World Breastfeeding Week Celebration Funds
LLLI Director, United States Western Division
LLLI Director, Eastern United States Division
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 41 No. 6, December 2005-January 2006, p. 134.
When it was determined that a workgroup of US Leaders would coordinate the World Breastfeeding Week Celebrations (WBWC) for 2004, the two US Divisions began considering how they might use the extra funds that could be generated through the WBWC. Having an increased amount of funding coming into the Divisions presented new opportunities and challenges to arrive at the best use of this money. We'd like to share how each Division worked to determine how these funds would be used.
The Eastern United States Division
The Eastern United States Division (EUS) made the discussion of funding a focus of the annual Staff Meeting, held in February 2004. Very quickly it was agreed that the money should go to programs or services that supported Leaders, as they are the ones who raised the money. During the EUS Staff Meeting, we used a timed exercise called "21 Boxes" to brainstorm about appropriate uses of these funds. We came up with enough different ideas to fill five easel-sized pieces of paper. (For more information on this exercise, contact Cindy Garrison.)
During the next day, Staff members voted on the ideas they felt would be most valuable and volunteered for workgroups to develop the top vote-getters into proposals, complete with budget information. The Division Staff selected four new projects.
Due to the unforeseen devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the anticipated timing for initiation of the projects has been staggered. A portion of the funding has been directed to new projects that will help Leaders in the affected areas rebuild their Leader and Group materials. We are very enthused about the projects we developed for using the WBWC funds and look forward to the adventure of putting them into action. We also appreciate the spontaneous response from Leaders wanting to help their Sister Leaders and breastfeeding mothers and babies in the Gulf States.
The United States Western Division
In the United States Western Division (USWD), staff members discussed many uses for the additional funding. The money that was invested in continuing education for Leaders is having a positive return. These events not only add to the skills we share as Leaders, but the connection established with each other at events also recharges and renews our energy for continuing in our volunteer roles.
Leaders are applying what they've learned at leadership workshops to transform the way they conduct Leader planning meetings, Area Council meetings, and Area Retreats and Conferences. Leaders are finding these ideas and possibilities helpful as they begin working in distributive ways. Expanding our communication skills and learning new meeting methods help us work together to further the LLLI mission and purpose.
Both Divisions have been very conscious of the responsibility for using these funds wisely. As a result of careful and thoughtful planning, Leaders throughout the US will have new avenues of support and opportunities to feel recognized and appreciated for the work they do for mothers, for babies, and for LLLI.
USWD projects implemented using WBWC funds:
EUS projects implemented using the WBWC funds:
EUS Projects to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina:
A year from now we will contact Leaders in the EUS, and invite them to share how the projects affected them, their work with mothers, and their promotion and encouragement of breastfeeding.