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Will You Rock or Walk to Washington DC?

Mary Hurt
LLLI Public Relations Associate
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 40 No. 2, April-May 2004, pp. 42-43.

“Planning is the key to making something you really want to happen actually happen. If you are considering going to the LLLI Conference, don’t let the financial aspects scare you away. There is enough time now to plan and raise the money to fund your trip. Some ideas on how to individually supplement your trip include saving a little ‘extra’ from paychecks, asking that any gifts received during the year be in the form of cash toward the trip, and collecting coins in a large change jar,” writes Janet Walkup in Palmetto Palette, South Carolina’s Leader letter.

She goes on to say that there are many fundraising options available including yard sales, bumper stickers, recipe books, catalogue parties, car washes, and more. Janet states, “We are limited only by our imaginations.”

Leader Robin Rziha and the Great Bend LLL Group recently used their imaginations and completed a very successful fundraiser. The Great Bend Group covers approximately a 75 square mile area of rural Kansas, USA. Robin states that she wishes Leaders everywhere would participate in the World Walk for Breastfeeding. “It really is a great fundraiser.”

The Great Bend LLL Group has had successful Walks in the past, but this year they decided to try a new angle. They held a World “Rock” for Breastfeeding. Robin writes, “Our 2003 World Walk for Breastfeeding wasn’t a Walk at all. Instead, our Great Bend Group collected donations for a chance to win a beautiful glider rocker. The glider rocker was donated to our Group by a local furniture store.”

The suggested donation for a ticket was one dollar (US) or six tickets for five dollars. All members were encouraged to try to collect 25 US dollars in donations. The Group sold the tickets from August 1st through September 30th and advertised the drawing at an art exhibit and a women’s exposition. They also had the rocker on display and tickets available at a children’s clothing store in Great Bend for the month of August.

In all, the Group collected over $3,000 in donations for chances to win the glider rocker. In addition, they donated 100 percent of their breast pump rental and sales income for the month of August to the World “Rock” for Breastfeeding. The grand total for ticket donations, sales, and rentals was $4,385, making it a very successful and easy fundraiser for the Group, Area, Division, and La Leche League International.

Whether you Walk for breastfeeding or hold another fundraiser, the single most important thing you can do is to begin your project. Why not begin today by taking just one baby step in your “Walk” to Washington DC. Ask members of your Group for help or look up fundraising ideas in the Leader’s Handbook, past issues of Leaven, and on LLLUSA’s Web site at www.lllusa.org/lllusa/fundraising.html.

Plan now so that you will be celebrating Breastfeeding: Ancient Art, Modern Miracle at LLLI’s 19th breastfeeding Conference to be held July 2-5, 2005 at the Washington Hilton, Washington, DC, USA.

Ten Ways a Leader Can Share the Conference Experience

  1. An LLLI Conference is first and foremost a continuing education experience for Leaders. LLLI Conferences present cutting-edge information on the latest research about breastfeeding and breastfeeding management. Conference attendees are consistently pleased with the high level of breastfeeding information offered.
  2. Some of the learning at an LLLI Conference is informal. It is not unusual to sit next to someone, perhaps from another corner of the globe, who has found a solution to one of the challenges you routinely face in your Group.
  3. Leaders can share new books with their Group and bring back insights from the authors that they hear speak. LLLI often debuts new books at Conferences. Look in future updates to find out what new books and authors may be highlighted at this Conference. Leaders can often save shipping and handling costs on books purchased at the Conference.
  4. Conference sessions will be available on CD-ROM at a greatly reduced price for those who attend. It’s a wonderful way to listen to any missed sessions and to keep as a permanent reference resource in your Group Library.
  5. Leaders can visit the interesting and extensive Exhibit Hall to bring back to the Group gifts, ideas, catalogues, and even future fundraising ideas.
  6. Conference topics include parenting information for babies through teens. When a Leader becomes even more informed as a parent, she gains additional information to share with the mothers she helps.
  7. Most often, all of the LLLI Founders attend the LLLI Conference. New Leaders, Leaders of over 20 years, and Leaders from outside the host country will have an opportunity to have lunch with one of the Founders and other Leaders. Leaders say the inspiration they experience from this opportunity is often the highlight of their Conference experience. The enthusiasm of this encounter creates a ripple effect that touches everyone the Conference attendee meets.
  8. The LLLI Conference is one of the only places where you can experience a breastfeeding world vision. You can even walk around the world in a couple of hours at the World Faire.
  9. Many Leaders meet with Group members before they register for the Conference and ask them to suggest topics they would like to know more about. When they return from the Conference, they then hold an Evaluation Meeting sharing what they learned at the Conference.
  10. An LLLI Conference is a snapshot of what a breastfeeding culture would look like. It is three days that will leave you refreshed and motivated in your quest to help mothers breastfeed their babies.
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