Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Global Citizen


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  
~Edmund Burke

Frank is my favorite person to heckle over the University of Louisville.  


I have spent the last few days with an amazing group of individuals who aren’t standing around doing nothing.  Actually most of them were shouting, “Hey, things need to change!”  Its easy to stand around and pretend your hands are tied.  It is much harder to try to get others to join your cause, especially when those you are advocating for are half a world away.  

I always use my time flying to think about my schedule and issues at hand.  My flight from Ronald Reagan airport in Washington, D.C., into Bluegrass Regional airport here in Lexington from gate to gate took about 1 hour and 30 mins.  I was on the plane about 5,400 seconds, and in that time approximately 270 children around the world died of a disease that could be prevented with a vaccine.  Doesn’t anyone find that unacceptable?  Where I am originally from, that is approximately the population of one elementary school.  

It would have only taken $5,400 to save those lives.  My goal over the next year working with the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign is to raise $5,400 to help prevent the death of that many more.  I hope my wonderful community will help me work toward that goal.  I am blessed to be surrounded by so many caring friends, family, and neighbors.  We are global citizens, we aren’t bound by the same borders that once contained us.  These could easily be your own family and friends, if you weren’t lucky enough to live in a country as fortunate as the United States.  

Many people don’t realize Foreign Aide is only one percent of the U.S. budget and global vaccines are one of the most cost effective ways to help those in developing nations.  I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it would be to lose a child to something that could have been easily prevented if they only had access to a vaccine.  

Traveling to Washington was my first trip away from my three year old son and it was very emotionally difficult.  As a parent I can only imagine the grief and fear of realizing you could lose your child to a disease that could have been prevented.  From January 1 through January 19th of this year, Pakistan recorded 103 child deaths from complications associated with measles.  Five hundred and fifteen dollars is all that was needed to vaccinate those children against measles and polio.  A twenty dollar donation would vaccinate one child for a lifetime against measles, polio, diarrhea, and pneumonia.  

I want to do more than just fundraising. I hope over the next year I can create a dialogue with my community and government officials.  We need to let them know as constituents we approve and want allocated United States funding for global vaccines.  We need to advocate for those than can’t advocate for themselves.  

Please visit www.shotatlife.org to read more about the campaign.  Please feel free contact me with any questions, if I don’t know the answer I will try to find someone who can answer it.  I would also love to talk to you about the Shot@Life campaign.  Please contact me, and I will gladly speak to groups and even individuals.  

You can donate directly to the Shot@Life campaign through 
http://www.globalproblems-globalsolutions.org/goto/teambluegrassbelle and we can keep track of area donations.  You can also join my team, it is a free and all the money raised goes to a great cause!  I have some exciting things in the works for a our beautiful town, and I can't wait to show the world how much our community cares.  

I promise to blog later about my trip to D.C., all my new wonderful friends, and lobbying on the “Hill”.  I just have an adorable three year old I want to snuggle with.  I hope everyone else will snuggle their own babies tonight, and think of all the parents who would love give their own children a shot at life. 

Happy Worldly Wednesday,
XOXO
~Jess