National Volunteer Leadership Conference – Washington, D.C.

Greetings once again from our Nation’s Capital!

At the end of October my family and I returned to Washington D.C. for the March of Dimes’ National Volunteer Leadership Conference. I’ve been to “The District” a lot this year, but each time is always as amazing as the time before. On Thursday, October 20th, I spoke with my mom and dad in front of a huge group of dedicated March of Dimes volunteers who were going to do something called Lobbying. Lobbying is a really BIG deal because it gives people the opportunity to talk to Senators about passing laws that the March of Dimes believes will assist in saving and helping more babies in the United States. After we spoke, Senator Kay Hagen from North Carolina spoke – YAY, and then I got to take a picture with her! It was really cool, especially since she is from North Carolina, like me, and my parents voted for her! After that, we went to Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts’ office and spoke with him. Senator Brown was very nice and supportive of us and also talked about his long history of community service. He also introduced everyone to his cute little dog and, believe it or not, I wasn’t even scared of it!

That same night, my whole family went to the beautiful Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for the 2012 March for Babies Kickoff! I saw Ms. Phylicia Rashad again, which was so nice for me and my parents, and she Emceed the awards ceremony – my mom REALLY admires her! A lot of top volunteers attended and spoke, and a lot of awards were given out. It was so nice to see all of the people who care so much about helping babies, and to see the March of Dimes say thank you to them. I know the March of Dimes must really appreciate all of the hard work that volunteers like me and my family do because my mom always taught me to say thank you when someone helps you, so I know the March of Dimes cares A LOT about its volunteers.

The next morning was really exciting because my mom was a part of the official National Partnership Agreement signing between the March of Dimes and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. My mom is a proud member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. so it was so nice for her to be able to see two organizations that she really loves working together for stronger, healthier babies. I know she was very proud to be there, and she did a lot of hard work to get the groups there and I’m sure they were all glad she was there too!

At lunch I met the 2012 National Ambassador, Kieran, and we sat next to each other and ate cookies. I think Kieran is so adorable and he is going to be a great National Ambassador, just like I have been. Our video was played and my then dad spoke. Then my mom spoke and made everyone cry, but surprisingly, she didn’t cry this time. And then for the Coup de Grace, I spoke and everyone gave me a standing ovation, but please know that I’m not star-struck (smile). Then we invited Kieran and his parents on stage and I gave him a really cool backpack to help him with all of his travels – because he will be traveling A LOT!

This was my second National Volunteer Leadership Conference with the March of Dimes, but it certainly won’t be my last! I’ll always be involved with the March of Dimes because the March of Dimes has always been involved with me. I have been so honored to serve in the “role of a lifetime” and I will never forget the experiences I have had and people I’ve met. This has truly been a gift for me and my family and we are so thankful to the March of Dimes for trusting us to represent them this year. Love you Lots and Lots March of Dimes!

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