April is Children and Youth Month
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April is Children and Youth Month

As Americans, we encounter tribulations on a daily basis that may be related to the environment, crime, unemployment or financial uncertainty. But in the midst of these tribulations, we need to remember our youth. Our future, hopes and dreams rest in their hands.

One of the many ways The American Legion supports youth is through its "April is Children & Youth Month" program. We encourage you to use and support the program's theme, "Children ... Our Most Precious Natural Resource," in the promotion of all your children and youth activities.

Legionnaires, show your support

Support The American Legion's "April Is Children & Youth Month" by sponsoring an event that raises funds to benefit your local Children's Miracle Network hospital. All proceeds raised go directly to the children's hospital to help fund medical care and research.

Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals nationwide and helps improve the lives of 17 million children each year. Through its continuous efforts to help kids, Children's Miracle Network has raised more than $3.4 billion through countless volunteers, organizations and media partners, who unite with their local children's hospital to save the lives of sick and injured children. In 2010, Children's Miracle Network will provide charity care worth billions, only made possible through the generosity of individuals who help fund these vital services.

Children's Miracle Network partners conduct thousands of special events and grassroots fundraisers year round. For example, corporate partners sell the organization's greatest fundraising tool, Miracle Balloons; radio and television stations broadcast stories of medical miracles; and college students hold dance marathons. These are just a few of the programs generating millions of dollars each year to provide the life-saving care and crucial aid kids need.

The hospitals are on the front lines of research, education and outreach programs to help keep millions of children out of the hospital each year. By supporting a Children's Miracle Network hospital in your community, children of all ages and backgrounds can receive treatment for numerous diseases and injuries, from asthma and broken bones to cancer and heart defects.

 The Miracle Balloon campaign

The Miracle Balloon fundraiser was created by Eleanor Lancey from Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Children's Miracle Network recognized that the grassroots fundraiser had tremendous potential and made it a national initiative fundraising program that has generated more than $300 million for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

To use Miracle Balloon as a fundraiser, order a kit no later than March 1 by clicking here and entering promotion code 408165. Your local Children's Miracle Network hospital will cover the $17 cost of each kit, but it is expected that you raise a minimum of $17.

Each participating Legion post will receive a campaign kit shipped directly from Children's Miracle Network that will provide all the materials needed to successfully implement a Miracle Balloon campaign.

The kit contains:200 6-inch red and yellow paper balloons with the Children's Miracle Network logoOne goal chartOne market contact sheetOne DVD flyer with commander messageOne envelope with stickersOne posterOne campaign smart sheetOne Children's Miracle Network DVDOne guidebook

The paper balloons sell for a suggested donation of $1, and the goal is to sell all 200 balloons included in the kit to raise $200 for your local Children's Miracle Network hospital. Every post that raises $200 will receive a distinctive 2010 Children's Miracle Network fundraising banner suitable for display in their post home.

Post members who partake in the Miracle Balloon campaign will reap many benefits, as it allows everyone to participate at no cost and provides visual support and community involvement.

For more information, contact:Americanism/Children & Youth Division The American LegionP.O. Box 1055Indianapolis, IN 46206