Ring in the New Year by Helping Others {through the World Food Programme}

Have you ever thought about what you would do if an emergency struck?  I often think about  it now that I am a mother. Protecting my family is my number one priority and it’s hard to imagine what would happen if tragedy really did strike. Even though a lot of us try and prepare, it’s not something anyone can ever be totally ready for, in my opinion.

Imagine, however, that you live in a place where it’s already a struggle to survive.  Areas that are war-torn or in conflict, developing nations where food is scarce and unending droughts make feeding your family nearly impossible. It is truly hard to imagine.

So for my final social good post of the year, I’m going to tell you about the World Food Programme and how they help feed families who have lost everything in midst of an emergency:

Help end child hunger
Drought, hurricanes and armed conflict. These three emergencies have one thing in common – hunger.

When emergencies hit, families depend on World Food Programme (WFP) for life-saving food. To ensure we’re there when we’re needed, we rely on you.

This holiday season, your donation can provide life-saving food for refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, families facing the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in Haiti, and mothers struggling to feed their kids due to drought in Somalia.

Here’s how you can help a family devastated by a recent emergency:

• $35 provides nutritious food for 2 weeks

• $75 provides food for 1 month

• $150 provides food for the next 2 months

If you are looking for a way to pay forward all the blessings you’ve received over the past year, this is a great place to start!

Simply go here to donate.

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

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Maternity Worldwide and Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Still trying to think of a last minute gift for that person on your list who has everything?  Instead of hitting the crowded mall, why not save a life instead?  You can with a just a click of your mouse and it’s certainly not too late.

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Did you know that 800 mothers die each day while giving birth?  800.  Think about that number.  800 hopeful, nervous women who long to hold their precious gifts will not live to do so.

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Maternity Worldwide wants to change this staggering statistic.  And you can help them do it this year by simply purchasing a  ‘Save a Life This Christmas’, their alternative Christmas gift of a Safe Birth Certificate for $24 and $81 for an emergency delivery for a mother in sub Saharan Africa

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The Statistics:

Having a baby should be a time of great joy and hope. But every year across the world 287,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth. That’s one mother dying every 2 minutes, 800 each day. Another 7-10 million women and girls suffer severe or long lasting illnesses caused by complications in pregnancy and childbirth. These women do not need to suffer and die; most lives could be saved relatively easily and cheaply.

  • 162,000 deaths in childbirth occur in sub Saharan Africa, that’s 56% of the total.
  • Women and girls living in poor countries face a much greater risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth then those living in wealthy countries. 99% of deaths take place in developing countries.
  • The maternal mortality ratio (that is the number of women dying per 100,000 live births) is 240 in developing countries compared with 16 in developed countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa the maternal mortality ratio is 500 per 100,000 live births.
  • A woman’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 150 in developing countries compared to 1 in 3800 in developed countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa the lifetime risk of dying in childbirth risk rises to 1 in 39. This compares with a risk of just 1 in 4600 for mothers living in the UK.
  • Poorer women, particularly those living in rural areas with poor access to health services are far more likely to die in childbirth than those who are wealthier or who live in urban areas.

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But there is hope.  In fact, there’s a solution that you can be a part of today.

By ordering a Safe Birth Certificate you will enable a mother in a developing country to safely give birth to her baby.  Long after the bubble bath has been used and the Christmas hampers have been eaten you will have given a lasting gift which will save a mother’s life and enable her baby to grow up with their mum.

A Safe Birth Certificate can be personalised with your own message and either sent directly to the recipient or to you to give to them. Order one here today: http://www.maternityworldwide.org/news/save-a-life-this-christmas

(Maternity Worldwide’s website is British so the amounts are in pounds. When you give, it will automatically change to dollars upon checkout.)

So what are you waiting for? Give the best gift under the tree–a chance to save a life.

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

On This World AIDS Day, Fight to End Pediatric AIDS

actaware-logo-colourIn honor of World AIDS Day (Saturday, December 1,) I’ve been very busy advocating for the tiniest victims of the AIDS epidemic–the children.  This is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart.  I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to use my voice to inform, educate and empower others about this important cause.  Just today, I have had two articles published.

So now I’ll direct you to my article published in my local paper– Let’s Help Prevent HIV Transmission

And also to my post on World Moms Blog– AIDS: The End Is In Sight

If you’d like to do something….I mean really do something, I’m going to give you an easy way to get involved. Go to A Mother’s Fight to help end pediatric AIDS.  90% of child infections are due to transmission from mother to child. Let’s end pediatric AIDS in our generation by donating to help mothers receive testing and treatment. Your donation WILL save lives.  Join the fight today.

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Giving Tuesday: A National Day of Giving

In America,  you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know what the words Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean.  These words are now infused into our cultural identity and  have become the official  kickoff to the holiday shopping season.  Now don’t get me wrong, giving can be nice (and if you would like to give gifts that do good–then it’s twice as nice!)  But a new campaign to urge Americans to not only give, but give back, is launching on a grand scale this year.

It’s called Giving Tuesday.  And you can be a part of it!

“The goal is to launch a day of giving at the start of the annual holiday shopping season and to show that holiday shopping can be about both giving and giving back.

People everywhere,including retailers, charities, online organizations, community centers, individuals, families and more, will come together with one common purpose ‐‐ to help others and incentivize ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of contribution.

Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”

Sounds pretty good, huh?  So let’s spread the word and add one more day to our holiday vocabulary.  Go to http://givingtuesday.org/ to learn more.

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So how are we going to recognize Giving Tuesday around here?  I’m not really sure yet.  I’m going to call a family meeting tonight and see what we can do.  Although we have many charities and organizations that we like to support, I think we will focus on our local community this Giving Tuesday.  Here are some ideas I’m brewing in my head at the moment:

  • donate some of our children’s books to the local library
  • collect food donations to take to our local animal shelter
  • collect food and clothing donations for our local organization that helps families in need
  • donate toys to local families in need this Christmas

What ideas do you have?  Will you celebrate Giving Tuesday along with me?!  Please help by spreading the word and let’s make this a yearly tradition. I’ll report back later this week and let you know how we did!  I also want to share some holiday pictures of the family, so stay tuned….

 

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Malala Day: Education for All

Today, November 10th, is a global day of action for Malala and the millions of girls around the globe who are denied an education because of their gender.

As you may recall, Malala is the 14-year old girl in Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban for promoting the education of girls in her nation.   She is now recovering and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education wants to make sure her message is heard loud and clear throughout the world.  On this day, we stand with Malala and fight for the right of every child to receive an education.

So can the voice of one young girl in Pakistan really change the world?  It certainly has already for millions of children around the globe:

“Today I met with the President of Pakistan one month after the terrible shooting of Malala Yousafzai to discuss Malala’s dream of education for all.

On the eve of Malala Day, I presented petitions already signed by over 1 million people in the international community in honor of Malala and her cause.

These signatures were joined with another one million signatures collected by Pakistani civil society’s One Million Signature Campaign to demand free and compulsory education and another 100,000 signatures from out-of-school Pakistani children.

The President and I agreed on a series of deadlines for finance and delivery to make ensure all of Pakistan’s five million out of school children have the opportunity to go to school.”  -Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education

The staggering statistics for children around the globe are discouraging…

  • 115 million child laborers are involved in hazardous work.
  • 61 million children are shut out of primary school.
  • 34 million adolescent girls are not in school.
  • 16 million children with disabilities not in school; 1/4 of these children are blind.

But Malala has taught us all to stand up and fight–that our voices do make a difference.  You can learn more, join the campaign and sign the petition by going here:  http://educationenvoy.org/

Let’s stand united today for all children around the globe who are denied the right to an education.  Your voice matters….won’t you join us?

 

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Make Your Halloween Even Sweeter by Trick or Treating for UNICEF

I have a secret, a confession really, that I need to share with all of you.  On Halloween night, after the kids crash from their sugar highs and all is quiet throughout the house, I rummage through the mounds of candy and devour some of my favorite pieces.

I can’t be the only one, please tell me I’m not the only one……

It’s a sinfully delicious guilt that I carry around all year long.  But hey, a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do.  Besides, the kids won’t miss those few pieces of candy.

Now that you all know my little secret, here’s something else that  definitely needs to be shared.  You can make Halloween even sweeter this year by joining UNICEF’s Trick or Treat fundraising program.

For 62 years, UNICEF has been motivating children to become global citizens through this festive fundraising program.  It’s a great way to provide the entire family with an easy and fun way to help others.

  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF encourages kids of all ages to help raise funds for their peers in developing countries by going door-to-door on Halloween night or participating in other festive fundraising activities.
  • Through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, more than $167 million has been raised, providing children in 190 countries and territories with much-needed health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

Ready to get started??  It’s easy! You can order your free collection boxes today!  Click on the image below to find out how….

You can get creative with your fundraising efforts and you can even enter the Create a Character contest for a chance to design your very own collection box for next year.

Make Halloween a little bit sweeter this year with UNICEF, and let’s keep the candy stealing just between us, mkay?

 

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Love and Hunger: Oxfam USA and World Food Day

Last night as I laid my five year-old son down to sleep, he hugged me and said the following…

“Mommy love you.  Mommy give you food.”

[by “you” he means “me.” ]  Although my son has special needs and cannot speak like a typical 5 year-old child, the above comments still serve as a stark reminder that so many people–so many children–around the globe go to bed hungry each night.

My son spent his first four years of life in an orphanage where going to bed hungry was not an isolated event.  When he came home nearly 2 years ago, he was clearly malnourished and would gorge and hoard food constantly.  His brother, who also spent time in an orphanage, was born malnourished as well.

Hunger is not a new topic in our house.  Our boys associate food with love and it’s kind of a big deal around here. But now that both boys are home and thriving and food is abundant, it is easy to overlook and forget about the fact that hunger is a global reality for so many.

That’s why I support Oxfam America and encourage you to join them on World Food Day (Tuesday, October 16) to get the conversation started about helping people make everyday choices that can improve our global food system.  They have outlined some  principles to help you do it, called the GROW METHOD.

Make sure to visit the link above to download a toolkit to use in your home.

On World Food Day, the boys and I will be visiting a farm as part of a class field trip.  I’m using this perfect opportunity to start the conversation about where our food comes from and how it gets to our table.  For dinner we will talk about the GROW METHOD and what we can do to ensure that no person on this planet has to go to bed hungry.

Startling stats and more info:

•    Our planet produces enough food for everyone, yet nearly one billion of us (1 in every 7 people) still go to bed hungry.

•    About a third of the food produced for our plates ends up lost or wasted between farm and fork.

•    One pound of ground beef for your family uses more than 28,000 cups of water to produce—that’s enough to fill 20 bathtubs to the brim, and then some!

While this may seem overwhelming, there are many ways that we, as individuals, can make simple changes in the way we grow, cook, eat and store our food to be more sustainable.  So, as a special way to celebrate World Food Day, we’re asking people to:

•     Sign up to host a World Food Day dinner discussion. Oxfam has tons of free materials including a discussion guide, placemats, and recipe ideas from acclaimed chefs Jamie Oliver, Mary Sue Milliken, and others. Everything can be found at www.oxfamamerica.org/worldfoodday

•   Share GROW method recipes on Pinterest and we’ll add them to our GROW Method Cook Book (http://pinterest.com/oxfamgrowmethod)! Just tag your pin with #GROWmethod to add it.

•    Snap photos of your World Food Day meal on Instagram and tag them with #WFD2012, then check out our site (www.oxfamamerica.org/worldfoodday) to see photos from all over the world.

So tell me, are you and your family going to participate?  Share your thoughts please!!

 

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.