May is Supervised Visitation Awareness Month.
It's not too late to plan an Orange Ribbon Campaign!
What is an Orange Ribbon Campaign? As a provider of SV services you have undoubtedly experienced that many individuals are simply unaware of the services we offer, sometimes only finding out when they are referred as a client! How can we raise financial support for our programs, or get referrals for services, if folks just don't understand what we do and how important it can be for children and families?
The orange ribbon is a symbol of supervised visitation. Supervised Visitation centers exist to provide a safe haven for children during parental visitation. What color signifies safety better than orange? Orange is a bright color used to warn people to watch out and take notice. We want the world to see the orange ribbon and take notice of the thousands of children and families in need of this service.
The Supervised Visitation Network, an organization consisting of over 500 visitation providers worldwide, adopted the Orange Ribbon Campaign in May of 2001. The purpose of the campaign is to use the symbol of the orange ribbon throughout the month of May (and each day of the year) to raise awareness about the need and impact of Supervised Visitation.
Get Started Today!
What is your focus for the month? Do you want to raise awareness, develop relationships, build community support, or reach that ONE parent that may need you and was not aware that you were available?
Start planning today
What kind of staffing or support staff do you have access to? Could you recruit a marketing class to help you with projects, find a volunteer, or request assistance from your Advisory Board?
What kinds of projects are out there that you could do to get your point across? What kind of budget do you have? If you are on a shoestring budget, will you be able to finish your projects?
Create a timeline for yourself. What can you do right now to prepare for May?
Start a Social Media Campaign! Here is an idea on a month long campaign:
Where do I get the Orange Ribbons? If you enjoy crafts it is easy to make your own ribbons, or you can purchase professionally produced Orange Ribbons on the SVN Products Page
Either way, it helps to attach a business card with information about Supervised Visitation and your local program.
How Can I promote Supervised Visitation Awareness Month?The folks at Rainbow Bridge Safe Exchange/Visitation Center in Minnesota came up with some great thoughts and ideas on how to help launch your Orange Ribbon Campaign:
- Get the local Minor league baseball team to allow you to have a table at some of the games and to comb the parking lot (tailgaters) giving out information, and selling pins.
- Booth at the mall with orange ribbons & balloons
- We gained the assistance of a local cheap movie theater to promote one day a week as family movie day, in which all ticket sales would go to our agency and we made pins available for sale.
- We had board members send letters to their acquaintances asking for a contribution and giving them a pin as her gift to them.
- Burger & hot dog stand, with ice cream, at grocery stores/gas stations
- Radio station sponsor (possibility depending upon cost)
- Orange ribbons in banks
- Bookmarks in libraries - book readings at libraries - Barnes & Noble. We use books that we have in our office.
- Fire stations & businesses such as Cook Sign - use their signs and marquees
- Radio/TV commercial - some purchased, some Public Service Announcement. PSA's are FREE
- Human interest story on Fox TV
- Get permission to distribute sheets w/ribbons on windshields
- Week long events - luncheon, trainings, etc.
- Governor and mayoral proclamations
- Open houses
- Phone-a-thon (end of May) 16. Phone-a-thon (end of May)
- New huge kick off event to start off with a bang
- Family Fun Day in the Park. Co-sponsored by the Police Department and the Parks District. Kid ID and the Fire Department will be present. Orange Chalk and Coloring Contest. Focus on Safety!
- Possible downtown event - VIPS to kick off the event
- Churches - newsletters/bulletin inserts
- Pizza Boxes fliers
- Orange ribbon stickers
- Family fun night
- Service clubs (go visit & hit them hard)
- Parades (participate if there is one)
- Regional parades
- Kids coloring contest
- Get county commissioners and others to attend Open House events
- Something in schools
- May is FREE intake month!
- Have kids color the sides of paper bags for local grocery stores
- Coloring contests for local daycares to promote Orange Ribbon Month
- Massive brochure distribution