Tag Archives: health



Today’s post is about an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that is working to spread life-saving vaccines to kids around the world.  I encourage you to watch this short video from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to learn more about vaccines.

According to the United Nations Foundation, around the world, one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that can be prevented by a vaccine.  The number of children dying each year from preventable diseases in developing countries is nearly equivalent to half the children entering kindergarten in the United States.

In September 2011, the United Nations Foundation unveiled their Shot@Life campaign to expand access to lifesaving vaccines for children in developing countries.  The campaign also serves to educate Americans about vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children’s lives around the world.

Over the past 20 years, new cases of polio have dropped 99 percent making the world is nearly polio-free. The Measles Initiative has vaccinated one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001, decreasing world measles deaths by 78 percent.  Additional vaccines for pneumococcal disease and rotavirus are currently being introduced globally and, if distributed widely, have the potential to save millions more children.  Vaccines provide a lifetime of protection for children and at just $20 per child anyone can help make a difference.

Shot@Life builds on the United Nations Foundation’s 13-year commitment as a partner in the Measles Initiative and Global Polio Eradication Initiative and spreads newer vaccines developed to prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, the leading killers of children.  Shot@Life is supporting the work of its partners to expand access to existing vaccines for children in developing countries to protect them against four vaccine-preventable diseases, measles, polio, pneumonia, and diarrhea.

Shot at Life

How can you help?

  • You can start by visiting to learn more about the initiative.  Their website offers several ways to advocate for childhood vaccines including writing a letter to your representatives in Congress and spreading the word about global vaccines.
  • You can also make a donation to help children around the world receive lifesaving vaccines.  Just $20 will vaccinate one child.
  • You can also help by spreading the word about Shot@Life by sharing this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media using the share options below.

You can learn more on the Shot@Life website,  You can also connect with them on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Pinterest.

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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Nonprofit Organization


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There is a saying the 50 is the new 40.  Advances in health care, nutrition, and lifestyle allows us to live longer.  Today’s organization is promoting successful aging for those over the age of 50.

In 1982, Marylen Mann took a tour of St Louis senior centers with Father Lucious Cervantes, the St Louis Commissioner of Aging at the time.  The centers were meeting the important basic needs but Mann saw a world of potential.  She mentioned to Father Cervantes, “we can do better for older adults” and with that OASIS (Older Adult Service and Information System) was born.  The first OASIS centers were opened in 1982 with a two year grant from the US Administration on Aging.  Over 300 people attended the launch and to register for their first programs.  In the beginning, there was misunderstanding of what the older people could do.  Today there is a great respect for what 50+ adults can offer and more ways for them to get involved in their communities.

OASIS is headquartered in St Louis, Missouri, but provides programs across the Unites States.  They promote successful aging through a three-fold approach: lifelong learning, healthy living, and social engagement.  OASIS is currently active in 40 cities in 24 states and serves more than 56,000 individuals each year.

Karen Larkin has taken the mission of OASIS to heart.  After retiring from her job as superintendent with the Tucson Parks & Recreation Department, Karen took advantage of the courses that OASIS offered on history, beading, and exercise.  She has met new people and learned things in the process.

OASIS is not just about classes for retired adults.  They connect generations through intergenerational tutoring and their CATCH Healthy Habits program.  The tutoring program connects 50+ adults who have time during the day with children in kindergarten through fourth grade to work one-on-one each week as their tutors, mentors, and friends.  The tutoring program is currently in 105 school districts.  The CATCH Healthy Habits program brings children and adults age 50+ together to learn good eating and physical activity habits for a lifetime.  Over 1,000 children and 200 adults have participated in the CATCH program to combat obesity.  The program has helped children participants eat more fruits and vegetables, increase their knowledge of nutrition, increase their physical activity, and decrease their screen time.  At the same time, the adults in the program reported a 71% increase in their physical activity.

How can you become involved?

  • If you are over 50, you can find a class near you on their website and sign up.  You could also sign up for the tutoring or healthy habits program.
  • Volunteers are also needed to teach classes since 49% of their classes are taught by volunteer instructors.  You can learn more on their website.
  • You can also make a donation to the OASIS organization on their website.

To learn more about OASIS, visit their website at  You can also connect with them on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Nonprofit Organization


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White Ribbon Alliance

During both of my pregnancies I had frequent doctor visits and phone calls to the nurse line, but I never had a fear that my own life was in danger.  However, every day 1,000 women and girls die in pregnancy or childbirth around the world.  In honor of the 100th International Women’s Day, we profile an organization on a mission to lower that number.

The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood is a grassroots movement that builds alliances, strengthens capacity, influences policies, harnesses resources and inspires action to save the lives of women and newborns around the world.

The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) was created in 1999 by a dedicated group of international professionals.  The founders of WRA recognized the need to inspire and ignite individuals, governments, and civil society around the world in order to effectively establish and implement international agreements and national policies.  In its first year, the informal coalition of non-governmental organizations and donors agreed to use the white ribbon as a symbol to raise awareness, build alliances and act as a catalyst for action to save the lives of women and newborns.  At the beginning, the founders agreed that there was a pressing need for a powerful and unifying symbol to focus the world’s attention on reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. A white ribbon was selected to represent and memorialize all of the women who die unnecessarily during pregnancy or childbirth.  In some cultures, white symbolizes mourning and in others it symbolizes purity and life.  WRA not only works to create and sustain life and hope for all women, but also mourns and honors those women who did not survive pregnancy or childbirth.

The White Ribbon Alliance was launched in August 1999 with an initial 35 participants and in 2011 has grown to include thousands of individual and organizational members in 152 countries. 

Pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death and disability for girls and women in developing countries.  Low-cost, low-tech interventions provided by skilled birth attendants, combined with family planning and general health system strengthening, can save most women and newborns. Eighty percent of maternal deaths could be prevented by cost-effective, timely health care before, during and after childbirth.  You can read stories and watch videos about women who have been saved by WRA initiatives here.

Recently, the United Nations Secretary-General launched the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health with US $40 billion in commitments to maternal, newborn and child health called Every Woman Every Child

You can help too! 

  • Join the global movement by becoming an individual or organizational member of WRA.  Membership is free!
  • Wear a white ribbon!  You can be a daily advocate for safe motherhood and maternal health by simply wearing the white ribbon.  You can purchase 50 white ribbon pins on WRA’s website and use them to raise awareness and funds.
  • Spread the word about the WRA and the need to make pregnancy and childbirth safe and healthy for all women around the world.  Share this post to help spread the word!
  • Participate in WRA’s Action of the Month…learn more here.
  • Donate to WRA on their website.
  • Find more ideas of how to help on WRA’s Take Action page for ideas on spreading the word, hosting events, honoring health workers, reaching out the media, connecting with other WRA members and organizations, organizing activities, involving the arts and sharing your stories.

Learn more at the WRA website,  You  can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or YouTube.

In addition, you can learn about the White Ribbon Alliance’s International Women’s Day Activities here.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization


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