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Happening House Parties

Meg Sondey
Torreon Coahuila Mexico
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 41 No. 6, December 2005-January 2006, p. 137.

What happens when you take an upcoming birthday, mix in some great friends you haven't seen in awhile, throw in time for conversation, and add a helping of tasty refreshments? For more and more friends of La Leche League...it's a House Party!

As one of many special activities planned for the 50th Birthday celebration of La Leche League International, Leaders and many people touched by La Leche League are once again demonstrating both their creativity in party planning and their devotion to breastfeeding.

Parties have been held in bagel shops, church basements, before Area Conferences, and, naturally, homes! Some have participated in the special Conference calls with Founders and others have brought together retired Leaders or friends who haven't had a chance to connect for years! Many hostesses invited personal friends, business acquaintances, and even family members who had not heard about LLLI and its mission -- adding to the community of those who financially support our organization.

The sky is the limit when it comes to organizing your party! You can do a barbeque, a brunch, a meal in a restaurant, or a special "Leaders' Tea" for your Area. House parties are not limited to those in the United States...or just to women! Fathers and grandfathers of breastfed children can also hold events.

Parties can be coordinated with learning opportunities -- perhaps a short talk on the latest in breastfeeding research, or something as unrelated to breastfeeding as vermiculture! Parties can have a theme, too; maybe a tea complete with red hats, or a celebration coordinated with the passage of breastfeeding-friendly legislation.

Parties can be combined with other activities, such as game or card nights, or can even be "virtual" parties if a physical party is not practical. The Party Host Web site makes that possible!

Whether five or 50 people gather, we hope all those whose lives have benefited by LLL will join us in raising $500,000 for the 50th Anniversary Fund. This fund will ensure that LLLI basic programs and services will continue for another 50 years! Parties are planned throughout 2006 and into 2007. You can learn how to plan a party at www.party hostcenter.com/lalecheleague or at www.lalecheleague.org.

So what are you waiting for? Start those creative juices flowing and pick a date! We'll keep you updated throughout 2006 on the many ways La Leche League friends have found to share their passion for LLLI.

Questions can be sent to Meg Sondey, House Party Coordinator, care of LLLI, at 957 N. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg IL 60173 USA; or to houseparty at llli.org. You can also join us for a weekly online chat -- just email Meg for details.

Leaders may also wish to join the 50th Anniversary Fund Parties discussion on the Community Network and utilize the resources in the library there, including stories, sample invitations, and even a podcast from the 2005 International Conference. In addition, all hostesses receive a packet of supplies from the Funding Development office of LLLI, including copies of the Annual Report, past issues of Continuum, bookmarks, and other goodies.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Meg Sondey lives in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico with her husband, Bill Hines, while their children, Evangeline (14) and Jacob (13) are boarding at Hershey Montessori Farm School in Huntsburg, Ohio, USA. In addition to working on House Parties, Meg volunteers with the LLL Alumnae Association. Attending the 2005 LLLI Conference with her husband and children was a highlight of the 10 years Meg has been an active LLL Leader.

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