Every year, UNICEF USA advocates welcome their Senators and Representatives to their home districts during the month of August for Congressional meetings to advocate for critical UNICEF funding and policies in support of UNICEF’s life-saving work for children. Despite the limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers demonstrated their resilience as children’s rights advocates by transitioning from in-person events to virtual meetings to ensure their voices, and those of children around the world, were heard.
In a time where we continue see a divided Congress, UNICEF USA’s grassroots advocacy work remains an essential effort for garnering support of bipartisan legislation to meet the needs of children in the U.S. and abroad. Thanks to UNICEF USA’s August Recess Lead volunteers, 32 meetings were scheduled in 12 states to engage the offices of 5 U.S. Senators and 27 members of the House of Representatives. Volunteers across the country, youth and adults alike, mobilized to request support of the FY22 annual appropriations of $134 million as well as key legislative priorities including the Keeping Girls in School Act (H.R.4134/S.2276) and the MINDS Act (H.R.3988/S.2105).
Meeting with Rep. Ronny Jackson’s (R-TX) Office
UNICEF USA staff, Jack Hildebrand, and UNICEF UNITE August Recess Lead, Nesha Abiraj, mobilized supporters in Texas to meet with offices on both sides of the aisle and request support for UNICEF appropriations and legislative priorities. The team successfully met with Legislative Director, Mary Porter, to discuss why funding UNICEF is a good investment to ensure the rights of children are protected, including a right to health and education.
Meeting wth Rep. Kathy Manning’s (D-SC) Office
Leslie Alvarez, UNICEF USA staff, and Nesha Abiraj, UNICEF UNITE August Recess Lead, led efforts to coordinate meetings with Congressional offices in North Carolina. UNITERs received praise and appreciation from Legislative Assistant, Ashley Emery, for their advocacy.
The success of August Recess 2021 would not have been possible without the dedication and passion of UNICEF advocates on the ground across the United States. To join them in advocating on behalf of the world’s children, sign up for UNICEF USA’s grassroots volunteer program, UNICEF UNITE.
To raise your voice digitally, check out the UNICEF USA Action Center, where you can write or tweet your members of Congress in support of UNICEF’s legislative priorities with one click.