The Power of One: Commenting for Social Good

This month, Shot@Life (a global campaign that provides life-saving vaccines to children in developing countries) has launched something spectacular: Blogust.

Every day throughout the month of August, Shot@Life will feature a post on why comments matter and how they build community and work to promote social good. An anonymous donor has generously agreed to donate $20 per comment.  That $20 is enough money to provide four life-saving vaccines to one child and vaccinate him or her for life.

One in five children do not have access to life-saving vaccines. Shot@Life is working to change that number by reaching that fifth child.
Photo Credit: UN Foundation

Since the launch of Blogust, fellow Shot@Life Champions including myself have done everything possible to spread the word through social media and get more people to comment. So far, it has worked in unimaginable ways and has been an unbelievable success. Over the weekend, we reached our first 1,500 comments meaning 1,500 children who would otherwise not receive these life-saving vaccines will get them. We have raised $30,000 reaching the initial donation commitment from our donor and we are only on Day 5 of the campaign!!!

Global Health SOCIAL GOOD

The Power of One Voice

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I want to give all my readers a huge thank you for all the wonderful, supportive comments I received after my post The Color of Guatemala was Freshly Pressed.  I could not have been more humbled by the beautiful, encouraging comments I received from fellow readers and bloggers.  It was a big pleasure to read each comment and I’m in the process of responding to each and every one. So thank you, everyone! You are why I keep blogging!

What could not be more ironic, however, is the timing of my Freshly Pressed post. I wrote it hurriedly last Friday morning as I was desperately trying to get in one last post done before I left to our nation’s capital to the Results International conference on ending global poverty.

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A Message of Hope

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Today I did something I never dreamed possible. As a representative of the world’s poorest of the poor, I lobbied on Capital Hill. If you asked me two years ago if I would ever find myself here as an advocate for global and human rights, I would have laughed it all away saying “you’re dreaming”. Yet, here I am. Today I did it. I gave a voice to the millions of voiceless people dying and suffering around the world.

Global Health SOCIAL GOOD

DC and the missed opportunity

I’m here safe and sound in Washington DC and just had an amazing 12-hour day of conferences. I am here attending the RESULTS International Conference (a grassroots advocacy group focused on ending global poverty and hunger) on behalf of my advocacy work for the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign (an initiative to provide life-saving vaccines in poor countries).

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The Child Survival Call to Action

Over the last month or so, my work as a Shot@Life Advocate for the UN Foundation’s campaign at vaccinating children in the world’s poorest countries has lead me to become active working with another impressive global advocacy group called Results.  Results is a grassroots organization lead mainly by a huge group of volunteer advocates who share one main goal:  An end to poverty around the world.  Their mission is “to create the public and political will to end poverty by empowering individuals to exercise their personal and political power for change”.

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We are the world. We are the children.

Why I support Shot@Life…..the children. 

By supporting and fundraising for Shot@Life, with the help of my friends we have raised over $1500 and counting which will be enough funds to vaccinate 72 children in developing countries for life. 

I am not finished.  There is still much work to be done and more money to be raised. 

I won’t give up.  

I have miles to walk before I sleep.

The number of children dying around the world due to lack of life-saving vaccines is equivalent to the half of the children in the United States entering Kindergarten this fall.

We are going to change this fact.

Here is a priceless video of Sophia’s practicing her song for yesterday’s preschool concert.  Click on link below to view.

We are the world.  We are the children.

We are the world.  We are the children.

We are the ones who make a brighter day so let’s keep giving.

There’s a choice we’re making.  We’re saving our own lives.

It’s true, we’ll make a brighter day just you and me.

Stay tuned….this wraps up my series for the UN Global Immunization Week and the launch of Shot@Life.  I will still be working hard to advocate and raise money and awareness for this amazing program.  It has been quite an experience.  I’m heading back to my regular posts ASAP.  Thanks for your continued support and comments!  Nicole

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A glance behind the life of a Shot@Life Champion: 1 month countdown till launch

Photo above from Shot@Life Campaign literature. I adore this photo of the beautiful children who look so happy despite their poverty.  They are still just kids.

So what does it take to be a Shot@Life Champion?  What exactly is a Shot@Life Champion?  Why do I care?  Why should you care?

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India’s quest to become polio free has arrived

As many of you know, In January I attended the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Summit along with 45 other fellow Americans, who will be working hard to raise awareness and funding to provide vaccines to impoverished nations around the world. 

Since January, I have been steadily following all news vaccine-related and have been blown away by India’s quest to become a polio free nation.  In one of the most populous nations in the world that has many places that are extremely difficult to reach, the massive effort to vaccinate India’s children and wipe the deadly polio virus away, has been a hair-raising feat.

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Every child deserves a shot at life

Did you know that every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine preventable death?

Photo credited to UN Foundation.

That is about the time it takes to read the first paragraph of this post.   A life has gone that could have been saved by a mere $20.   The cost of buying two tickets to a movie, a bottle of wine or a birthday present for a child.  That is it.  But to many people around the world, that is everything.  

Over the last two days I had the honor of attending the UN Foundation’s Summit as a Shot@Life Champion who in the coming months will be one of 45 citizens across the nation championing this great cause in saving lives around the world.    Through raising awareness and funds for four life-saving vaccines, it is our hope that we can galvanize the nation so that no child around the world will not have a Shot@Life.  A shot to reach these important milestones that many of us Americans take for granted.

So why does it matter?  I can tell you exactly why.  

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New Beginnings and a Shot at Life

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.

And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

-Dr. Seus

For some reason these inspirational words form one of my favorite childhood books continues to inspires me.  Especially on day’s like today as I get ready to launch off and head out to our nation’s capital to start a new beginning as an advocate for the UN Foundation’s program called at “Shot@Life”.

I will be one of 40 or so attendees of the training program that starts tomorrow and I can hardly wait.

Photo above credit to Wiki Commons.  Children in Kindergarten in Afghanistan.  

Here is a brief overview of Shot@Life’s program and why it is so important to spread awareness and help out .  (Note: All this content is taken directly from their website at: http://shotatlife.org/learn/

The Problem:

This year, 1.7 million children will die from diseases that have all but disappeared in the U.S.  Why? Because one in five children around the world do not have access to the life-saving immunizations needed to survive.

A child dies every 20 seconds

Millions of children are disabled or killed every decade by preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio. Pneumonia and diarrhea are the two biggest killers of children under five, and account for more than one-third of childhood deaths worldwide.

Global health disparities:

Seventy-five percent of unvaccinated children live in just 10 countries. For children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, Chad and Kenya, access to vaccines mean the difference between life and death, a healthy life or a lifetime of struggle.

Immunity at risk:

Germs don’t need a passport. With so many children around the world unvaccinated, diseases that have been eliminated in developed countries — such as measles — can return.  Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and keep our families healthy here at home.

The Solution:

It’s simple; vaccines save lives. Millions of children could be spared from measles, pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and other preventable diseases if we could simply get them the vaccines they need.

The good news is access to vaccines has grown significantly in the last decade. Currently, vaccines are able to save the lives of 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year. With your help, we can reach even more. With your support, global vaccination programs can save the life of a child every 20 seconds, and stop the nearly 2 million unnecessary deaths that happen every year.

Progress:

Vaccines have won several battles against preventable diseases in the last few decades. Thanks to a coordinated global vaccination effort, the number of new cases of polio – a disease that once paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day – has dropped 99 percent in the last 20 years. The world is now nearly polio-free.

The Measles Initiative is on the path to similar success. The vaccination of one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001 has decreased measles deaths by 78 percent, changing measles from a disease that used to be the leading killer of children to one that we are close to eliminating altogether. Groundbreaking new vaccines that prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, if distributed widely, also have the potential to save the lives of millions more children.

Why Vaccines?:

Immunizations give children around the world a shot at more “firsts.” Keeping kids healthy is the best way to ensure they reach the milestones Americans routinely celebrate. When a child begins life with the protection of vaccines, the door is opened to more developmental firsts—first steps, first words, a first day of school. Immunized children are more likely to celebrate their fifth birthday, do well in school and go on to be productive, healthy adults.

A healthier world truly benefits us all. Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and keep our families healthy here at home, while improving economic stability around the world.

Above content from http://www.shotatlife.org.

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How can you help?  I will show you the way as soon as I get back from my training!  Stay tuned…..

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Giving back: How a trip to a third-world country changed my life

I started my blog thirdeyemom back in February with modest expectations.  I have always loved to write and I have been a wanderlust since birth.  I wanted to share my experiences of seeing the world with others.  I wanted to have some kind of voice besides my leather-bound journal.

I felt a little nervous about writing a blog.  Many thoughts crossed my mind.  What if no one ever read it?  What if no one liked it?  What if I was disappointed?  

But excitement and anticipation took over all my doubts and I said “What the hell“, you only live once.  By using a pen name, thirdeyemom, no one will even really know who I am!  I can be somewhat anonymous. (Yeah…right).

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