Our pediatrician explained that the reason the Whooping cough outbreak was happening with the 10, 11 & 12 year olds in our town was because it was right around the time those kids were due for their booster shots. Pertussis, known as the Whooping cough for how it sounds, is highly contagious, and presents as a persisting cough in older children and adults, but it can be deadly to babies. Pregnant women at risk of exposure are advised to be vaccinated against it. The outbreak in the schools in my town were just another reminder to me this year of how fortunate we are to have access to vaccines that protect our children from such harmful viruses.
The author advocating on capitol hill in 2013
As a United Nations Foundation Shot@Life Champion I advocate for global vaccines year round, but seeing vaccine preventable diseases popping up so close to home this year reinforces my mission to spread awareness to other moms here and abroad. Less than an hour from where we live there was also recently a measles outbreak. In the year 2,000 measles had been declared eliminated from the US, but it’s back, and that is a scary thing for a parent. Measles is a highly contagious disease, and in other areas of the world it is still one of the leading causes of death in young children. According to the CDC the past two years have seen the largest measles outbreaks in the US since the year 2,000. Communities choosing not to vaccinate are opening this country up to a resurgence of diseases that we have previously worked very hard to eliminate as risks for our children.
There are countries where vaccines are not widely available, as they are here, and mothers will walk for days with their children, and wait in long lines to get their kids vaccinated. Those mothers know first hand the deadly risk of not vaccinating their children, they see it every day. In fact every 20 seconds a child dies in this world unnecessarily from a vaccine preventable disease. We are fortunate enough to have access to vaccines in this country to protect our children from most of these diseases, yet with that security comes complacency and the urgency to vaccinate gets lost on some. What those parents need to realize is that their choice not to vaccinate their own child, unwittingly puts all other children at risk. One case of measles can quickly spread to 20 to 40 more cases, and can be deadly to some.
It is not just about keeping our own children healthy; vaccines have proven to be the best investment in global health out there. By preventing disease through vaccinations governments can save billions of dollars on the otherwise repercussions of health care costs. Healthy communities are more productive, which is good for the economy. A good economy prevents social unrest, which prevents global unrest. In other words, investing in vaccines and global health is in the best interest of us all, no matter where we live. Remember in this ever shrinking world every deadly virus is just one plane ride away. That is why World Immunization Week matters to us all. My fellow Rhode Island Shot@Life Champion Lisa Davis and I visited Congressman Langevin’s office during #WorldImmunizationWeek to ask him to support global immunization programs. You can let congress know how important funding global vaccines is to you and your family by contacting them here.
Advocating at our congressional office in Rhode Island (Polio & measles are in our Congressman’s representative’s hands)
Today,December 3 is #GivingTuesday, a movement inspired by The United Nations Foundation & 92Y to create a national day of giving that kicks off the giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are just a few of the ways you can give back this year:
1. ONE thinks the perfect #GivingTuesday gift is Heifer and ONE’s Limited Edition Goat. Giving just one goat to a family in need can be enough to change their entire lives. One goat can provide up to one ton of milk a year – and that translates to milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products a family can sell on the market for income. And not just temporarily – the benefits of livestock are long-term and only grow over time. Just take a look at this infographic .
2. Shop on #GivingTuesday at Diapers.com or any of these sites and they will be donating one life-saving vaccine through the Shot@Life campaign with every $50 purchase when you use code SHOTATLIFE50.
3. For #Giving Tuesday every dollar donated to WaterAid for safe water and toilets will be matched. If Water Aid can raise $50,000 by midnight, that amount will be doubled! Sip it, quench it, save it, give it, #doubleit with WaterAid for #GivingTuesday.
4. Support Every Mother Counts For as little as $5, you can help provide transportation for a pregnant woman in Uganda, so that she has access to life saving care when she may need it most. 100% of every dollar that is contributed will be directed to programs on the ground.
Or order your custom holiday cards with Minted, where 10% of every purchase made here will go directly to Every Mother Counts.
Or Purchase some Oiselle EMC running gear here, where 40% of the proceeds go to support Every Mother Counts.
5. Give while you shop by purchasing from companies that give back.
The Author with the co-owner of Dolci Gelati Cafe, Anastasia Dellaccio
When visiting Washington, DC with my family last week, we visited the monuments, the Smithsonian, and the Zoo, but there was one place on our travel agenda that I was most looking forward to. My friend Anastasia had recently opened an artisan Gelato shop in Takoma Park, MD with her husband, Chef Gianluigi Dellaccio (a former Italian champion water polo player!!), and business partner Marcello Minna. I knew that my gelato loving family would be as enthusiastic as I was to celebrate our Dolce Vita with some Gelato at Dolci Gelati. It also happened to be the start of World Immunization Week, and the week of the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign’s digital #BirthdayBash in honor of its first birthday. It seemed the perfect way to kick off the Shot@Life #BirthdayBash week since I had met Anastasia through The United Nations Foundation where she works. When Dolci Gelati decided to add a flavor called “Shot@Life”, where 50 cents per serving will be donated to the Shot@Life Campaign , she had asked us Shot@Life Champions for flavor ideas. Vanilla/Pistachio Swirl had won out, and I was eager for a taste.
Photo Courtesy of Dolci Gelati
It is times like this that I am grateful to have a big family, in that way I was able try each of their Gelato flavors along with my own! Don’t worry, although Gelato tastes as rich as ice cream, it only has 1/3 the fat and none of the artificial ingredients, so gelato is a guilt free indulgence. Dolci Galati was founded in 2006 and is sold at Nationals’ Stadium, restaurants and markets throughout the Washington Metro area such as Whole Foods, Dean & Delluca, and Taylor Gourmet, but the couple was thrilled to open their first storefront this spring.
“Gianluigi uses an authentic Italian recipe that has been in his family for generations but mixes in local ingredients and exotic flavors to create a modern twist to a traditional Italian favorite.”- Dolci Gelati
Eating my “Shot@Life” flavor Gelato to kick of the #BirthdayBash
It was so much fun to see Anastasia, get to meet her family, and to hear her husband’s ideas for combining his skill as a trained Pastry Chef to come up with creative flavors and treats to offer customers. With Anastasia’s background working for humanitarian causes at the United Nations Foundation it is no surprise that the couple will offer a Social Good flavor each month as a way to support the causes they care about. Our stop at Dolci Gelati was the perfect sweet way to top off a fun visit with family in DC, and to launch into celebrating the first birthday of Shot@Life.
For more information about Dolci Gelati you can visit their website
, follow Dolci Gelati on twitter
and like them on facebook
Better yet, go visit them in person!
Dolci Gelati is located at 7000 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD
Click on the photo to see Lisa Rinna dance down the runway and the end of the show.
Last night I got to live out my fantasy of attending a New York Fashion Week show that combined fashion with my passion for causes that benefit mothers and children. The Strut, Moms with a Mission fashion show showcased supermoms instead of supermodels. Women like Devi Thomas, the director of the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign, Chrysula Winegar of “When You Wake Up A Mother, You Wake Up The World”, Holly Pavlika of Momentum.bigfuel.com, and the founders of Strut Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein all walked the runway with celebrity mom Lisa Rinna. I joined World Moms Blog founder Jennifer Burden and fellow World Moms Blog Contributer Maman Aya to watch the show, and enjoy the electric atmosphere. We loved the fantastic people watching inside the tents at Lincoln Center, and a fabulous after party at the swanky Empire hotel.
I may not be walking down the catwalk this week but I am a Mom on a Mission myself, working with The Mission List on our 10 Days 10 Lives campaign for Water.org. We are working to raise awareness and bring clean drinking water and the dignity of sanitation to women and children around the world.
You can help by spreading the word , donating to our fundraiser , start your own fundraiser, or just learning more about the water crisis. Together we can make a difference.
Just $25 brings clean water for life to one person, and our goal by the end of our ten days is to provide clean water to at least ten people. I’d love for you to join me.
Now I need to track down the leather leggings one of the models walked down the runway in! I am obsessed!