Every year, 15 million babies are born too soon worldwide. More than one million will not get to celebrate their first birthday and those who survive often have lifelong health problems. We need YOUR help to raise awareness of prematurity, the #1 leading cause of death in newborns. World Prematurity Awareness Day is November 17th. Throughout November, we encourage you all to help March of Dimes raise awareness by fundraising and spreading word on your campuses.
Here are a few ideas:
- Light you school in purple: Work with your administration to help spread the color purple. Make ribbons wear purple, and decorate you campus purple. Arrange for the spotlights for a prominent building on campus to be purple for the month of November.
- Get involved with your local hospital: Call the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit [NICU] at your local hospital and ask how your club can help. It could be assembling care packages (prepackaged snacks, magazines, journals, iTunes cards or gift cards to purchase gas for trips to and from the hospital) for families spending time at the hospital with their baby. Or, collect new or gently used children’s books for parents to read to their baby.
- Spare change for parking: Collect spare change from members at all your club meetings in November. Donate the change to the local NICU to pay for parking for a family with a child in the NICU.
- Cutest baby contest: Ask professors/staff and club members to submit baby photos. Display the photos in the dining hall and ask the student body to vote for the cutest baby. One cent = 1 vote. Use the proceeds to purchase books such as Waiting for Emma: A Brother’s Story (For Siblings and Families with Babies in the NICU) by Danielle Leibovici for the NICU staff to distribute as needed. This book explains the NICU and includes supplemental materials and activities for families. Include book plates with your club name in the inside front cover.
- March for Babies: Has your club participated in March for Babies before? Visit marchforbabies.org to find out more about the March of Dimes signature fundraising event, and start getting people excited for March for Babies (last weekend in April in most communities).
- Share a Story: Invite someone with a connection to March of Dimes to share their story with your club. Or share one of the many stories available at youtube.com/marchofdimes .
For more ways to get involved on your campus, feel free to use the guide provided by March of Dimes: http://www.marchofdimes.org/materials/world-prematurity-day-college-guide.pdf
For additional ideas and information visit: https://www.marchofdimes.org/images/body/WPD2012PlanningGuideForYouthVolunteers.pdf