Babies Go to Congress FAQs
Q: What is Babies Go to Congress?
Q: Who can attend Babies Go to Congress?
A: Any pregnancy help organization currently affiliated with Heartbeat International may participate in Babies Go to Congress. We encourage the Executive Director or President of the organization to attend along with a client and her child. Due to limited space on each team and in the Congressional offices, we discourage large groups of center staff and family from attending.
Q: How do I choose a client to go to Babies Go to Congress?
A: When choosing a client we recommend identifying someone who has a compelling story and has had an opportunity to share her story publicly (on camera, at a banquet, etc.). It is best to choose a client who is well spoken and not extremely shy. If the client you choose has not had practice sharing their story you can coach them before Babies Go to Congress. Also be sure the client you choose is available to attend the Babies Go to Congress dates.
There is no age limit for the client and her child. We have had clients with teenagers and clients who are pregnant. Please use your best judgment and pray about who you should bring.
Each client will sign a release form and submit their story along with a picture of herself and her child. These stories and pictures will be used for the event and to promote the event online and through social media. The client may choose to opt out of sharing their story publicly.
Q: Who will I meet with at Babies Go to Congress?
A: Heartbeat will schedule appointments for you to visit your Senators and two members of Congress (the districts your center is in and the surrounding area). We make our best effort for you to meet the actual Senator or Congressman. At times, when Congress is not in session or the Legislator is unavailable, we will meet with key staff members. It is very important to meet with staff member as they decide what to present to the Legislators.
Q: How will our meetings flow at Babies Go to Congress?
A: Each team will have a Heartbeat representative with them. Meetings will begin with your Heartbeat representative explaining who Heartbeat is and our work very briefly. Then the Heartbeat representative will introduce the center director. The center director will then speak about the work the center is doing and how it is impacting their community. At that time it is appropriate to hand over your community impact report (samples below). The center director will then introduce the client and the client will share her story. Each meeting is about 15-20 minutes long. Please bring business cards to the meetings to give to the office.
Heartbeat Video: Babies Go to Congress Meetings
Q: What costs are associated with Babies Go to Congress?
A: Heartbeat International will cover two meals (orientation dinner and closing luncheon) and accommodations for one night of your client's room. We will also cover travel around Washington, D.C. specifically needed for Babies go to Congress (ie. taxi to and from Congressional office buildings).
The center is responsible to cover the cost of traveling to Washington, D.C., any meals not covered by Heartbeat, and the remaining hotel nights (approx. $200-250+tax) not covered by Heartbeat. Center staff may room with your client or alone.
Q: Where will I stay at Babies Go to Congress?
A: Heartbeat International secures a block of rooms for Babies Go to Congress at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. All you need to do is let the Babies Go to Congress coordination (Lauren) know your arrival and departure dates and how many rooms you will need and she will secure your rooms within the block.
All of the rooms are charged to the Heartbeat International master bill. When the master bill is reconciled you will be sent an invoice from Heartbeat International for your accommodation expenses (typically in February). You will need a credit card for incidentals at check in.
Q: Which airport should I fly into?
A: You have three airport options when flying to the D.C. area, Reagan National Airport (DCA), Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), and Dulles International Airport (IAD). You can easily take the train or metro from DCA or BWI to Union Station. The Hyatt is a few blocks or 5-10 minutes walk from Union Station (see map below). You can take a taxi from all three airports.
Q: What should I wear to Babies Go to Congress?
A: January weather in Washington, D.C. is unpredictable. We have had anywhere from 60 degrees and sunny to a blizzard. Please watch the forecast and be prepared.
Orientation/Dinner: Business Casual
BGTC meetings: Business attire (please be sure your client is dressed appropriately, no jeans please). Please wear comfortable footwear. You will be walking a lot!
March for Life: Dress in warm and comfortable, casual clothes with comfortable footwear.
Q: Will I have time to explore Washington, D.C. at Babies Go to Congress?
A: Babies go to Congress concludes around 3:30pm on Thursday, January 26. You are free to explore the city on Thursday afternoon. We will reconvene for the March for Life on Friday morning. You are free to extend your travel in D.C. over the weekend to explore.
Babies Go to Congress Schedule 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
5:00 PM: Orientation
- Welcome and Introductions – Cindi Boston, Babies Go to Congress Coordinator
- Prayer/Devotional – Betty McDowell, Senior Director of Ministry Services
- Logistics – Cindi Boston, Babies Go to Congress Coordinator
- Virtual Babies Go to Congress – Lauren Bell, Babies Go to Congress Coordinator
- Meeting Protocol – Group Breakout
- Messaging – Group Breakout
6:30 PM: Dinner
Welcome by Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey
- Dinner Served
- Video Testimonies 7:30PM
- Q & A
- Dismiss for the night 8:30PM
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Babies Go to Congress Event
Breakfast on your own
8:00 AM: Meet in hotel lobby and take cabs/walk to Russell Senate Building Rotunda
8:30 AM: Photos in Russell Senate Building Rotunda
9:30 AM-12:30 PM: Meet with Congressional leaders.
12:30 PM: Closing Luncheon provided by Heartbeat at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill
Friday, January 27, 2017
March for Life
Breakfast on your own
11:00 AM: Meet in the hotel lobby, taxi/walk to the March for Life
12:00 – 1:00 PM: March for Life Rally
1:00 PM: March begins (follow the HB banner)
3:30 PM: March Ends