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Support a Local Program
There are children's grief support programs loacted throughout the United States. To find a children's bereavement program in your area visit the NAGC's "Find Support" pages.
Explore the Possibilities
When trying to come up with a new and unique event, media or social media idea, stick to what you do best and keep the end goal in mind. Base any effort on the need to reach deeper into your community and establish a platform to further educate the public about childhood grief.
Think about the things that make your community unique! Do you live in a big football town? Is there an annual fall festival? Do you have big companies right in your backyard? Or is your community anchored by small business owners? Start generating ideas right in your own backyard and brainstorm with your Board and volunteers about ways you can partner up.
Create an event idea that won't cause stress but provides a foundation to build on. Don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to! Look at your calendar of events. Do you have an opportunity to tie an awareness component into it?
Internal vs External. Maybe there is no time or money to host an event, but could it be time to pull together your staff and volunteers for a discovery session to think of ways to further educate and partner up with your community in 2015? Start now and strategically outline a roadmap for the future.
Develop a Plan of Action. Establish a road map for your event, fundraiser, media or social media efforts
Map out a Simple, Achievable Strategy. Establish the goal first. Decide on the type of event that you can execute based on timing, resources and money.
What are you trying to accomplish? Think of the end result and lay the foundation. What do you ultimately want to happen now and in the future?
Choose a type of Event. Do something that you can manage without it being a distraction to your daily operations.
Partner Up! Don’t believe that you are in this alone. Reach out and brainstorm with other organizations like nonprofits, schools or businesses that support children.
Plan an event with Purpose. Instead of focusing on the “wow” factor, think about the “need” factor. Take the opportunity to educate, inform and offer help.
Get Volunteers. Tap your volunteer base for event planners, media and social media experts. Find out who can open new doors or be willing to assist with marketing, outreach and fundraising.
Resources to Execute. Make a list of all the things you need to make your event happen. Also include how to market your event. Use your website, social media, e-blasts, etc. to get the word out!
Get Creative! Idea Think Tank
Letter/e-Blast Campaign. Target schools districts, municipalities, hospitals new business partners and let them know about your center and the services you provide to the community.
Approach the Media. Draft a Letter to the Editor (local columnist) addressing the issue of holiday grief and how it affects our children. Encourage local media outlets to break the silence.
Open House. Allow the children at your center to have a voice when it comes to raising awareness about their needs. Display their work, share the things they believe have given them hope. Invite the media or community partners to see their work and share their stories.
Can’t hit the 20th? Plan something for the holidays. The goal here is to make sure our communities know that childhood grief is a daily struggle. Focus on getting that message out via the media, an open house or a memorial tribute!
Support your Community. Get a team of volunteers, board members and families and Wear Blue at a walk, a race, a football game or host a booth at a fall festival. Be unified and make your presence known.
Grassroots Marketing. Package your marketing materials with an info sheet about how to help grieving children with a family oriented holiday activity and visit schools, doctors’ offices, hospital or the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA. Don’t forget to WEAR BLUE!
Speakers Circuit. Where can you or your staff go and speak this holiday season? Or can you develop a plan to pursue speaking engagements in 2015 to garner more visibility for your center and the work you do?
Host an outing with your Families. Is there a community wide Christmas lighting event, an annual holiday musical, an outdoor ice skating ring or a staple event in your community that you’d like to bring all of your families together to attend? If so think about the logistics, organize it, publicize it!
Start Something to Build Upon!
This is a marathon…not a sprint! Don’t get overwhelmed and try to plan something that you can’t grow over time. Decide on executing something you can comfortably do with a vision for the future in mind.
Even if it’s one reporter at one media outlet. Reach out and share the truth about grieving children today.
If it’s one community partner you’ve wanted to forge a relationship with. Invite them to your center and build a plan for the future.
Does your website need a face life? Or do you need one? Develop an online presence to educate your community.
Start a blog that addresses childhood grief and promote it to key audiences like teachers, first responders, hospitals, counselors, etc!
Take the time to retrain your volunteers and better equip them work with children.
Recruit more volunteers! Develop a plan to find more people to help you serve more children.
Get Social! Join a social media network and leverage the news and information the NAGC or your fellow members are passing along to their communities to educate yours!