march for babies blog
Yes we can! Yesterday, we kicked off March for Babies ’09 at the national office! Our “construction theme” was inspired by this Sunday’s very special edition of Extreme Makeover. It was also a wonderful excuse to wear checkered flannel.
We had a great time! Led by their team captains, departments faced off in skits and we heard some very creative, baby-inspired songs.
Things got a little emotional too, when two co-workers came up to share their stories. Mom-to-be Vicky got us all choked up talking about her “little nugget” and all those things a pregnant mom worries about – I remember all too well.
The tissues came out for real when Lori spoke about her adorable son Ethan who was born with a birth defect. It’s so powerful to hear these stories. You realize this is much more than just a job for the people who work at the March of Dimes.
If you’re walking with your company and haven’t had your kick-off yet, get involved! It’s a difficult year to raise money. But there are babies and families who are counting on us. A kick-off is the perfect way to motivate everyone. Get some friendly competition going between departments! Share your ’09 March for Babies goal with the team!
And don’t forget to let us know what you’re doing for your kick-off this year, or how it was!
With a 2-year-old who’s been staying up way too late, I don’t get to watch much TV. But here’s one show I always try to catch: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I love it and rarely keep it dry. And I don’t expect to do so this Sunday either.
The family that’s featured is one of our own: The Augustins from Keller, Texas. Their family team, Lane’s Light, is walking in March for Babies for the 5th time this year!
In 2004, Amber and Peter had two healthy children and a new baby on the way. Then, Lane arrived, too soon and too small. But he was a fighter, and after four weeks in the NICU, Lane came home.
Amber’s not just a mom, she’s also a talented photographer. During her time in the NICU, she noticed how few families were taking pictures. Yet, she also knew how important it is to have these lasting memories.
Amber started her own photo studio from her home: “Tiny Works of Heart.” In the NICU, she captures the first, and sometimes last moments of the tiniest babies. But a flood destroyed the family’s home and Amber’s studio, limiting her ability to help…
You guessed it, Ty and the crew go to Keller, just outside of Ft. Worth, to tear down Amber and Peter’s flood damaged house and build them a brand new dream home! Don’t miss it: ABC, March 1, 8-9 PM ET.
If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, come to the special March for Babies viewing party at The Met Church. They’re expecting more than 1,500 March for Babies fans!
Just days before her new CD drops (can’t wait!), Kelly is doing even more to help us get the word out about March for Babies this year.
Keep your eye out for a message from March of Dimes and Kelly Clarkson coming your way. Also, MSN Mobile and Sony have partnered with Kelly Clarkson to let you know how you can sign up for the March for Babies and support the March of Dimes.
In the meantime, mosey on over to Kelly’s team page and make sure you tell any super Kelly Clarkson fans you know about how she is involved with the March of DImes (then follow up with a hint hint wink wink for a donation for your team this year)!
Many of our Family Teams are very creative in expressing their passion and commitment to March for Babies by creating their own Family Team T-shirt! If designing your own shirts and finding an affordable means to produce them has stopped you before, we have two options for you this year!
Option 2 – You can select from 8 templates to personalize/customize Family Team T-Shirts! Select a template and follow the steps – it’s that easy! You can add your own team name and photo to one of our templates or create your own design. We recommend only using Ash or White T-Shirts for these Family Team Photo Templates. Have fun creating your own personalized March of Dimes Family Team T-Shirt!
Once you are done, don’t forget to share with us your thoughts and, of course, photos! We can’t wait to see how creative you all are again this year! Submit photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Strug, friend of the March of Dimes, knows how important our mission to help babies and families is. So this year she has started Team Kerri Strug to get everyone involved in the March for Babies! You can check out her personal fundraising page and her team page.
I still remember when Kerri won the Gold in 1996, and I remember hearing her speak for the first time at a March of Dimes conference in 2000 – I have the photo of her and I on the wall in front of me right now!
Last summer Kerri returned to Atlanta, site of the 1996 Summer games, on a special mission to deliver new baby clothes donated for families at the Special Care Nursery at Atlanta Medical Center – a place where many of the tiniest, most fragile babies fight to survive. High school and college volunteers who were part of the 2008 March of Dimes National Youth Leadership Conference at Georgia Tech collected the baby clothes as part of a national community service project.
Kerri went on a tour of the local NICU with some of these students, and saw firsthand the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program and the efforts made to help these families and tiny babies. Have you ever been on a NICU tour? Those families and babies are brave! And so are you, raising money and walking to get to the day when every baby is born healthy.
So they do things a little bigger in Texas than we do here in White Plains, NY. Last week, Dallas kicked off their March for Babies season with a breakfast event at the gorgeous Fairmont Hotel. More than 1,200 people showed up for the eggs and bacon – and the cause. And 30,000 people will be walking on March for Babies day!
We were there with some people from the national office, enjoying the show and taking notes. The Mayor of Dallas said a couple of words. And the Criders, the Dallas Ambassador family, shared the touching story of their premature twins. A high school marching band from the Garland Central School District dropped by. These students and their faculty really care: they raised $173.000 last year! Oh, and everyone got to see the 2009 March for Babies video. You could hear a pin drop! Check it out here.
Also in the audience were team captains and walkers from a ton a key companies in Northern Texas. Many have been with us for years and are upping the ante for 2009 – with more walkers more dollars to help babies born in Texas and across the country! Macy’s was there with 200 very enthusiastic employees. And Texas Health Resources was present: their CEO, Doug Hawthorne, is the March for Babies Chair in Dallas/Ft. Worth!
Congratulations to the Dallas Division for putting together this amazing event. I know one thing: if you’re walking in Dallas, you have something to look forward to!
I wanted to share this little heart-felt video with you. It’s a message from Sherri Shepherd, co-host of ABC’s The View and a big supporter of the March of Dimes and March for Babies. Did you know Sherri has been walking and raising money for several years? If you’re lucky enough to live around there, you can walk with her in LA in April.
March for Babies is a special cause to Sherri. Her son, Jeffrey, was born 15 weeks too soon in 2005 and spent many long months in the NICU. He has a 4th birthday coming up, is absolutely adorable and doing very well!
Sherri is walking for her son. And because she wants to help make sure other moms and babies won’t have to go through what they did.
Thank you Sherri! We love you!
Last week, we were talking about bringing babies and young children to the walk. I’m not a pet owner myself, but I should have seen this one coming: what about dogs? The question came from Sheesh who’s walking in Newport Beach, Ca, and wanted to know if puppies were welcome.
I did some asking around and while there are no hard and fast rules about bringing dogs, here’s what I found out.
The main thing: consider Buster’s personality. Is he used to noise? Being around lots of people? Small children? Other animals? You know your dog better than anyone, but even you can’t predict exactly how he’ll react under a new set of circumstances.Sadly, there have been some accidents at our walks – and both dogs and children have been hurt. And then there’s something else to think about: will you be doing your dog a favor by bringing him along?
If you do bring your dog, make sure all her vaccinations are up to date. And don’t forget to pack supplies: her leash, water and bowl, toys, snacks and anything you need to clean up after her. Some walk sites have special pet areas, water and other supplies available, but others won’t offer anything. Avoid surprises, give your chapter a call and know what to expect.
Remember, there are people who are just irrationally terrified of even the tamest, tiniest puppy (my mom). And there are those who feel very strongly that dogs and babies don’t mix. You don’t have to agree, but it won’t hurt to be considerate. So make sure you control your dog and keep her close.
Oh, and have fun. Woof!
So Sunday morning I went to talk to the lovely sisters of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha. This weekend was their sorority’s national convention and they had almost 200 people in attendance. We talked about the March of Dimes and our mission, and of course there was a baby in the room! He chimed in with comments every once in a while, and really you couldn’t ask for a better “voice” in a presentation about us!
They are ready and excited for March for Babies 2009 and asked lots of great questions about getting involved. The St. John’s chapter is hosting a banquet for the March of Dimes, and some of their chapters have already held events. Want to get your Greek organization involved? Do it! Even if you’re an alum, wear your colors, show your pride and get out there and join us on March for Babies day. And maybe challenge those other Greek group on your campus to a little healthy competition.
Whether on a Family Team or Corporate Team, volunteers are boosting team dollars in creative ways beyond getting individual sponsor donations. And with budgets so tight this year, many people love the “two for one” of fundraising when there’s something in it for them yet proceeds go to the cause of babies — whether a purchase or a party!
Here’s what’s going on out there: bake sales, scrapbooking or Pampered Chef parties, golf tournaments, poker nights, chartible dinner (checks instead of hostess gifts), birthday parties, no presents birthday parties, pj days, and more! What are you doing? Also check out the Youth and Family Teams blog for more ideas.