LLLUSA Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2004
by Amy Wood
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 21 No. 2, March-April 2004, p. 58
In a few months, La Leche League Groups all over the USA will be holding special events to celebrate breastfeeding and to raise money. This special celebration will be called "LLLUSA Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week."
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually from August 1 to 7, but La Leche League Groups may hold their celebrations anytime from May through September. We celebrate World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, and to raise money to support the ongoing work of La Leche League. A La Leche League Group near you may hold a "World Walk for Breastfeeding." Or your local Group may hold a special drawing, auction, fair, or other event to benefit La Leche League. These events are fun, family-centered gatherings. What could be better than a celebration centered around our beautiful breastfed babies? Some Leaders may choose not to hold an event, but instead will send letters asking for donations to benefit La Leche League.
No matter how your local Group decides to celebrate and raise money, they will need your support. Financial contributions in any amount are always greatly appreciated, but there are lots of other ways to give as well. You can give your time, your enthusiasm, or your special talents. Consider contacting your local Group and offering to volunteer your time. La Leche League Leaders keep volunteer jobs "mother-sized" so you won’t be overwhelmed. Share your enthusiasm about fundraising events at local Group meetings, so that other mothers will be encouraged to participate. Use your special talent in a fun and creative way. For example, if your group is hosting an event, you could offer to play a musical instrument, paint children’s faces, or do some storytelling. If you are crafty and creative, perhaps you could offer to donate an item you made to include in fundraising activities like an auction or drawing. Items such as baby quilts, hand painted gifts, and wood crafts are always popular. Perhaps your family owns a business that would be willing to donate a gift certificate, item, or basket of items.
Why is fundraising so important to La Leche League? If you have ever been to a local La Leche League monthly Series Meeting, maybe you wonder where the money goes. Many meetings are small, informal gatherings of mothers supporting one another. Encouragement is not expensive. However, it does take money to keep a La Leche League Group functioning. It takes money to buy books for the lending library and brochures, pamphlets, and information sheets on breastfeeding. It takes money to help Leaders pay for long distance telephone charges when they help a mother who cannot attend meetings. It takes money for postage and copying costs, so that local Groups can advertise their meetings. It takes money for continuing education of Leaders. In addition, Area and Division support systems help accredit new Leaders, answer difficult medical or legal questions about breastfeeding, and train the people who support local Group Leaders. The LLLI toll-free breastfeeding helpline receives 10,000 calls every month here in the United States. La Leche League also holds annual seminars for physicians and other health care professionals to share information that will help them support their breastfeeding patients. Your donations of money and time help to ensure that this extensive network of information, continuing education, and support will continue to thrive and grow.
The mothers who came before us supported La Leche League financially and we are their beneficiaries. We have the support of La Leche League today because of their generous gifts. Now we have the chance to pay that gift forward, to ensure that the next generation of mothers will have La Leche League, too. Please consider passing along the gift of information, encouragement, and support that is La Leche League.
To find a local Group near you go to www.lllusa.org or call 1-800-LALECHE.