Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week in Fredericksburg, VA, USA
Crystal Harmon and Brandy Walters
Fredericksburg VA USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 5, September-October 2006, p. 228
Every year, hundreds of La Leche League Groups across the USA hold fundraising events between May and September to celebrate Word Breast-feeding Week (WBW) and support the ongoing work of LLL.
In May 2006, LLL of Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA held our second World Breastfeeding Week Celebration, and celebrate we did! There were balloons, food, dancing, and socializing. We raised over $3,300 and spread breastfeeding awareness throughout the community.
To plan our Breastfeeding Walk and Awareness Day, a committee headed by an amazing member of our LLL Group was formed. She divided the work load into mother-sized jobs and delegated responsibilities. Local merchants were contacted for silent auction items, goody bag items, food, and prizes.
We held our celebration at a local sport and health center. It involved a one-mile walk, snacks, and a silent auction on the premises. Bags filled with a variety of product samples and coupons were given to walkers who raised $35 in pledges. There were also bags and balloons for children, too.
Our silent auction consisted of donated products from GlamourMom, Expressiva, Corsierre, Medela, Hooters (yes, you read that correctly), Panera Bread, and much more, which created over $1,100 in donations. The rest of our proceeds came from our members' collected pledges!
Spreading breastfeeding awareness was accomplished in a multitude of ways. With every merchant we contacted, a flyer was left advertising the event. Many times we had to explain who La Leche League was and our goals. Packets of information were set up for people to take as they left the health center on the day of the event. We had a door prize drawing every half hour, and a benefit of breastfeeding was read with the announcing of each winner.
The enthusiasm of the day is still spreading through our Group and our Leaders. Our planning committee is already thinking about next year's event. One idea is to have the silent auction be online in order to focus more on breastfeeding awareness at the event. We may move to a more public venue that has more people wandering around. We need to advertise to the general public through radio and newspaper, and we need to be better about inviting all the local LLL Groups to participate.
The opportunities for your local LLL Group's WBW Celebration are endless. It isn't too early to get involved and help plan an event next year.
For more information about WBW Celebrations in the USA and to find a Group near you, go to www.lllusa.org.