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Let’s Move Phase II – Faith Sign-On

Dear Let’s Move Enthusiasts!
 
Two years ago the United Church of Christ joined the national movement to help end childhood obesity and to increase awareness among adults about the chronic diseases associated with weight gain (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, high blood cancer and cancer). 
 
The United Church of Christ, along with other mainline denominations continues to work with the Campaign for Health Kids project (CHK) and Faith United to End Childhood Obesity to help First Lady Michelle Obama to expand grassroots participation in the Let’s Move Faith initiative to end childhood obesity.

The Campaign for Healthy Kids’ Faith United to End Childhood Obesity will scale-up engagement in the Let’s Move initiative by identifying and organizing 1,000 faith leaders from a number of diverse faith congregations.  The effort will leverage community faith leaders to convene health councils and implement the five pillars of  Let’s Move!: 1. Creating a healthy start for children, 2. empowering parents and caregivers, 3. providing healthy food in schools, 4. improving access to healthy, affordable foods and, 5. Increasing physical activity.
 
What can you do as the Faith Community to raise awareness, education and provide information on this issue of rising obesity rates across this country, especially among our children?

How you can help right now:

1. Please TAKE 5 MINUTES and sign on to the Let’s Move! Faith and Communities website at http://www.letsmove.gov/join-lets-move-faith-communities. When you sign, be sure to put the name of your church and list “United Church of Christ” as your denomination.  Also, please put “Faith United to End Childhood Obesity” in the comments section. 
Signing makes you an official partner in a growing movement that believes that any differences that exist among us pale in comparison to our common commitment and mission to protect and promote the health of children.  Please share this link with others in your network and be sure to ask them to include the name of their UCC church and indicate the denomination “United Church of Christ” and write “Faith United to End Childhood Obesity” in the comments section as well. 

2.     Please take a moment to check out the Let’s Move! Toolkit (http://www.hhs.gov/partnerships/resources/Pubs/lets_move_toolkit.pdf).  In it you’ll find creative ways to address the childhood obesity issue in your congregation and community, including how to establish health councils and implement the five pillars of Let’s Move!

3.      Consider hosting a press conference in your city/community to highlight the collaboration between Faith United, the Campaign For Healthy Kids and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! team to mobilize faith leaders to work to reduce childhood obesity.    PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HOSTING A PRESS CONFERENCE ON THIS ISSUE AT YOUR CHURCH.  STAFF FROM THE CAMPAIGN FOR HEALTHY KIDS AND FROM FAITH UNITED TO END CHILDHOOD OBESITY ARE WILLING TO HELP YOU PLAN THIS!

4.      Please send me pictures, articles, activities, etc. etc. that you are doing in your church and community to promote the Let’s Move goals.

Thank you for your past and continued work on the Let’s Move campaign.  We need your assistance now as we move forward to secure and identify at 1,000 faith leaders across the country support the Let’s Move goals.  Please sign on today!
 
Below is a recent press release regarding Faith United to end Childhood Obesity.

 

First Lady and Save the Children Join Forces against Childhood Obesity
 
     First Lady Michelle Obama and Save the Children share a commitment to improving the health of our nation’s children.  Through its Campaign for Healthy Kids project (CHK), Save the Children will work to support and expand grassroots participation in the First Lady’s Let’s Move Faith and Communities Initiative.

     Working in Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, CHK’s Faith United to End Childhood Obesity will scale-up engagement in the Let’s Move! initiative by identifying and organizing 1,000 faith leaders from a number of diverse faith congregations.  The effort will leverage community faith leaders to convene health councils and implement the five pillars of Let’s Move!: Creating a healthy start for children, empowering parents and caregivers, providing healthy food in schools, improving access to healthy, affordable foods, and increasing physical activity.

     “Each of us has a role to play in solving the problem of childhood obesity, and faith leaders are uniquely positioned to build healthy congregations and communities for our kids. Our faith communities don’t only care for children’s spiritual health but also for their emotional and physical health. I hope this commitment challenges more of our organizations and congregations to do what they do best: inspire and empower people to make meaningful changes in their lives,” said First Lady, Michelle Obama.

     “Save the Children is dedicated to creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of Save the Children’s US Programs.  “A partnership between the First Lady’s Lets Move! Campaign and our own Campaign for Healthy Kids will help meet our shared goal of improving the health of all children.”

     CHK has worked with the faith community to advance the obesity-related policy change in all 50 states.  Faith United includes a wide variety of faith groups, representing diverse views and perspectives, but united by a desire to promote children’s health through changes in policy and practice.

     “All faith leaders, regardless of denomination, care equally about the welfare of children and Let’s Move Faith and Communities seeks to harness that common concern, “said Andrew Hysell, Project Director for the Campaign for Healthy Kids.  “This collaboration aligns perfectly with the Campaign for Healthy Kids’ goal of galvanizing local faith leaders to advocate for policy change.”

Thanks and sincerely,
 
Barbara Baylor, MPH

Minister for Health Care Justice
Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ
700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH  44115
Phone: (216) 736-3708, Fax: (216) 736-3703, Email: baylorb@ucc.org or www.ucc.org/justice/health

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