Little Things to Grow On
Lawrence KS USA
Hoisington KS USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 5, September-October 2005, p. 214-215
By now, most LLL Groups have celebrated World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) with events that heighten the community's awareness of breastfeeding. Many Groups often raise money to further the LLLI Mission.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) states:
World Breastfeeding Week is the greatest outreach vehicle for the breastfeeding movement, being celebrated in over 120 countries. Officially it is celebrated from 1-7 August. However, groups may choose other dates to make it a more successful event in their countries.
This year marks the 15th year for the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. In the USA, LLL Groups participate in the World Breastfeeding Week Celebration between May 1st and September 30th. Groups generally combine outreach efforts with fundraising.
How have Groups been successful with WBW events? Julie Johnson, an LLL Leader with the LLL of Whittier, California, Group said, "What I liked about our event was that we didn’t do just one thing...we did a few things that all added up to a lot of publicity and money."
The Whittier Group included the following fundraisers with their WBW events for 2004:
- Collected coins in “flower pots” for the month of July and then brought them to the WBW event in August;
- Received a 20 percent donation from a local café, Daphne’s Café, for lunches purchased;
- Applied for matching funds from WalMart and received $250;
- Applied for matching funds from Sam’s Club and received $1,000.
When the Whittier Group started planning their WBW celebration for 2005, they asked the mothers who had attended the 2004 WBW celebration what they had enjoyed the most at the previous fundraiser. Julie commented that she was surprised that all the mothers liked the “coin collection” part of the celebration the best. Here is how the coin collection fundraiser worked. One mother from the Group decorated about 30 clay flowerpots with ribbons and buttons. She wrote on the flowerpots, “LLL of Whittier: Your Coins Help Us Grow!” The Group distributed them to all members at the end of June with instructions to add coins to the pot throughout the month, and then bring them to the WBW event in August. An invitation to the celebration was placed in the pot. The mothers said that they liked having the flowerpots in their homes. It was attractive and a constant reminder that the WBW celebration was coming up.
Angela Nooner, an LLL Leader with the Moore, Oklahoma, Group and the chairperson for the LLL of Norman, Oklahoma WBW celebration said the following about their 2004 event: "The Group had been successful with silent auctions in the past. We decided to have a silent auction of donated items held in a city park. Our goal was that each woman (three Leaders and three Leader Applicants) contact at least two businesses for donations."
The Group raised over $5,000 with their event. Angela commented that part of what made their event so successful was that they focused on each other’s strengths. One of the Leaders preferred contacting businesses by phone while another contacted them in person. Another event organizer did not feel comfortable soliciting so she volunteered to write beautiful thank-you notes to the more than 60 businesses, individuals, and organizations that made donations to the fundraiser. A Leader who was experienced in creating Web sites created a Web site for the event that listed the items for auction. Angela said: "I believe that everyone met their personal goal to contact at least two places for donations as well as taking on additional duties as our event grew."
Paloma Lerma, LLL Leader of Col. Del Valle, Mexico, said that in Mexico, LLL Groups spread information about WBW by hosting a walk and distributing LLL information as well as information about the WBW theme for that year. One Group coordinated a celebration at the University of Veracruz, inviting different organizations and institutions to make a display about a breastfeeding promotion issue, such as exclusive breastfeeding, working mothers, baby friendly hospitals, or LAM.
If you or your local Group have never participated in the World Breastfeeding Week Celebration, or maybe it’s been a few years, it may not be too late to support this year’s effort in some way. Please visit the WBW Web site at www.lllusa.org/lllusa/ wbw.html for all the information and ideas you need to make your event grow each year.