COMMENT TO SAVE A LIFE

Did that get your attention?! [highlight]Each comment throughout the month of August is worth $20!!!! [/highlight] This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers the championing of vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.

During Shot@Life’s Blogust: Blog Relay for Good, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about people from our communities who have inspired us. The first 1,500 comments in the Blogust: Blog Relay for Good raised $30,000 for childhood vaccines ($20 per comment) in a matter of days! [quote]$20 is what it costs for one child to receive 4 life-saving vaccines: measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio; preventable diseases like these take the life of a child every 20 seconds.[/quote] The initial donation commitment (see FAQs) and your comments have helped vaccinate 1,500 children in developing countries!

So where do we go from here?!

Thanks to the incredible response to Blogust 2012 – an additional donor was inspired to make a generous pledge of $170,000 to this amazing blog relay. If we reach this target, combined with the initial $30,000, we will be [quote]providing lifesaving vaccines to help protect 10,000 children in developing countries against some of the deadliest diseases.[/quote]

When I first began blogging, it was an outlet to share at first, my pains and later my joys. I never imagined the outpouring of love and support that I found through blogging and through my comments. Every comment, good or bad, I took to heart. It’s opened doors to conversations I was too shy to have in person initially but could only put to words. I just went back to my archives reading my comments and even though it wasn’t hard to know which comments meant the most to me, I needed to read them again with the anniversary of Emma’s death right around the corner.

I remember writing the post about Emma over and over again and how I finally wrote it and then wrestled with pressing the PUBLISH button. It was such a private pain to share but I felt like I was already forgetting her and I didn’t want to forget. Then the comments and emails came pouring in. I wasn’t alone and she wasn’t forgotten. The most amazing thing? When my husband came home that night, he gave me a huge hug and just held me for the longest time. I looked at him funny and asked what was wrong. Unbeknownst to me that he actually reads my blog, he whispered to me, “I wish I had known how badly you were hurting.” YOUR COMMENTS COUNT. They have gotten me through the bad times and good times too. My favorites are when I have engaged someone who has been so publicly vocal about not using social media, when they take the time to write a comment and let me know they cared enough to come online. But who cares if it matters to me, this time more than any time…

YOUR COMMENTS COUNT. And your donations, large and small, and the actions of the whole community, have helped inspire this amazing response. Combined with the $30,000 already committed to the Blogust: Blog Relay for Good, this equals $200,000 to reach 10,000 children. And yes, 10,000 comments! This is what it is all about people! Quoting my fabulous team at Trumpeting Media where we are inspired to use “Social Media for the Social Good!

What I love about blogging isn’t that it’s just cathartic, it’s so much more than that. It’s a community, it’s a voice calling into the night, it’s a force! It’s bigger than me and even you! I’m no more special than you. I’m just a mom. I put my name behind a lot of organizations, and some might say I’m all over the place, but if I can touch just one person through the work that I do, build awareness or make a person pause to consider, or in this case, simply by writing a comment, I’ll do it! This is something so simple and yet so powerful. You don’t need to be Bill & Melinda Gates, or even me, to make a difference. Just sit at your keyboard, type a comment to say you care and you’ve given another child a Shot@Life.

That is where I am today, incredibly passionate about helping others. Social Media is an incredible force which I know personally. Nothing is more dear to my heart than the most innocent of hearts, children. Vaccination here in the US is a big debate. I know some of my friends are on the fence about giving vaccines to their children. In a developing country, vaccines can mean the difference between life or death… and I choose life. So please leave a comment.

World-renowned photographer and Shot@Life Global Advocate Anne Geddes has been so inspired by the response from our communities that she has also kicked off a new fundraising initiative on Crowdrise.com to continue helping [quote]Shot@Life raise $20 per comment![/quote] Our part is to keep commenting — each new comment raises the target of the number of children we want to reach! You can learn more about it at Blogust.org. If you want to contribute $20 to help save a child’s life, join Anne Geddes’ Blogust matching Crowdrise for Shot@Life here.

Continue the conversation on Facebook (http://facebook.com/shotatlifecampaign) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/shotatlife)

If you have 2 minutes, watch this video. As a mother, one of the greatest joys in my life is watching my children grow. [quote]Every child deserves a Shot@Life.[/quote]

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Because this is a relay, please visit Shannon Carroll of Whiskey In My Sippy Cup starting tomorrow morning and make your comments count there. She’s got a snarky personality, which I just love. She’s way funnier than she gives herself credit for. I kinda wish we were best friends, she’s that cool.

But before you go… don’t forget to [highlight]LEAVE A COMMENT! SAVE A LIFE![/highlight] [/box]

About Suzanne Chan

Suzanne is student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) certified registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother… She shares her journey on this blog and The Disney Files. Read more about her here.

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