I’m honored that my Shot@Life post “Blogust: Reaching Firsts and Making a Difference” is live today on the United Nations Foundation’s website. Blogust is a month-long digital dialogue, bringing more than 25 of the most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life champions (me!) together to help change the world through their words and imagery throughout the month of August. For every comment and/or social media share, Walgreens will donate one life-saving vaccine to a child in need around the world.
Since Blogust began August 1, readers have made over 30,000 comments and social media shares providing over 30,000 vaccines to children around the world who need it most. I encourage my readers to help out by checking out my post here and either commenting or sharing via social media the post. Please note that you must comment or share the post on the UN Foundation’s website (not my website thirdeyemom) for it to count for providing a vaccine.
I have written extensively about the power of life-saving vaccines to save children’s lives around the world. We know that vaccines are the most cost-effective way to save lives and we can erase some of these awful figures:
One in five children lack access to the life-saving immunizations that keep children healthy. In fact, approximately 1.5 million children in developing countries die each year of a preventable disease like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio. Put another way, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine.
Here is a snippet of my post today…..
#Blogust: Reaching Firsts and Making a Difference
We all remember the firsts: those monumental moments that shape your life and those around you. The moments that take your breath away. The first word. The first step. The first “I love you”. The first day of school. The first kiss. The first goodbye. Firsts that impact our journeys down the long and sinuous path of life.
For me, the most defining firsts of my life have surprisingly taken place in adulthood. The first time I looked into my soul mate’s eyes. The first time I cradled my brand new son. The first time I climbed a 18,000 foot peak. The first time I boarded a plane for a global volunteer trip alone. However, by far the most powerful first was the first time I realized that I had a voice and could use it.
I was half way around the world, hiking the Annapurna Trek in Nepal with my dad. It was the culmination of years of traveling, hiking and following my wanderlust. As I arrived at the first village, there were brilliantly colorful prayer flags swaying in the wind, the smell of burning incense and the distant bells jingling from the mule trains and Buddhist prayer wheels. I saw a woman sitting upon a stoop, shoeless and weathered from years of hard labor in the fields.
She held an old prayer book in her hand and hummed in a language I couldn’t understand. She could not have been much older than me yet our lives were worlds apart. She remained in that spot the entire day, quietly singing, smiling to the passersby and never once opening that book. Her poverty was apparent and like most Nepalese women she most likely never learned to read or write. She and her family lived without electricity, running water, toilets, education, health care or materialistic goods. Yet somehow she survived.
At that moment I wondered about fate and destiny. How could it be that this woman’s life was so incredibly different than my own? That I was there, in a tiny, rural village carrying on my back more than this woman might possibly ever have in her lifetime. I realized my own opportunities and that I had a voice. I could make a difference and even if small, I could help change the world.
I returned home a different person and from that point on, my life has been filled with life-changing firsts. My first blog post. My first international volunteer trip. My first fundraiser to build a school in Nepal. My first meeting on Capitol Hill as an advocate for Shot@Life. My first social good post. My first philanthropic blogging trip to India, and most recently my first trip as a reporting fellow to Ethiopia where I wrote about maternal and newborn health. Each and every new first has somehow worked to create a chain reaction of more firsts that together have lead me down a life changing journey I never dreamed possible. Firsts that take my breath away.
What I’ve realized throughout it all, is how simple it can be to give back and make a difference in the world. With #Blogust, you can too. A comment or a share via social media provides one vaccine to a child who needs it most. You will be part of the change and help a child fulfill their dreams and live to see their own firsts.
Remember all comments and/or social media shares must be on the UN Foundation Shot@Life’s website on my original post. These are the comments and shares that will provide a life-saving vaccine thanks to Walgreens.
You can like my post here but please place your comments on the post here.
Thank you all so much for your amazing support! I could not continue to write this blog without such fabulous readers. I truly appreciate it.
Be the change….
Remember to please comment here (not below) to provide a life-saving vaccine to a child in the developing world. Save a life. Be the change. Thank you with all my heart! Nicole