For the second year, United Way is joining with First Focus to launch the “Show Kids the Love” advocacy campaign. As Congress makes critical decisions about spending, we are asking caring citizens to send a Valentine's e-card to Congress about the importance of investing in vital social services for children and families.
According to the Children’s Budget 2013 report released by First Focus, total spending on children has declined for three consecutive years. In fact, less than 8 percent of the federal budget is invested in children.
Key findings from the report include:
- Since a peak in 2010, total spending on children has dropped by nearly $55 billion, or 16 percent after adjusting for inflation.
- Since a peak in 2010, discretionary spending (the budget decisions made by Congress through annual appropriations bills) has been cut by more than $11 billion, a drop of almost 13 percent after adjusting for inflation.
- The share of the federal budget invested in children is down 8 percent from 2010. Despite a drop in overall federal spending to combat the deficit, children have borne a disproportionate share of the cuts.
As Congress considers federal budget proposals, this is a critical moment for kids. Programs like Head Start and the Children Health Insurance Program ensure that our most vulnerable young people have what they need to succeed. We invite supporters and advocates to tell Congress don’t break the hearts of children and families and cut programs that support kids and families in need. Join the “Show Kids the Love” campaign and send a Valentine’s e-card to your member of Congress today.
- Send a Valentine’s Day e-card to Congress. Use our simple e-card tool to tell congressional representatives to prioritize our nation’s children.
- Mail Your Representative a Valentine’s Day Card. Send a card and encourage children, friends or colleagues to send a card to Congress asking them to support an education, income or health program in the budget. Take a picture of your valentine and post it on the Facebook pages of United Way and First Focus.
- Share the love using social media. Post a message on Facebook. Send a v-day tweet. Use hashtag #InvestinKids.
Here are some sample messages:
- Our economic future depends on investing in a skilled, well-trained workforce #investinkids #LIVEUNITED http://bit.ly/1bPkfHF
- This Valentine’s Day, help us protect funding for children’s programs #InvestinKids #LIVEUNITED http://bit.ly/1bPkfHF
- Join @UnitedWay @FirstFocus Valentine’s Day campaign & tell congress to help #Investinkids #LIVEUNITED http://bit.ly/1bPkfHF
- Tell Congress not to break the hearts of children and #InvestinKids in the federal budget #LIVEUNITED http://bit.ly/1bPkfHF
- [Representative's twitter handle]: Children are 8% of the #budget but 100% of our future. Put our kids first & #InvestinKids. #LIVEUNITED