A Year in the Life of a World Breastfeeding Week Celebration Team Member
by the WBWC Team
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 43 No. 1, January-February-March 2007, p. 14
Last autumn, the leaves were falling and hundreds of US Leaders walked their toddlers to the mailbox to mail their Accounting/Prize Eligibility/Evaluation form to the Area World Breastfeeding Week Coordinators (AWC). Thanks to them, La Leche League will have raised close to $100,000 during the May to September World Breastfeeding Week Celebration (WBWC).
Is that the end of the work? Does the World Breastfeeding Week Celebration Team just count the money and award the prizes and the random drawing gifts? Not quite. Although the real work in promoting and publicizing the advantages of breastfeeding is done locally by each Leader and member who participates, the WBWC Team works 12 months a year to take care of the details.
What is the Team doing? Let's go back to last autumn. Angela Nooner, who coordinates WBWC auctions on MissionFish.org, is working on a draft of the annual five-page general report to LLLI. She'll add in the specific numbers and totals later. The success of the auctions and satisfaction of the buyers are directly related to Angela's attention to detail, correspondence with potential bidders, and the listing of new items as soon as an auction is complete.
Pam Dunne, WBWC Registrar, and Linda Parry are drafting the 2007 Prize sponsorship letter. Many companies that could become sponsors, such as Medela, prepare their marketing budgets in the fall for the following year, so it's time to contact them. Linda will continue to contact another 100 companies for sponsorship come January, hoping to raise $10,000—the amount the Team anticipates it will need to pay for the 2007 WBWC Prizes.
All year long, changes, updates, and new opportunities are implemented. One of the biggest components of WBWC in the United States is the Web site (www.lllusa.org/wbw). There, you'll find everything you could imagine to help organize a successful event. From online registration to snapshots about the WBWC sponsors, from FAQs to "Quotes You Can Use," from a "donate here" button to a button that signs you up for an online newsletter—the Web site is buzzing with activity that is beautifully maintained by anyone interested in helping LLL in the USA. They could be lone Leaders, teams of people eager to support LLL, or the girlfriend of a Leader's son.
During the year, Candace Hill, the WBWC Team's AWC Coordinator, encourages the AWCs by answering questions on the details of their paperwork, such as how to deal with credit card donations. Alice Barbiere continues to send online updates to all Leaders with the current news. Cindy Garrison makes sure we have articles for each issue of LEAVEN and NEW BEGINNINGS.
Pam Mills, Treasurer, updates the spreadsheets listing all credit card and PayPal donations and makes sure that the correct Group is credited. In contact with Rebecca Magalhães, LLLI Director of External Affairs, the Team finds out the tentative titles for next year's WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action) slogan. The WBWC Team and the WBWC chat groups will pass on their suggestions and votes to Rebecca.
Moving into November, Pam Dunne, the WBWC Registrar, receives the paperwork and checks (cheques) from the Areas and begins tabulating all the information from the Area and Group Accounting Forms. Candace reminds Areas that are late to please get their paperwork in to Pam. She forwards the checks to the two Divisions for deposit and copies the evaluations, mailing them to Linda who will tabulate them, list all suggestions for 2007, and share these with the Team and the WBWC email lists.
Linda's husband, Fred, is looking at a closet full of merchandise donations, thinking about the ordeal of wrapping and mailing during the holidays, and wondering why people are so excited at receiving one of the 60 random drawing prizes. Pam Dunne's husband, Bill, helps with the random drawing and smiles that this year most of the gifts went to Linda's house. Pam Dunne arranges that all winners receive their prizes and Pam Mills mails the winning Groups their rebate checks, depending on how much they raised over $750.
In January, the Team turns to the 150 plus members of the email lists to help shape WBWC 2007. What prizes will participants want? What changes will make the Web site more user-friendly? Should we use the WABA theme as it is, or make some adjustments? Should the logo remain the same or change? What changes are needed in the WBWC paperwork? What are the goals for 2007? January through March is dedicated to making all the changes for the year and getting the Web site fully operational.
Pam Dunne then sends thank-you letters to all sponsors and a final report is sent to the LLLI Executive Director and Board of Directors and posted on the Web site.
We'd love to include you on the WBWC Team. Each year, new members have brought new features, including the auctions (thanks to Nancy White) and CafePress, an Internet store that sells our t-shirts and buttons (thanks to Candace Hill). If you'd like to join either the WBWC Team or one of the discussion lists, contact Linda at LPARRYLLL at aol dot com or Pam Dunne at pameladunne at msn dot com.