If you’re my friend on Facebook you might have seen me announce last week that I am now volunteering for the March of Dimes California Chapter in their Social Media department. I haven’t volunteered for the MoD in an official capacity since 2009, the year Maddie died, and I am honored to have the opportunity to give back to an organization that has done so much for my family. One of the most important things I’ll do as a volunteer is help spread the mission of the March of Dimes, and I’m starting with their annual March for Babies fundraising walk.
The March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ biggest fundraiser, and there are walks in cities all over the nation (you can find the one closest to you here). On April 26th we Spohrs will be Marching for Maddie in Los Angeles, the seventh year we’ve marched in her name. By participating, we are helping March of Dimes champion the needs of families and babies in our community and across the nation. The money we raise through March for Babies will support lifesaving research, services, education and advocacy that help babies get a healthy start – babies like Annabel, who made it to 36+ weeks, and James, who made it to 38 weeks, thanks in large part to medical advances championed by the March of Dimes.
Our team, March for Maddie, is not only one of the largest family teams in Los Angeles but also one of the most successful fundraising teams in the nation. It’s an honor that all of you help make possible every year. Our team goal is $10,000, but our biggest goal is to get the word out and get lots of walkers. Beyond LA, we’re hoping that everyone who has walked in Maddie’s name in years past will walk again. And to everyone who hasn’t walked yet, we hope this will be the year you join, (or even start) a team.
Joining a team means so much to my family. April is hard and emotional, and after the sadness we feel in the days leading up to the seventh, knowing that we will see (either in person or via photos and emails) so many people supporting and remembering Maddie…honestly it’s a light that leads us through. In the last five years, literally thousands of people opened their hearts and wallets and donated to the March of Dimes in honor of our beautiful Madeline. The donations that came in after Maddie passed completely blew my family away, and made sure that millions of people, including lawmakers, know the name Madeline Spohr. As a parent, I am proud and humbled. Thank you. Thank you.
If you’re in Los Angeles, we would be honored if you would march with us. You can sign up HERE to join the original March For Maddie team. If you are elsewhere in the country, please consider joining our team as a marcher in spirit. It doesn’t cost anything but a few moments of your time. Monetary donations can be made directly to the March of Dimes through my link here (thank you SO much). Every little bit helps, even if it’s only a dollar! In 2009, 90% of the donations our team received were for $10 or less – and we were the top family team in the nation! We are also selling Marching For Maddie Shirts again this year. Shirt sales are open to everyone, and all proceeds are going towards Team March for Maddie (we also sell Friends of Maddie shirts). If you want to wear a shirt at your walk this year, be sure to order it ASAP!
Most importantly – please help us spread the word and mission of the March for Babies. Share this photo of James ready to march, or the next time you see a sign for the March of Dimes take a moment to explain what the MoD does to the person next to you. Through knowledge comes advocacy and research. Wouldn’t it be amazing to say you helped make prematurity a thing of the past?
Thank you again for everything you have done for my family, and in turn, thousands of other families. We miss Madeline so much, but knowing that there are people all over the world that have been touched by her is indescribable. We are all doing amazing things in her memory.