The first people I met at BlogHer ’13 – besides my fabulous roommate, Nicole Melancon of ThirdEyeMom – were Phil and Tanya from Save the Children. They just happened to be heading out of the hotel in search for food at the same time as Nicole and me. We chit chatted in the lobby a bit and ended up going out to dinner together.
The next night we met again for dinner, this time for a more formal presentation on Save the Children’s work both in the US and internationally. I was elated to meet some of my fellow Global Team of 200 members at this intimate dinner.
As people arrived to the dinner, we chatted, drank wine and wrote our answers down to 5 questions Phil and Tanya posted on the wall. They included questions like “How many children around the world die before they turn 5?”
It seems that we are all very aware of the dangers to children in this world because we all overestimated the problems! (I’m guessing we were an unusual group. I think most people would have underestimated.)
While our numbers weren’t overly accurate, they are still stunning. From Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers Report:
- Three million newborn babies die every year, mostly due to preventable or treatable causes such as infections and complications at birth or of prematurity
- Newborn deaths account for 43% of all deaths among children under age 5
- Sixty percent of infant deaths occur in the first month of life
- Nearly all newborn and maternal deaths occur in developing countries where pregnant women and newborn babies lack access to basic health care services
By the end of the dinner, I found myself especially interested in Tanya’s work in helping US schools and child care centers to become prepared for disaster. Though no one really likes to talk about disaster, natural or otherwise, recent events such as Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook and the Oklahoma tornadoes show us the importance of a plan, particularly when children are affected in a disaster. As mothers around the dinner table, we couldn’t imagine being separated from our children during a disaster and not knowing when or if we’d see them again.
Internationally, Save the Children reaches children in 120 countries. Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, also spoke during our dinner about her recent trip to Zambia, where she had the chance to observe some of Save the Children’s work first hand. In Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, Save the Children works with street kids and orphans by funding the Sport in Action program at Fountain of Hope. They provide a safe place for the many street kids and orphans in Zambia and use sports as a way
Here is a great video that Jennifer shared with us from her visit to the Fountain of Hope.
As I become more active and deliberate in my philanthropic work, I realize that the closer I get to an organization, the more likely I am to give money.
For my Giving Pledge this month, I am donating to Save the Children. Another no-brainer for me.
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