- riding a bike without training wheels;
- going hang-gliding down sand dunes; and
- attending sleep away camp at college
And while some of these milestones are perhaps typical of milestones you've experienced (as there is certainly nothing quite like that first moment when your child peddles off down the street or sidewalk on their bike without those very safe training wheels, that moment when you hold your breath as they wibble and wobble but yet manage to keep their balance). You watch and know that this milestone means more independence from you for themselves. These milestones mean they are growing up.
And this makes you celebrate while making you reflect on all those other first milestones:
- rolling over from back to belly;
- crawling, walking, running, leaping, dancing;
- laughing (and you know it wasn't just gas);
- talking; and
- going to school
And each of those moments leads to another and another as we journey together. As Lao-tzu said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." But some children don't get a chance to experience those milestones, to take those single steps. And sadly, that means that there aren't any milestone memories for their parents to reflect on. But we can change that and Shot@Life can help.
Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for a global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines. By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate to vaccines, Shot@Life aims to decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give every child a shot at a healthy life.
|Turn dreams into future realities by supporting Shot@Life today!|
And it's not just about the milestones. It's really, honestly, about what they represent:
And our journey to help others have these milestones, to dream of the future, can be done by reading a blog and posting a comment. During the month of August, 31 bloggers will be sharing their stories about why they believe that every child deserves a Shot@Life. Just by leaving a comment on one of their posts a $20 donation will be made. My friend Chrysula Winegar said it best: "A comment can lift us, inspire us and motive us." And now, a comment can give a child an opportunity to dream of the future.
And while I'm long past taking off the training wheels, I am excited about my next milestone: my 43 birthday. Just think, if 43 of my friends just write one comment on one of the blog, that would raise $860 and help turn dreams into realities. I certainly don't need another book or box of stationary. And as much as I love coffee, I can do without a gift card to get my favorite summer drinks. And if we have time to tweet about what we've done to beat the heat, we can post a comment on a blog, then share that blog post so others can do the same. That's actually armchair advocacy in action.
So, why not add "August 2012, I gave a child a shot@life" to your list of milestones? Let their journey begin with your first step so they can go forward and blaze their own trail.
This post is part of the Shot@Life Summer Blog Carnival. Shot@Life is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. I wholeheartedly support this campaign and am honored to be considered a Shot@Life Champion.