Share a Shot for Giving Tuesday

December 2, 2013

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Just in time for #GivingTuesday I want to share with you a creative new way to help give your voice and your talent, to give kids a shot at the happy healthy life they deserve. My friend and fellow Shot@Life champion Ciaran Blumenfeld have come up with a way to share our “snaps” to help spread the word about the “shots” that so many kids need to protect them from the preventable diseases that have the potential to kill them. Imagine if you thought you might lose your children to a common childhood illness like diarrhea. I know. I can’t imagine either! Because we don’t think any mother should suffer the loss of a child at all, let alone from a preventable disease, we need your help.

Please help us bring awareness to the important work that Shot@Life is doing by tagging your Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest “snaps” with the hashtag #snapshotatlife. Take it a small step further and mention our Instagram account as well (@snapshotatlife) so people can follow along and more importantly easily find the link to our Snapshotatlife team fundraising page where we are collecting donations to support the cause and vaccinate the kids who are at the greatest risk of dying from diseases like Rotavirus, Pneumonia, Measles and Polio. Won’t you join the team?

And speaking of donations, I am giddy to share something amazing! Ciaran is donating $500 to Shot@Life on behalf of the Snapshotatlife team. Yes, $500! You have got to pop over to read her Smile it Forward post. How crazy awesome and super generous is that? Talk about giving us something to smile about. $500 translates to 25 kids immunized for life! Amazing and totally inspiring. Thank you Ciaran (and Invisalign).

All that to say, I hope you consider shooting and sharing your “snaps” with us by tagging your everyday pictures (of family, friends moments and memories) with the tag #snapshotatlife and on this fine Giving Tuesday consider giving What you can to help immunize a child who deserves to live a happy. healthy life. We’ll be sharing photos, raising awareness and funds for the rest of 2013. Help us make a difference!


Daredevil Sikha Patra

February 18, 2013

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Before the election my daughter’s World History teacher asked her class to share what issues they would present the President with if they had the chance. My daughter eagerly shared her passion for eradicating Polio and said that, if given the chance she would urge the President to help us with the support and final financial push needed to end the disease. He teacher questioned her issue coming back with, “Polio? Really? Aren’t we done with that? I think there are far more pressing issues.” Needless to say she was deflated, not to mention frustrated because she knows better.

And so does Sikha Patra. Sikha and her friends are so vigilant about the issue of Polio in their own village that on scheduled health days, they spend their free time wielding their handmade megaphones through the streets of their village and walking from house to house to remind each family to get their children their Polio vaccines. In fact, in a soon-coming and highly-anticipated documentary film The Revolutionary Optimists (of which I had the honor of screening at The Shot@Life Champion Summit) you’ll see Sikha and her friends rally around the cause and help mothers by taking their babies in to get thier Polio drops because the mothers couldn’t. Did I mention that Sikha was 13 at the time? Watching children advocating oh behalf of other children like this might be one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen.

18_Sikha Patra_Tracey ClarkSikha is a member of the group Daredevils (how awesome is that for a name?); a group that helps collect health data and rallies the community around important health issues like vaccines. The passionate and committed group divides the block, makes cartoon posters, and does puppet shows to get kids and families to come to the health days. Sikha also helps survey the neighborhoods and track how many kids have been vaccinated. She believes in the United Nations’ Children’s Rights Charter right to live and that is why she is so passionate about bringing people to polio days.

I know, right? Crazy awesome stuff.

If this is the first time you have heard the story of Sikha and the Daredevils, I promise you, it won’t be the last. That being said, I am bursting at the seams to share this clip with you from the documentary where she and other equally inspirational children from Kolkata (Calcutta) India are brought to light. It’s my privilege to share this with you. I promise, you will be totally inspired!

I can only hope to be as brave and committed as Sikha Pertra in my life. She is such an inspiration.

Thanks to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and people like Sikha, the number of new cases of polio has dropped 99 percent. We are  *this close* but, we still have work to do to eradicate Polio. Please use your voice, like Sikha does and help the fight. Imagine the impact we could have if we would all act like Daredevils?

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The impact of vaccines on the lives of children around the world is incredible. Now, you can help sustain the impact by sending an email to your member of congress. Welcome your members to the 113th Congress and ask them to make sure that global health and vaccines are a priority in the new Congress. Take action and make an impact!

This story comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is part of Shot@Life’s ’28 Days of Impact’ Campaign. A follow up to Blogust to raise awareness for global vaccines and the work being done by Shot@Life and their partners to help give children around the world a shot at a healthy life. Each day in February, you can read another impactful story on global childhood vaccines. Tomorrow, don’t miss Maggie Carter’s post! Go to www.shotatlife.org/impact to learn more.  

Photos courtesy of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


A trip to New York

October 1, 2012

I recently had the most amazing trip to New York City with the United Nations Foundation and the Shot@Life campaign. I have so many things to share about the trip. About how much I learned. About the amazing people that were there.  About how incredibly honored I feel to be a part of a team of people who are using their voices for the greater good. It was an incredible experience.

That my husband went with me on the trip, was icing on the cake.

I cannot wait to share more about the Social Good Summit and the rest of my trip but for now, I will just share a few pictures.