With funding from the Community Foundation’s Young Philanthropists, the Make a Noise! Make a Difference! community education and awareness campaign was launched in September 2009 to bring attention to the prevalence of infant mortality and strategies to prevent it. Events reached a multitude of age groups and segments of the community:
- Granny Said. A workshop for grandmothers, who stand as the gatekeeper and strong role model for children in the community.
- Barbers for Babies. Barbers participated in a workshop to learn about the social and health-related determinants of infant mortality and the importance of being a responsible father.
- Chat & Chew. Families participated in frank discussions about infant mortality, the root causes, its impact on the Jacksonville community and ways to help prevent it from happening.
- Teen Talk. Teens gathered at a bowling alley where they addressed important questions like what is infant mortality and is there something you can do about it.
- Color Our World | Color Our Future Reception: The federal Office of Minority Health’s “A Healthy Baby Begins with You” spokeswoman Tonya Lewis Lee joined more than 100 local community leaders at the Children’s Walk in September 2009 to honor the nearly 130 babies who die every year before their first birthday.
- Family Reunion for Our Future Health Fair. In addition to a parade of empty baby strollers down Kings Road in honor of the 75 African American babies who died in 2008 before their first birthday, family members were able to visit “zones” during the health fair at Edward Waters College that tailored to specific age groups, gender and interests.
- Walk for Awareness & Health Fair. The walk originated and ended at A. Philip Randolph Park and raised more than $1,100. Supported by the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, more than 170 people walked through a neighborhood that is disproportionately affected by infant mortality to make a noise, make a difference.
The Campaign : 2010 & Beyond
Impressed by the initial implementation, the Chartrand Foundation approved funding for a multi-year, dollar-for-dollar matching grant to continue the initiative. Matching funds for the initial year were provided by the Community Foundation PI class and other donations.