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LLL Leadership: Happy to Renew

Sylvia Mitchell
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 38 No. 3, June-July 2002 p. 72.

Articles that appear in this column usually pertain to ways Leaders can encourage mothers who attend our LLL meetings to become members. We all became members in LLL at some point, but it is just as important to continue our "membership" now that we are Leaders. The following article was written by Sylvia Mitchell for the August 2001 issue of Canadian Collage.
—Connie Boord, Contributing Editor

Bills. Bills. Bills. They can overflow the mailbox. I pay water, heat, and electricity routinely without much thought. Other bills cause me to pause and sometimes question. It was nice to purchase the rug shampoo machine, but was the deluxe model really necessary? Perhaps some magazine subscriptions are no longer needed. And who’s responsible for the overdue library books or movie rentals?

For many years, when my annual Affiliate LLL Canada (LLLC) Leader renewal notice arrived, it seemed natural to just send the fee in. As my children grew past their breastfeeding years, I began to pause and wonder whether I wanted to continue renewing my LLL leadership. After all, our living expenses were growing as fast as the children.

A past issue of an Area Leader newsletter contained the suggestion to prepare a "warm fuzzy" folder, a place to keep meaningful mementos, thank-you cards, letters, and other items you receive throughout your Leader career. Then, when you found yourself feeling a little low or temporarily overwhelmed and in need of a boost, the contents in your folder were sure to uplift and rejuvenate your spirit.

I prepared a folder immediately, marking it with a fuzzy pink heart-shaped sticker, and labeled it "LLL Mammaries." Over the years I have added many special mementos to the growing folder. There are countless thank-you cards from mothers or Leaders who were grateful for the help they had received. There are birth announcements, children’s drawings, a homemade gold origami star, photographs from a variety of LLL gatherings, and some newspaper clippings. I especially treasure letters of appreciation, including one from a Leader in South Africa and another from Founder Marian Tompson. My file also holds decorative nametags, postcards, Conference booklets, magnets, empty flower seed packets, and the packages from bath salts that add fragrance to the memories.

I remember vividly receiving LLLC Information leaflet No. 61, Can Breastfeeding Become the Cultural Norm? and shouting "Yes!" in answer to its question. At that moment, I realized that was part of the reason for my continued involvement with LLL. I can do my part, renewing my leadership with LLL each anniversary year.

Recently I found it necessary to upgrade to an accordion-style folder to accommodate all the special enclosures. This year I added my treasured copy of my personal history, written so long ago, to the folder. Every year when my Leader renewal notice arrives, I take an LLL Leader journey down "mammary" lane, from the time I applied for leadership through each of the nineteen Leader cards collected. Privately, I toast my anniversary and think about new goals to set for the upcoming year. As I renew my LLL commitment, writing a cheque (check) to pay my annual LLLC Leader fee, a warm fuzzy feeling comes over me.

Sylvia Mitchell continues to pay household bills in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her husband, John. They have three sons: Danny (24), Gord (22), and Brian (18). Accredited in October 1982, Sylvia is presently Associate Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (ACLA) with two Areas, LLLCanada-Manitoba and LLLCanada-Saskatchewan, and is a member of the Leaven Editorial Review team. "Promoting Membership" is edited by Connie Boord. Send your ideas on any aspect of membership promotion to her at 4417-78th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55443-3405 USA or cboord at (email).

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