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March of Dimes
March of Dimes Foundation
The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. March of Dimes was founded by our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the fight against polio. After the discovery of the polio vaccine, March of Dimes focused their efforts to improve the health of babies and has been successful with the help and enthusiasm of many grassroots volunteers.
How Key Club Helps
Since 1978, Key Clubs have hosted fundraising and awareness programs to support the March of Dimes, raising over $116,000 through fundraisers in 2011 alone! Key Club members, like you, can support the March of Dimes each semester: in the fall, raise awareness by hosting programs throughout November for Prematurity Awareness Month and in the spring, raise funds by participating in March for Babies, the March of Dimes largest annual fundraiser.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month
Did you know 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely? More than half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States each year. Premature birth is the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk for lifelong disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, lung problems, and vision and hearing loss. November is when the March of Dimes focuses everyone’s attention on the impact premature birth has on babies and families.
Throughout November, Key Club members can support the March of Dimes mission by educating peers on the importance of healthy lifestyles through the use of our teen2teen interactive program. You can also contact your local office to see what volunteer needs the local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital might have, such as making scrapbook pages or hosting a dinner for parents. Make it a priority to spread awareness the whole month by dedicating your Facebook statuses to facts about the March of Dimes & the serious problem of preterm birth; and you can tweet about it too!
And on Global Prematurity Day, November 17, you can do a range of activities to spread awareness about the global problem of preterm birth! Your club can host an event at your school to educate others and you can dedicate a day to wear purple, the March of Dimes color.
March for Babies
An excellent way to support the March of Dimes is by participating in our largest annual fundraiser, March for Babies. Sign up at marchforbabies.org/kiwanis to join or start a new Key Club team! Choose “Key Club” as your division, and if you can’t locate your team on that page, simply enter your high school name with “Key Club” included as your team name in the bottom in the “Enter as much as you know” box. You can find the date and location of your March for Babies at that site also!
There are tons of fun ways to get involved with March for Babies. Your club can host coin collections, dances, and in-school challenges to raise funds. Then join with your community in March for Babies to walk to give every baby a healthy start. For more ideas, check out the 2012 March for Babies Youth Toolkit.
You can also utilize the March for Babies Facebook App and iPhone App (found in the iTunes App Store). Once you register online, we give you all the fundraising tools you need! And keep up with the latest tools on the March for Babies blog.
Contacting Your Local Office
To contact your local March of Dimes office for supplies and support, visit marchofdimes.com/contactus.html and select your location.
For more information on how to participate in March of Dimes, please visit marchofdimesyouth.com. To receive daily updates and resources, become a fan of us on Facebook at facebook.com/marchofdimesyouth and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/teamyouth.