This week is Global Immunization Week a time set aside to celebrate and advocate the importance of providing global vaccines to save lives of children around the world. I have been an active member and advocate for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign for the last year and a half and have been continually inspired by how easy and simple it is to save lives.
Every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable death. Yet we can change this tragic reality. We know that 1 in 5 children in the developing world do not have access to life-saving vaccines. Yet we have the tools and resources to prevent 1.5 million deaths each year – the equivalent to the number of children entering kindergarten in the US each year – by providing vaccines. For the mere cost of a week’s worth of coffee – $20 – you can give a child a lifetime of immunity from a deadly disease and save a life. It is easy. Simple. And it saves lives.
Your voice, your time and your support can change a child’s life forever.
Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/UN Foundation
As a Shot@Life Champion I’ve had the opportunity to use my voice by learning all about the importance of global vaccines and sharing this information as an advocate through social media, my blog and directly with my members of Congress. I’ve visited Washington DC three times to learn more about global vaccines and advocacy. I’ve also lobbied with my members of Congress both here in Minnesota as well as on Capital Hill. Finally, I’ve held two local fundraising events at my home in which together with my friends we have raised over $2,800 which has helped vaccinate 140 children for life. It has been a year to remember and I feel proud that I’ve been able to make a difference in the world.
First Shot@Life party during Global Immunization Week. April 2012.
My children and me wearing our Shot@Life t-shirts during Global Immunization Week.
Some people ask why do I care? Why do I spend so much of my time devoted to other children half way around the world, children I will never meet?
Simple. I am a mother too and I want to help give every mother the same opportunity to having a healthy child and an opportunity to reach those precious milestones in a child’s life that stay forever in your heart.
Like my daughter’s last day at preschool.
I want to give every child the Shot@Life they deserve.
Women getting her child immunized in Mozambique. Photo credit: Stuart Ramson/UN Foundation.
Please help spread the word about Shot@Life and the importance of global immunizations. Here are some ways you can help out: