Take Action

Join dedicated child advocates across the country and speak up and speak out to champion policies and programs that lift America’s children out of poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect, and ensure their access to healthcare, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.

Together our voices will make a difference to ensure every child a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood.

Support Our Work

There Are Many Ways to Support CDF!

Every dollar donated helps the Children’s Defense Fund champion policies that will lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

Learn how you can help improve the lives of America's children!

Speak Up

Tell the Senate to #ProtectMedicaid and #KeepKidsCovered

Right now Republican Senators are working behind closed doors on their own version of the terrible American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House of Representatives in early May that would rip away health coverage from 23 million Americans. They plan to vote on a Senate bill in two weeks, before they leave for the July 4th recess. Senate leadership does not plan to make the bill public before they vote. Your help is needed NOW to keep Senators from passing a bill to end Medicaid as we know it and restrict health coverage for children and adults with pre-existing conditions. Thirty-seven million children rely on Medicaid, including 40 percent of all children with special health care needs, and more than 40 percent of all births are covered by Medicaid. They could all be harmed by changes the Senate is considering.

Please urge your Senators to reject any structural changes or cuts to Medicaid. Call today and ask your Senators to protect Medicaid for America’s children and families and #KeepKidsCovered.


 

Share Your Story

How have you or someone you know been affected by child poverty, budget cuts to federal programs supporting poor and low-income families, or harsh school discipline policies or racial bias and ended up in the juvenile justice system? Use the power of your story to make a difference. Congress listens to stories, and if we would like to share yours, we will follow up to ask permission.

 

Protect Children, Not Guns

Contact your members of Congress and tell them to protect children instead of guns. We are deeply shaken by the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The 20 children and 6 educators slain there are the latest victims of America’s gun violence plague. Each week, 350 children and teens are killed or injured by guns—enough to fill 14 more classrooms of 25 students. What have we become as a people when even in the face of such sin and suffering, we continue to protect guns before children?

 

Demand Our Nation’s Most Vulnerable Children Receive A Quality Education

 Tell your Members of Congress to secure the future by providing a quality education for every child.

Today, nearly fifteen million children in rich America live in poverty. More than 20 percent of children under age five are poor, including more than 40 percent of Black children and 35 percent of Hispanic children. The best hope these children have of lifting themselves out of poverty is a quality education. Yet for far too long, the most vulnerable children in America have been denied this opportunity. Inequities in educational funding, resources and opportunities have placed poor and minority children in low-performing schools with inadequate facilities and ineffective teachers.

 

I Pledge to Protect Children, Not Guns

Together, our voices will be heard!

  • By Spreading the Truth about guns and sensible gun safety legislation

  • By Raising Awareness of the epidemic gun violence in my community, state and country

  • By Planning a Community March and Vigil to remember children and teens lost to gun violence

  • By Asking my elected officials to support universal background checks and other gun safety legislation

  • By Holding elected officials accountable
 
Stay Informed

Sign up below for actions you can take to help end the scourge of child poverty in our rich nation.

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CDF Events

23rd Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
Hope for Our Future: From Weeping to Working for Justice for Our Children.
July 17-21, 2017 - CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, TN

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26th Annual National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Weekend October 20-22.

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CDF Beat the Odds® Events

2017 CDF-New York Beat the Odds® Celebration

February 28, 2017 - The Pierre New York City, NY

2017 CDF-Minnesota Beat the Odds® Celebration

March 30, 2017- James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall | University of St. Thomas St. Paul, MN

2017 CDF-Texas Beat the Odds® Celebration

May 18, 2017- Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston, TX

2017 CDF-Ohio Beat the Odds® Celebration 

June 15, 2017 - Westin Columbus | Columbus, Ohio

27th Annual CDF Beat the Odds® Celebration

November, 2017

 

27th Annual CDF-California Beat the Odds® Celebration

December, 2017

 
     
Child Defender Fellowship

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is launching the Child Defender Fellowship to offer community leaders and activists an opportunity to build skills, influence local systems impacting children, and build communities that will further social justice to ensure all American children have a fair start and equal opportunities in their lifetime. From October 2017 to June 2018, fellows will gain critical knowledge on policy and legislation, learn about the history and tactics of nonviolent organizing, and practice using these tools in your community. Fellows will meet in a virtual learning space over the course of nine months to participate in approximately 20 sessions covering six core themes.

Learn more about the Child Defender Fellowship.

Volunteer

Spread the Truth

Distribute fact sheets and information about the truth about guns and sensible gun safety legislation and policy opportunities in your state and in Congress to protect children, address their unmet mental health needs, and reduce gun violence. Partner with grassroots movements like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has nearly 100 chapters in 40 states to engage lawmakers on the national, state, and local level online and in person.

Raise Awareness

Organize a Child Watch Site Visitation Program to raise awareness of the epidemic of gun violence in your community. To highlight the problems of violence, choose sites like morgues, emergency rooms, or juvenile detention centers. To highlight healthy development and violence prevention, choose sites like schools with conflict resolution and/or restorative justice programs, community mental health centers that provide prevention and 24-hour crisis response services for children and families, and early care and education programs that offer mental health consultation services.

Plan a Community March

Partner with as many local organizations as possible to organize a community march and vigil. Gather the names of children and teens lost to gun violence in your community. Choose a community location that highlights the toll of gun violence on children. Then remember each one lost to gun violence with poems, prayers and song.

Join the Children’s Defense Fund for the Proctor Institute in July

Come to the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute on Child Advocacy Ministry at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee and learn with clergy, seminarians, and concerned people of faith how to work more effectively to end the violence of guns and child poverty in your community. Great preachers and great teachers will help you hone your skills at workshops. Learn more and register today.

Host a Children’s Sabbath Service in October

Each year in October, thousands of Houses of Worship of all faiths lift up children’s needs by hosting a National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® celebration. This year’s theme is: Beating Swords into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty. Hold a “Turn Off Violence and Turn In Guns” Day as part of your Children’s Sabbath weekend activities. Check out the resources including a step-by-step guide on organizing a Children’s Sabbath weekend.

Store

Visit the Children's Defense Fund's online store to browse books, apparel and items to support outreach in your community. Shop Now!

About CDF Action Council

The CDF Action Council is an affiliated 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization of the Children’s Defense Fund. We champion policies and engage in legislative advocacy and lobbying that will lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

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