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Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2004

Amy Wood
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 40 No. 2, April-May 2004, pp. 40-41.

LLLUSA Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week is the new name for the annual event formerly known as the “World Walk for Breastfeeding.” A team of 90 Leaders from all over the USA have been working to implement your suggestions from past World Walk evaluations to create this new and improved celebration and fundraising campaign. When told that the word “celebration” was in the new name, Pam Freedman, previous grand prize winner from North Carolina, stated, “I was excited to see that you liked the celebration idea. It works for us because that means that everything we do can be part of the celebration—from raising money, to raising awareness, to raising fun!” World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually from August 1st through 7th and recognizes the signing of the Innocenti Declaration honored in 120 countries. As in the past, events held for LLLUSA Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week can occur any time from May through September.

One of the most frequent suggestions in the World Walk evaluations is more money for the Group. This year, the local Group will keep 50 percent of the proceeds. The remainder of the money will be divided among the other levels of LLL as follows: Area 10 percent, Divisions 5 percent, and LLLUSA 35 percent. LLLUSA will donate a portion of their profit to LLLI. (A special thanks to the Areas who volunteered to take a smaller percentage.)

Sharon Fairborn, Area Walk Coordinator for SC/N explained her reasons for supporting the smaller Area percentage: “If the Groups made more, more Groups would participate and more Leaders would have money to attend the Area Conference, buy books—all things that would benefit the Area and LLLI.”

Why is fundraising so important? While events during World Breastfeeding Week are avenues of publicity, they are also the means of obtaining the funds necessary to make the mission of LLL a reality. Some Leaders have confided that they don’t know how the money is used other than at the Group level. They know their District Advisor and are aware of the Leader Accreditation Department, but may not realize that the Area supports Leaders through the Professional Liaison Department, the Publications Department, and the Conference Department, among others. The Division supports and trains the Area staff, while providing continuing education to all Leaders. LLLUSA is working closely with LLLI to become more responsible for USA-only based programs. And every Leader at every level is a volunteer, pursuing the mission of LLL on a daily basis.

In the past, Leaders have expressed frustration that the World Walk kit was so late in arriving. This year the kit was put on the LLLUSA Web site in March.

Visit the LLLUSA Web site at www.lllusa.org/lllusa/wbw.html to register for LLLUSA Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week. There is no registration fee this year, but your Group must register in order to be eligible for prizes, and for LLL to have an accurate count. You will also find creative fundraising ideas, suggestions for getting publicity for your event, and all the necessary forms that can be downloaded, printed, copied, and personalized as needed.

One of the reasons the name of the event was changed was to give local Groups more freedom in planning their celebrations and fundraising. In fact, the event that brought in the most money in 2003 was a Rock for Breastfeeding. Robin Rziha, a Leader from the Great Bend, Kansas Group explains: “Drawings are very easy and can generate a lot of money. My local Group raised over $3,000 alone from having a drawing for a glider rocker donated to our Group by a local furniture store. We called this our World Rock for Breastfeeding.” Details for hosting an event such as this can be found at www.lllusa.org/lllusa/drawings.html.

Some Groups may be too small or isolated to plan and staff a “World Walk for Breastfeeding.” We have compiled many fundraising ideas that can be implemented with very minimal effort. On the other hand, some Groups may have established a successful Walk and plan to continue this tradition. On the LLLUSA Web site you will find a multitude of ideas from simple fundraisers to elaborate Walks. There is an entire section dedicated to listing all of these creative fundraising ideas in several unique categories: Auctions, Drawings, Events, Letters to Solicit Donations, Sales, Sponsorships, in addition to the traditional Walks/Runs. There are also sample forms, letters, and publicity materials available for you to download, print, and distribute. All of these ideas and materials were submitted by Groups who used them for successful fundraising.

Fundraising is very important to La Leche League. The mothers and Leaders who came before us worked to raise the money that created our current support system. We are the beneficiaries of their love, work, and dedication. The mothers and babies we serve are their beneficiaries, too. Now the torch has been passed to our generation of Leaders. We have the opportunity to raise the money that will keep our organization strong and growing for the Leaders of the future. We have a chance to repay the kindness that was lavished on us by the women who came before us, and to touch the future.

The Celebration of World Breastfeeding Week What’s New and What’s Not?

What’s new?

• New name
• New logo
• A 10 percent increase in the amount the Group retains (making it 50 percent)
• No registration fee plus online registration option (please register for prize eligibility and an accurate count)
• All forms, brochures, and paperwork on the LLLUSA Web site
• Pages of fundraising ideas and samples, and an exciting Leader-designed framework for your Walk or other fundraising event

What’s not?

• World Breastfeeding Week still honors the signing of the Innocenti Declaration
• Groups may still hold their events from May through September
• Paperwork still goes to the Area World Breastfeeding Week Coordinator (AWC)
• Liability insurance is still available if your site requires it
• Great prizes will still be awarded
• All levels of LLL still benefit

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