Now in its 10th Year, Designation Serves as a Rallying Call to Improve the Lives of All Children in America
New NCAM Photobomb Challenge Will Award $50,000 to U.S. Children’s Charity
COSTA MESA, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2017) – The United States Senate, with unanimous consent, has recently designated September as National Child Awareness Month (NCAM) for the 10th consecutive year through the passage of United States Senate Resolution 249. NCAM serves as a rallying cry to children’s charities across the country, their benefactors and supporters, and the public, to set aside their individual agendas in September to unite and collaborate to raise awareness and inspire action for all children’s causes. NCAM was created in 2008 by Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder and executive director of the national non-profit Festival of Children Foundation (FOCF) in Costa Mesa, California. The initiative has inspired thousands to action, including more than 18,100 volunteers resulting in 70,431 volunteer hours given to improve the lives of America’s children.
“From day one, our mission behind National Child Awareness Month has been to inspire the nation to invest in our children, and to promote collaboration among children’s charities to optimize their efforts,” said Segerstrom Daniels. “We are humbled and encouraged by the U.S. Senate’s continued support and will continue to work to redirect our country’s focus on the needs and dreams of our most valuable asset, our children.”
During the past 10 years, NCAM has received bipartisan Senate support with key sponsors including Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who has sponsored the resolution each year, Senator James Lankford (R-OK), and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and several additional Senate co-sponsors. It is estimated that more than 2 million children to date have benefitted from the NCAM program through partnerships and grants. Between 2012 and 2015, in collaboration with Youth Service America, 150 high school and college students from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., were trained to develop and supply solutions to critical issues facing children in their communities.
“Non-profits and charities in our local communities play a vital role in helping our children succeed and live happy, healthy lives,” said Feinstein. “They help children learn, improve access to health care and aid in the development of skills needed to thrive in a complex, challenging world. Children are our future and we all play a role in helping them thrive.” Senator Lankford also recognized the important work of children’s charities in America. “To the unsung heroes that work with charities and non-profits that support our children and youth throughout our country, thank you,” said Lankford. “It is the hard work and dedication of the employees, volunteers, and contributors of child and youth-serving organizations that help our communities nurture positive programs and safe places to help families foster strong children across the U.S. I am proud to join Senator Feinstein to recognize September as National Child Awareness Month.”
To heighten awareness for the initiative this year, FOCF has introduced the NCAM Photobomb Challenge that will award $50,000 to one U.S. children’s charity. Individuals, in support of their qualified children’s charity, can upload their favorite photobomb moment from September 15 to 30, and the photo or video with the most “buzz,” as measured by social media impact, will win the grant. The challenge is hosted by Indi.com, a social media platform that connects individuals, charities and companies directly with fans and supporters.
In 2016, NCAM launched its first public awareness campaign, the NCAM Talent Challenge, and awarded $72,500 in grants to several children’s charities. Celebrities including Matthew Morrison, Olivia Newton John, Mario Lopez, Marie Osmond, and Tony Hawk were among people from around the country, who submitted videos showcasing a special talent for a chance to win money for the children’s charity of their choice. The talent challenge secured more than 2.5 million social impressions among the 220 videos submitted.
About National Child Awareness Month
The effort to have September declared as National Child Awareness Month began as a local effort in Orange County, Calif., by Festival of Children Foundation Founder Sandy Segerstrom Daniels to raise awareness and focus America’s attention on our greatest asset – our children. The Orange County Board of Supervisors first unanimously designated September as “Child Awareness Month” in September 2002. In September of 2003, the State of California commended Festival of Children Foundation’s efforts and designated September as “Children Awareness Month.” In 2008, the U.S. Senate passed U.S. Senate Resolution 644 designating September 2008 “National Child Awareness Month.” Since then, Ms. Segerstrom Daniels and Festival of Children Foundation have been successful in having every successive September designated as “National Child Awareness Month.”
About Festival of Children Foundation
Festival of Children Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves to bring together and coordinate the efforts of charities, companies and individuals who work to improve the lives of children. 100% of the administrative costs are covered by designated funding, allowing donations to go further in direct support of programs and services that improve the lives of children nationwide. For more information please visit www.festivalofchildren.org
Contact: Cassady Taylor
Festival of Children Foundation
(714) 438 – 3205