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Coins for a Conference Fund

From: LEAVEN, Vol. 39 No. 1, February-March 2003, p. 22.

Have you just finished reading the inspiring article about the donation of money to our International Division? Are you wondering how you can help more Leaders, yet don’t have large amounts of money to contribute? Well, Leader Debbi Heffern and members of the Creve Coeur Group in Missouri, USA have an answer for you. These good women contributed money to help Leaders get to the 2001 LLLI Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA and they are back doing it again. Listen to their story.

A few days before the monthly LLL meeting, Debbi contacted the mothers in her Group with the following message:

Do you remember when we contributed to the Matthieu Chazelle Fund over one year ago? This fund was established in honor of the son of former Board member, Martine Chazelle. The purpose was to help Leaders from outside the USA attend Conferences by supplementing the money these Leaders raise in their own communities.
In July of 2003, the International Conference will be in San Francisco, California, USA. Again, Leaders from around the world will attend. But again, many Leaders live in countries where the cost of living is so high and travel costs so expensive that they will not be able to attend. Hence, the importance of the Matthieu Chazelle Fund.

As hosts, being US Leaders, if we were able to welcome Leaders from other countries to our homes, we’d be cleaning and scrubbing to get ready. Well, since these women are not actually coming to stay with each of us (whew!), we can still pretend we are cleaning.

So, instead of actually cleaning, please look under couch cushions, in your laundry, and under the seats of your car. Collect all the stray coins you find. Put them in a plastic bag, and bring them to your next meeting.

If most LLLI Groups played along, this little project could make a huge difference in the lives of fellow Leaders, giving many a once in a lifetime chance to attend an LLL International Conference to bring back new information and ideas about helping mothers breastfeed their babies to their own communities.

My own baggie had eight pennies, three dimes, two nickels, and four quarters and I hadn’t even looked in my husband’s car.

The result of this first appeal was a donation of $20.53 from the Group. The following month when weather turned colder, Debbi sent another message. This time she asked everyone to check the pockets in their coats, for more loose change. The Group sent a second donation of $10.50.

Please join the Creve Coeur Group in this grassroots effort to help other Leaders. Send out a similar message to your Group’s members. Count your Group’s change and send your check to “Matthieu Chazelle Fund” c/o Cecily Harkins, ID Financial Administrator, 4055 SW 48th Place, Portland, OR 97221-3735, USA.

This simple idea and enthusiasm is spreading one home at a time. My own 15-year-daughter, Morgan, heard me discussing the generosity of the Creve Coeur Group at dinner prompting her to donate her entire coin collection (233 pennies, 26 nickels) the next day. The Chazelle Coins for Conference fund now has a third contribution of $3.62. My mother just told me that she would give her loose change, so I have put a jar next to my LLL work and am watching it get fuller each day.

We invite and encourage Groups in Europe, Asia, and all over the world to join us. Hosts and donors need not only be from the USA. The breadth and depth of LLL hospitality knows no geographic, cultural, or language barriers.

When You Contribute Your Change to the Chazelle Fund You:

• Give the mothers in your Group an opportunity for sisterhood with LLL around the world;
• Value the small donations of the many, always the strength of our organization;
• Donate money effortlessly because these coins are often ones we never knew we had;
• Support a project begun by one sole Leader who knows each person can make a difference.

Last updated 12/29/06 by jlm.
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