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November 2009Vol. 10, No. 9Adoption Month Calendar Features Innovative Activities

The 2009 National Adoption Month calendar illustrates the many ways that National Adoption Month is observed around the country. As in past years, the calendar provides a list of activities—one for every day of the month—that adoption agencies and communities can use to celebrate National Adoption Month and raise awareness about the children in foster care awaiting their "forever families." But this year's calendar is unique in that local agencies contributed their own ideas for a number of the listed activities.

The idea to solicit contributions from agencies was the brainchild of staff at AdoptUsKids. In an e-blast to their listserv of about 8,000 adoption workers, the staff asked, "What do you do for National Adoption Month?" Many of the responses made their way to the 2009 calendar.

  • Bellefaire Jewish Children's Bureau in Shaker Heights, OH, contributed the idea to create a recruitment theme (November 2 on the calendar). Staff at Bellefaire are particularly excited about their 2009 theme, "Celebrate Me Home." As part of their celebration of National Adoption Month, Bellefaire is hosting a party and inviting back all of the people touched by the agency through adoption or foster care. The festivities will include professional family portraits, Bellefaire's TEENS 2 HOMES choral group (composed of foster and adoptive youth), special activities for children, and a resource room for prospective families interested in finding out more about foster care and adoption.
  • Burdened by an oversized photolisting of all the children available for placement, Children Awaiting Parents came up with the idea of creating pocket-sized photolisting booklets that include about 30 children each (November 5 on the calendar). The booklets are customized for particular events and printed onsite. When staff from the national agency attend a State conference, they can display their comprehensive listing of children, and they can distribute pocket-sized booklets that include only children from that State. The agency's recruiters and its Board have been delighted with the new format and the flexibility it provides, and the pocket-sized books are easily displayed in libraries and other public areas.
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria counts on community partners to help them increase awareness of adoption in central Illinois (November 9 on the calendar). In this case, the partners are local banks, and Catholic Charities uses the theme "Kids Are Banking on You" to spread the message about adoption and the need for parents. The awareness campaign is a low-cost way for the agency to get high visibility through window placards, stickers, and fliers placed in banks. As a result of the campaign, a number of families, including bank employees, have contacted the agency to find out more about adoption. The agency holds informational events in November and December to respond to the increased interest generated by the bank campaign.

You'll find more great ideas on the National Adoption Month calendar. View the calendar online: 

For even more information on recruitment, visit the AdoptUsKids website: