LITTLETON, Colorado — Advocacy, fundraising and education are the three main ways that the U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports the U.N. agency dedicated to protecting and creating a better world for children.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s mission is to mobilize Americans around UNICEF’s own mission to save children’s lives by encouraging Americans to support not only international initiatives carried out by UNICEF, but also national initiatives, such as internationally focused Congressional legislation, that help the world’s children.
Here are some of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiatives that work to bring greater awareness and support to UNICEF’s missions and goals.
1) Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF
The Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program has been around almost as long as UNICEF itself. Started in 1950, the initiative provides children in the U.S. with a way to help other children in the most vulnerable regions of the world.
Schools, organizations such as churches and individual families can all participate in the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program by simply downloading materials which include educational videos, collection labels and other fundraising resources from the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF website. Participants can then order the number of collection boxes they wish to use on Halloween night. While out trick-or-treating, kids hold up the UNICEF collection box and shout “trick-or-treat for UNICEF” in order to help raise money for the organization in a creative and kid-friendly way.
2) UNICEF Tap Project
The UNICEF Tap Project is a time-donation project. While the time-donation aspect is no longer operational, it is still possible for individuals to take the challenge and donate in support of UNICEF’s clean water initiatives.
By downloading the UNICEF Tap Project app, anyone can participate in the challenge to bring clean water to the world’s children. The challenge involves seeing how long a person can go without touching their phone during the day. The app measures how long someone was able to go without their phone and depending on the time that the individual left their phone alone, the project’s sponsors donated a certain amount of money to help bring clean water to a child in need.
According to the project’s website, simply going 10 minutes without touching a phone provided clean water for one child for an entire day. While sponsors are no longer donating at this time, it is still possible for individuals to take the challenge and donate of their own volition.
3) The Eliminate Project
The Eliminate Project began in 2010 in partnership with Kiwanis International and seeks to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). MNT is a horrible disease that infants and mothers contract during childbirth due to tetanus spores that come into contact with open wounds while the mother is giving birth.
Through this project, UNICEF and Kiwanis seek to immunize the 100 million mothers that still need protection in 24 countries around the world in order to completely eliminate the disease. According to the project, this will require $110 million, as well as “vaccines, safe storage, transportation and thousands of skilled staff.”
The U.S. Fund encourages supporters to donate to the project so that it can achieve its mission by 2015. The Fund also encourages supporters to advocate and educate those in their communities in order to raise awareness about this preventable disease. It takes only three vaccines that cost 60 cents each to immunize a mother and her child against MNT.
4) End Trafficking Campaign
The End Trafficking Campaign seeks to raise awareness about child trafficking that not only happens around the world, but here in the United States, as well. Trafficking of children happens in all 50 of the United States and through this initiative, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF seeks to raise awareness about child trafficking and to educate Americans about the signs to look for in order to spot and report trafficking.
5) Live Below the Line
In April and May 2013, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF challenged individuals to pick a week or five days to voluntarily live below the poverty line. The challenge seeks to raise awareness in the U.S. about hunger and the lack of choice that characterizes extreme poverty.
Participants were asked to spend only $1.50 each of the five to seven days on food and water and then donate the money that they saved from not buying their normal food and drink to UNICEF. The donation was then used to fund nutrition programs for the world’s most vulnerable people. The U.S. Fund also provided a downloadable recipe book that featured meals that could be prepared on $1.50 a day.
According to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, in 2013 this initiative raised $4.4 million dollars for UNICEF as 20,000 people in the U.S. took the challenge.
6) Congressional Outreach
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF also encourages its supporters to reach out to their Congressional leaders about UNICEF and mobilize others in their communities to do the same.
Some issues that the U.S. Fund suggests individuals contact Congressional leaders about are: maintaining the U.S. government’s support for UNICEF, supporting Syrian children affected by conflict, asking Congressional leaders to co-sponsor and support the Water for the World Act, improving response to child trafficking, urging Senators to ratify the international Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (CRPD) and asking Congressional leaders to take action that will help end preventable child deaths.
– Erin Sullivan