2021 has had many ups and downs, to say the least. Nevertheless, throughout this year, our UNICEF Clubs have consistently exemplified UNICEF USA’s mission: to relentlessly pursue a better world for every child.
Here we take a look back at some of our favorite club moments from this past year:
Giving Back At A Local Food Bank
The Broward College UNICEF Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL in front of the “Feeding South Florida” Food Pantry before volunteering © Broward College UNICEF Club
The start of 2021 saw many of our club members still in a “zoom classroom” with little time for in-person meet-ups. Still, our club members took the necessary safety precautions and came together to help those in need! For example, the UNICEF Club at Broward College volunteered to inspect and sort through donated foods to ensure food was sanitary to distribute to families in need throughout South Florida. Together, they helped rescue over 7000 lbs of food, which equated to 6200 meals!
A Concert For UNICEF’s COVID-19 Relief Efforts
A West High School Student and Cadenza Music Club member performs a musical piece for the virtual fundraising concert “UNITED in the Cloud” © Cadenza West
Our UNICEF Clubs at West High and the University of Iowa joined forces to host a virtual fundraising concert, “United in the Cloud,” where club members and music students performed classical pieces by Bach, Dvorak, and co. to raise funds for UNICEF USA’s COVID19 relief. Not only did this event raise funds to help UNICEF end the pandemic by distributing 1.4 billion vaccines to vulnerable communities, but it also created a healing space for hundreds of people experiencing loneliness and isolation in Iowa City as the pandemic neared its first anniversary.
World Water Month
A UNICEF Club member partcicipates in a water walk on the Ole Miss campus © UNICEF Ole Miss
March is always one of our favorite months since it’s World Water Month and to raise awareness for WASH – water, sanitation, and hygiene. Many of our Clubs, including the one at the Ole Miss, hosted socially-distanced water walks to educate their community on the global water crisis.
Earth Day Events
Two Tamanend UNICEF Club members take a photo together in the Earth Day-themed photo booth © Tamanend High School UNICEF Club
For Earth Month, we saw clubs hosting fundraisers, events, educational activities and taking action to raise awareness about the child rights crisis that is climate change. Tamanend High School’s UNICEF Club raised funds for UNICEF by selling tickets to their “Earth Day” Event. Members of their school community painted eco-friendly tote bags, listened to a presentation about plastics and its effects on the planet, all while winning fun prizes!
Breaking The Stigma Around Mental Health
UNICEF USA National Youth Council member Egette shares her self care routine with clubs as part of the social media campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month © UNICEF Clubs
For the first time ever, our clubs activated around Mental Health Awareness Month. National Youth Council member Egette started a social media challenge to encourage club members and other young people to share their personal self-care routine and tips for caring for one’s mental health by using the #MayISelfCare hashtag. This topic is especially important to clubs as many have had first-hand experiences with feeling overwhelmed and exhausted throughout the pandemic.
A Very Unnusual But Almost Normal Graduation Season
UNICEF USA National Youth Council member Justin hugs a fellow club member and graduate at Long Beach Poly High School’s graduation ceremony © UNICEF Clubs
Throughout the end of May and June, we saw many of our club members that were seniors graduate. For many of them, this was not only a special moment to celebrate all of their academic achievements but also a time for reuniting with fellow club members and classmates that they hadn’t been able to see in person for over a year! As you can see in the photo above, graduation day was filled with emotions!
Taking A Stance Against Discrimination
Chelsea, Treasurer of Alameda High School’s UNICEF Club in one of the photos taken by Katrina Chan as part of a photography project to confront racism against Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic © Katrina Chan, @katchyaphotos
July is definitely our quietest month in terms of campaigns and fundraisers since most of our club members are on their summer break. This a great month for reflecting on the incredible impact that our club members have had on their communities and all that they’ve accomplished throughout the club’s year. One incredible example of a true changemaker was the Treasurer of Alameda High School’s UNICEF Club, who started a photo campaign with a photographer to fight against stigma and discrimination, specifically targeted towards Asians and Asian-Americans during the pandemic.
Back To School, Back To…
UNICEF USA National Youth Council member Esha shares what she is looking forward to about going back to school © UNICEF Clubs
In August, we celebrated the launch of Club Registration for the 2021-22 school year. It was especially exciting since for many of our club members, back to school this year meant back to in-person classes, back to friends, and of course, back to in-person club meetings!
The Start Of The New Club Year
Appleton North High School’s UNICEF Club at their school’s 2021 Homecoming parade © Appleton North High School UNICEF Club
In September, our clubs hosted their very first club meetings of the year. This month was full of celebrations, club fairs, and homecoming events and was especially exciting as most of our club members were able to host in-person events at school after 18 months!
It’s Time For Trick-or-Treat
North Gwinnett High School’s UNICEF Club at their “Trunk-or-Treat” event © North Gwinnett High School UNICEF Club
So many of our clubs participated in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF this year, with many hosting costume contests, fall carnivals, pumpkin painting sessions, and digital fundraisers, all to raise funds to help UNICEF deliver COVID-19 vaccines across the world!
Going Blue for World Children’s Day
UNICEF Club members at the University of Texas pose for a photo in front of their photo booth for World Children’s Day © University of Texas UNICEF Club
For World Children’s Day, our Clubs celebrated by “going blue” and hosting celebrations across the country. For example, the UNICEF Club at the University of Texas hosted a World Children’s Day tabling event with games, a photo booth, yummy treats, and information on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child!
Grayson High School UNICEF Club members celebrate UNICEF’s 75th Anniversary with a dance party fundraiser and a birthday cake © Grayson High School UNICEF Club
Our clubs celebrated a very special anniversary this month: UNICEF’s 75th! Club members hosted Birthday parties, shared on social media what being a member of their club means to them and took the UNICEF at 75 Advocacy Action to recommit the U.S. Government to support UNICEF!
Clubs, thank you all for a phenomenal 2021! We can’t wait to see what 2022 holds!
Looking for fundraising or event ideas for the new year? Check out our Club Calendar!
Top image: The South Meck High School UNICEF Club in Charlotte, NC takes a photo in front of the “school rocks,” painted in blue to commemrate UNICEF’s 75th anniversary. © South Meck HS