Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Giving Kids A Shot@Life

Before Pinterest, before Facebook, my mother was making birthday parties pretty darn fabulous.  She would pick a theme and really run with it.  When I was six years old I had a Mickey Mouse theme.  She sewed individual Mickey Mouse bean bags for the games and to give to all the guests, she designed special hats for everyone to wear, there was a Mickey Mouse shape cake and more.  She did it because she enjoyed it.  She did it because she loved me.

When I was a little kid birthdays were a big deal.  Holidays, traditions, rituals they all mattered, a lot.  With each party, with each special cake, I knew I mattered, I knew I was loved.
I really belt it out when I sing Happy Birthday,
there's no holding back.

Now that I'm the mom, I wish I could say that I was sewing cute bean bags to give to all my kids' friends but I'm not.  Even with all the magazines, web sites and Pinterest, I am not that crafty.  What I lack in craftiness, I make up for in love and silliness.  We have traditions like cake for breakfast, Beatles songs and more for the kids on their birthdays.  They know they matter, they know they are loved.

Around the World
Last month, I met some pretty fabulous women doing some pretty monumental work for children around the world.  The women were a part of Shot@Life-- Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. Shot@Life aims to decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give every child a shot at a healthy life. 

They work to provide vaccines to ensure that children around the world will have a shot at celebrating their birthdays, knowing they matter and knowing they are loved.

After learning more about Shot@Life, I knew I wanted to be involved.  I knew I wanted to help make a difference.

As an activist I was drawn to how well-organized and focused the organization is.  As a mother, I was drawn to the idea of helping children and mothers around the world.  Not only do vaccines save children's lives, they help mothers.  I cannot imagine the frustration/devastation some women feel knowing they could save their sick child if only they had access to medicines and vaccines.  And that is why I have become a shot@life champion--using my voice, my blog, my energy, my heart to help.

I was so eager to get involved because of the stories from the women already doing good work through this movement.  They inspired me and showed me that even though I have my own small children at home, I too can make a difference.

I got the chance to interview an inspiring shot@life champion and find out what this movement means to her.  Her name is Suzanne Chan and she's pretty incredibleSuzanne lives in New York City and is a student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother (to a 5 year old, 3 year old and 3 week old). She shares her journey on the blog Mom Confessionals and The Disney Files. She is also a founding mother & partner at Trumpeting Media, a social media consulting company that is dedicated to using social media for social good. In her spare time she is a United Nations Foundation Shot@Life Champion, United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow and serves on the board of Living with AMY. Read more about her here.

Here are parts of my interview with Suzanne Chan: 

How did you get involved with Shot@Life?
I was invited by the amazing Emily McKhann of the Motherhood to join the Blogust campaign.  She knew how important it was for me and how passionate I am about using my social media voice to convey health advocacy messages.

Why is it important to you?
As an RN, I understand the medical implications and importance of getting your child vaccinated.  As a mother, I identify with these parents, who want at the basic level, to give their children a shot at life. It is something we take for granted here in this country with debates over to give or not to give vaccination to our children.  In other parts of the world, they don't even have the option and vaccines can mean the difference between life or death.  It's heartbreaking to think that so many are not getting lifesaving vaccinations.  If I can use my voice to help even a handful of children, I will.

What have you done with Shot@Life?
I was a part of the amazing Blogust Campaign this past year to raise over $200,000 vaccinating 10,000 children. I participated in Shot@Life's 28 days of impact and along with my team at Trumpeting Media planned the launch party for the Shot@Life mobile app last September. This year I became a UN Foundation Social Good Fellow. Any campaign that they need their message spread, I am there.  I can tweet, I can blog, I can share.  Whatever I can do, I will do.

This week Shot@Life is celebrating a birthday, their first.  They are celebrating how they have helped ensure that thousands of children around the world reach the milestone of celebrating a first birthday by receiving life-saving vaccines, sent over 26,000 letters to Congress, and grew the movement to over 190,000 supporters..

This week in honor of their birthday and in conjunction with World Immunization Week they are celebrating with different events, videos and stories.  There are lots of ways to get in on the celebrating. You can share the Global Mom Relay posts which will earn Shot@Life a $5 donation per day.  You can also follow the hashtags #birthdaybash and #getvax on twitter.  Shot@Life has partnered with several bloggers to share stories of other Champions which are being featured on many social media outlets including their Storify page.    

Click here to learn more and get involved.

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive article you shared here and I'm very happy to see this kind of blogs to read. thanks for it.