
• Sun & Ski
• Sweet Bambini
• Trudy’s Hallmark #5 and #7
• Vallone’s
• Village Antiques
• Weidner Hasou & Co. • Wild Birds Unlimited