march for babies blog

Posts Tagged ‘Youth Volunteerism’

6 May

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!

1 May

I’m sure many of you who walked last weekend, or are planning on walking this weekend, had beautiful locations for your March for Babies event. But I think I definitely lucked out with my walk. I was in New Haven, CT volunteering at their event which took place at Lighthouse Point Park. On the beach. Complete with a lighthouse, old-fashioned carousel, and plenty of picturesque views for walkers to enjoy.


There were many highlights from the day, but watching the children play after completing the route was definitely one of them. I was also very moved by Team Kaelyn, a family team walking in memory of a little girl with my name. Thank you to Team Kaelyn, Team Peleach, and all of the other family teams who walked and helped remind me why participating in March for Babies is so important.


And youth walkers? Special shout out to East Shore Middle School who fundraised and walked in a community service effort led by student Serena Mulligan. Also, kudos to the women of Quinnipiac University’s Women’s Ice Hockey Team who showed up with smiles to help set up the walk. Go Team Youth!


It was such a beautiful day, I couldn’t resist snapping some photos. Did your walk site rival mine in beauty? Were you inspired by any family teams or youth walkers? Please share, we’d love to hear what made your March for Babies Day!

6 Mar

Lunch Wednesday at the March of Dimes National Office was anything but ordinary. Sheryl Underwood, International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., was on site to share how she & the Zetas are going to increase their efforts to help every baby be born healthy!

President Sheryl Underwood greets March of Dimes staff Sandra Allen & LaVonia Anderson

President Sheryl Underwood greets March of Dimes staff Sandra Allen & LaVonia Anderson

The March of Dimes has worked with Zeta Phi Beta for over thirty years, and has had a great partnership with the sorority’s involvement in the Stork’s Nest program & in March for Babies. I was particularly excited, however, to hear President Underwood’s enthusiasm for working with youth populations. Zeta Phi Beta has Archonettes, Amicettes, and Pearlettes youth groups, and President Underwood has fantastic ideas & energy to reach these young women with the message of living a healthy lifestyle.


I can’t wait to engage new volunteers in education, fundraising, & youth leadership! Are you working with students to encourage healthy lifestyles? Or do you have an adult advisor whose enthusiasm for young people volunteering is contagious? We’d love to hear about it! A big thank you to President Sheryl Underwood and to all youth advisors who provide vision & encouragement in promoting youth volunteerism.

20 Jan

With today’s momentous inauguration and yesterday’s honoring of Martin Luther King Jr., there has been an exciting focus on service. Particularly youth service.

Yesterday, Youth Service America kicked off a Semester of Service which runs until Global Youth Service Day, the weekend of April 24-26. What else happens that weekend? For many, it’s March for Babies weekend. You can participate in the Semester of Service through March for Babies participation.

There are a myriad of ways to capitalize on this service-fever, and promote healthy lifestyles and healthy babies within your community. Youth Service America offers a Semester of Service Strategy Guide. Couple this with the March for Babies Youth Toolkit, and you’ll have all the tools you need to make a positive impact.

Planning to commit to healthy babies in your community as part of a Semester of Service? Tell us about it! We love to hear how youth are frontrunners in the effort to give every baby a healthy start.

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