march for babies blog
March of Dimes New York Division Celebrity Chairman Eli Manning kicked off the New York City March for Babies walk today with March of Dimes President Jennifer Howse, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation Bill Fitzgerald, New York Division Ambassador Daphne and her parents, and Diego from Dora the Explorer!
Thanks everyone who came out to the New York City Walk!
As you and your team gear up for March for Babies, keep the following preparation tips in mind to ensure it is a successful and fun event for everyone!
1-2 Days Before March for Babies
A day or two before your walk (or the morning of if you walk is later in the day) invite your team members to a t-shirt and/or banner making party. Create shirts for your team to wear as they walk for stronger, healthier babies and signs letting the world know who you are and why you are walking. This is a great opportunity to get everyone even more excited about the event!
Night Before March for Babies
Check the weather and let teammates know if they should pack a raincoat and/or sunscreen. Text, email or call your team to remind them about when and where the entire team will meet at March for Babies. Remember to plan time to take your team photo.
Pack the Essentials
As you lead your team, you want to make sure you are prepared for almost anything. Pack your bag the night before and include a fully charge cell phone, list of your team members’ phone numbers, team shirts and Band-Aids®.
Keep this information in mind as you prepare for March for Babies. And remember to encourage your team to share photos and your team’s success with March of Dimes Team Youth on Facebook (facebook.com/marchofdimesyouth) and on Twitter (@teamyouth).
Now lets hear from you:
What are your March for Babies essentials you pack before the walk?
March for Babies takes place rain or shine. But, obviously, the “shine” part makes it a lot easier to come out, especially if you have little ones with you. If you braved the weather: THANK YOU! If you missed your walk because the clouds got in the way, so sorry about that. But, please, don’t let our babies miss out, too!
Here’s how you can still help, even after your walk has passed:
∙ Continue raising money to reach your goal
∙ Send reminders to people who planned to donate but haven’t yet
∙ Hand in cash and check donations to your chapter
There are plenty of walks coming up this weekend. Are you walking? If so, I’ll do my best to send clear skies your way!
So, we’ve been around for awhile. And it struck me just how long when I read the great-granddaughter of the first March of Dimes president is speaking at the Winchester, VA, March for Babies. The walk is this Saturday.
Karen Drury will be talking about her great-grandfather Basil O’Connor’s many accomplishments. She was interviewed by NV Daily and said this about her work for the March of Dimes: “I think I’m going to be doing a lot for them. My great-grandfather was all about volunteerism. This is my way of keeping his memory alive.”
Basil O’Connor signed up as president of the March of Dimes in 1938 - the end of the Depression. People were feeling the pinch just like we are now, worse even. Still, they gave what they can - sending in their dimes. We’re counting on America once again!
“We can all volunteer,” said Karen. “We can all do our part.”
Our social media leading volunteer, Dylan Conn, volunteered at his local March for Babies event. We interviewed him to find out about his experience as an on-the-ground volunteer.
Allison & Kaylen: What motivated you to volunteer & participate in March for Babies?
Dylan: I may be known for the work I do for the March of Dimes online, but this weekend I experienced “the real deal” - walking in March for Babies. Walking in March for Babies was actually my first experience with the March of Dimes, so I love participating in it again every year.
A & K: In what ways did you volunteer at the walk?
Dylan:I left my house much earlier than I usually even wake up on a Sunday morning (6:30!) and headed to the Chicago suburb of Highland Park to volunteer at the Lake County March for Babies. My job was to work the registration table, which consists of taking the donations from the walkers and making sure their team gets the credit for it. It may sound easy, but when the walkers began arriving, it quickly turned busy. All of the other volunteers did a great job of working together, and we managed to collect all of the walkers’ money quickly and efficiently!
A & K: Were you able to participate in the walk?
Dylan: Yes! I really wanted to experience the walk, so I ran away from the table just in time to catch the ribbon cutting and beginning of the march. As we left the park where we started, hundreds marched through Highland Park’s shopping district, which was a very cool sight. I caught up with the ambassador family and asked them about their story since I couldn’t hear it earlier when I was working registration. Jack weighed only 1.5 pounds when he was born at 26 weeks because his mother suffered from HELLP syndrome, which can cause premature birth. Jack’s story is a happy one though, because he came home from the NICU after 115 days. Now a year old, he suffers from some lung issues, but is otherwise happy and healthy. It was great to see Jack, his cousins, and many other family members walking in the March for Babies and supporting the March of Dimes!
It started to rain about twenty minutes into the walk, which is something I always dread! It seems like I always get stuck with bad weather! But another great thing about the March for Babies is everyone is so happy to be there and showing their support, they don’t care if they get a little wet. I was still relieved when I reached the picnic shelter at the end and got to put on my warm, dry coat!
A & K: Were there other youth walkers participating in your March for Babies event?
Dylan: There were-special thanks to students from North Chicago and Zion-Benton High Schools who came out to walk - I love seeing youth teams come out when we all know that many would prefer sleeping on their Sunday morning!
A &K: Why do you think it’s important for youth to be involved in March for Babies?
Dylan: March for Babies truly shows what the March of Dimes is all about, and I can’t wait to participate for years to come… but I also like volunteering online. It never rains on Facebook!
Each year, WellPoint (the nation’s largest health benefits company) encourages their associates to participate in Community Service Day. Lucky for us, March of Babies is an event chosen by WellPoint given our shared goals to improve the health of families.
On Saturday, 400 WellPoint volunteers helped with everything from set up to clean up at 25 sites across the country. And…in Los Angeles, Leslie A. Margolin (President, Anthem Blue Cross in California - a WellPoint affiliate) led a team of 200 more WellPoint volunteers who walked and fundraised.
And…Anthem Blue Cross in California is a $50,000 sponsor in LA. Three great ways for our friends in the health care industry to partner with us for babies! Thanks, WellPoint!
Just back in from March for Babies, Long Beach, NY. Feeling the burn, but we sure had a good time. The sun was out - and so were some 1,500 walkers (my conservative guess). Sure, there are much, much bigger walks, but for the board walk here, this was a nice crowd.
Lots of family teams, lot of strollers. And lots of little ones looking longingly at that gorgeous beach. Obviously, we went straight from the walk to the sand. And we weren’t the only ones.
My sister-in-law, who lives on the beach, served a delicious post-walk lunch and invited many of her neighbors. I’m actually munching on some tiramisu cake now… Her guests brought donations for our walk. And with that, we reached our goal. Thanks everyone!
Here are some of our pictures, the first one is of me and my son, Haden. I’ll put the whole set up on our Flickr group later. Hope you’ll do the same! Did you walk too this weekend?
The first walks took place this past weekend. One of them in Dallas, TX. And that’s where some of our team went as well- to take pictures and shoot video.
What an amazing event! And what a turn-out! Thanks to everyone there who showed up despite the clouds and the rain. We have so many pictures to go through still, but I did want to share a couple just to show you what a great time everyone had.
There are a ton of walks taking place this weekend. The national office team is walking on Sunday, in White Plains, NY. I did the walk here last year, but will be checking out the Long Beach, NY walk this year. My little boy is all excited. He can’t wait to wear his special March for Babies shirt. Weather predictions are awesome, and we may even be heading to the beach after!
I’ll definitely share some pictures of my walk, and I hope you’ll all do the same. We’ve set up a Flickr group for March for Babies ‘09 where you can add your favorite pictures and comment on those of other walkers!
Where are you walking? Or did you walk already? Leave me a comment.
Annoying? Yes. Unavoidable? No! You don’t have to put up with blisters on March for Babies day. Just follow these tips.
Train. I know you don’t want to hear this. But if you’re not used to walking 6 miles, your body and feet have to prepare.
The right fit. Your shoes can’t be too tight or too roomy. Obvious, right? Still, most of us focus on the length and forget all about the width - just as important!
Sock it up! Many hikers swear by wool. But if your feet get sweaty, synthetic may be better. Go for breathable and seamless.
Something in your shoe? Stop and take it out. Those little stones can play a real number on your feet. Ignore them and you’ll pay the price.
If you’re planning on getting a new pair of shoes. Check out Famous Footwear’s official March for Babies shoes. They’re super comfortable… and they’re 10% off (not $10, thanks Claudine) with this coupon! Famous donates $5 of every purchase to the March of Dimes. Don’t forget to break them in before March for Babies day!
If you do get a blister, it’s better to leave it alone. If you burst it, you risk getting it infected. One last tip: pack some band-aids. A blister will be less painful after you cover it.
Any veteran walkers out there who can add their advice?
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!
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