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Ask Not What LLL Can Do for You... Ask What You Can Do for LLLI

Helene Scheff
North Kingstown, Rhode Island, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 33 No. 1, February-March 1997, p. 10

"Where will LLL fit into my life as my children grow and my lifestyle changes?" is a question Leaders ask themselves periodically. At a District Workshop session in Rhode island, USA we talked about this and other questions dealing with Leader longevity and long term interest. We also touched on the hows and whys of a long term commitment to LLL at the local and global levels. The results of this thought-provoking session seemed to carry an important message: LLLI has been available to us; experienced Leaders can and should be available to LLL.

As facilitator of the workshop session I asked three questions. Participants were asked to write their responses on cards. We then compiled the results in lists.

What has LLL meant to YOU and your family? We gleaned the following: confidence, community, support, personal growth, validation (thought and deeds), skills (parenting and job), education, comfort, sanctuary, good foundation, enhanced self-esteem, friendship, networking, resources (including experienced Leaders). Imagine, all of this from one organization! What institution of learning could do the same, virtually without cost to you during a time in your life when discretionary funds are limited? We were all in agreement that we got more than money could buy. We mentioned that many Leaders went on to make careers from what they learned as LLL Leaders.

What are your short and long term visions or goals for LLL? This was a harder task; should the goals be realistic or lofty; should they be local or global? We listed:

  • wide acceptance and practice of breastfeeding,
  • acceptance of LLLI as the world authority on breastfeeding,
  • LLLI as anchor and resource for breastfeeding information,
  • growth of LLLI,
  • LLL as an anchor for the family unit (the word anchor appeared frequently, we decided, because the workshop was held at a beach community center overlooking the Narragansett Bay),
  • LLL as an effective liaison between health-care providers and users,
  • LLLI remaining steadfast in its commitment to the mother/baby relationship.
  • LLLI financially fit for future; no worry of day-to-day finances.

Where do you see yourself in this future and why? Because time was running out, we could only make generalizations. All Leaders present wanted to remain a part of LLL. Some felt that with their children in school they would have more time for community outreach. Some felt they would be able to help LLLI more financially, at least until their children went to college. Some talked about becoming involved on the Area and Division levels. We all wanted to help in the effort to raise the visibility of LLL and continue the good reputation we enjoy.

The session closed on an upbeat note. Some had concerns which we tabled for a later date. What we ask of LLLI is "What would you like us to do; what special place in LLLI is there for us?" We are ready, willing and able. The future is only limited by our imagination!

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