When I attended the Social Good Summit in New York for three days last week, I had the opportunity to watch several presentations and panels on global issues that impact us all. Speaker after speaker talked about things like access to clean water, climate change, hunger, preventable diseases, philanthropy and more.
In addition to the rich summit agenda, I was also invited to off-site events. I heard about upcoming campaigns that support The Global Fund from (Red) over breakfast. I learned more about the humanitarian efforts in Syria from Save the Children, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ONE.org at a luncheon. I had a nightcap with Wateraid to meet the lovely ladies I’ve only talked to through email. I was even escorted through several layers of security to listen to a panel on Factivism at the United Nations Headquarters.
A gentleman from Time Magazine asked a question at one of these events. My fellow social good bloggers and I laughed that we were even at the same table as someone from such a large and esteemed news outlet. We were quickly told that our voices are just as valued and needed because of the strong, personal connection we have with our audience. Moms, in particular, can relate to our blogs because we’re sharing our own relatable perspectives as mothers.
The overall theme of Social Good Summit was how we’re using digital to pave the way for a brighter future by 2030. (Check out the hashtag #2030NOW on Twitter for lots of discussion.) By the time I left New York on late Tuesday night, my mind was spinning and I had several pages of notes. I felt a renewed dedication to my work in the social good world and a desire to dig in deeper to what it means to empower others to give back in the simplest of ways.
And then I saw this picture come across my Facebook feed.
If you don’t recognize this face, it’s Alexa of the No Holding Back blog. She is a friend of mine and an advocate for those affected by a too little known disease called TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome). As I was leaving New York armed with information and ideas, Alexa was in the trenches in Washington, DC representing the March of Dimes and moms everywhere. She met with representatives and was making change.
When Alexa came home, she buried her beloved Kathryn, the twin she lost to TTTS at only two days old. The next day, a bench was dedicated in Kathryn’s Butterfly Garden.
This month (September actually) I donated to the Historic Columbia Foundation to support Kathryn’s Butterfly Garden, a spot in a Children’s Garden that Alexa and her husband adopted in honor of Kathryn, as part of my Giving Pledge. I can’t think of a more fitting way to end my week.
Alexa is a prime example of someone who is taking an issue and tackling it head on. She is a strong woman and mother and I have no doubt that she is saving lives through her blog and advocacy work. She is doing what we discussed for three days in New York. If you have a moment, I encourage you to take a look at her new website dedicated to Fighting TTTS.