By, Maggie Carter
Three weeks ago, as hurricane Sandy was hitting the east coast, I was on my way back from Uganda after what was an incredible journey with nine Shot@Life delegates to see the impact of life-saving vaccines around the world. But after over a week away from home, all I could think about was getting back in time to see my kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes and experience one of my favorite childhood milestones with them.
Three weeks later, the jet lag has faded, but I have not been able to get this trip and the lessons that I learned out of my mind. As we head into the holiday season, I am reminded of all the things we consider guarantees, while many people in developing countries consider them privileges. In Uganda, during our visits to the cities of Kampala, Kabarole and Mubende, we had the honor of speaking with so many wonderful people who are so much like us, living life every day striving for better education, health and safety for their children and grandchildren. But for many of them, access to these resources isn’t so easy. While I sit around the table with family and friends tomorrow for Thanksgiving, I will be thinking of the wonderful families we visited and the people who touched our lives in Uganda.
This Thanksgiving, I give thanks for:
- My two healthy and happy children and a pretty amazing husband
- A great job with an organization that positively impacts the lives of others
- Access to health care systems and vaccines that protect my family (especially my children) from diseases and treat them when they are ill
- Clean, safe drinking water that comes from my tap. I don’t have to walk or send my children on foot to walk miles to get 5-10 gallons of clean water from the nearest well or source.
On top of all the reasons that I am so thankful, this Thanksgiving I am especially grateful for and inspired by the incredible work of Shot@Life’s partners on the ground, like UNICEF, who are committed to providing access to these same resources, like vaccines and safe drinking water, to people in developing countries. Some of the little things that we sometimes take for granted, they are so incredibly grateful for.
What are you thankful for this year?
I’d like to challenge you to spend this Thanksgiving thinking about one or two of the little things in life that you may take for granted. Get your family involved, too! Then, next Tuesday, November 27, join us for the first-ever #GivingTuesday. Kick off the giving season by making a donation to the cause of your choice.
P.S. If Shot@Life is your cause of choice, we’ll be launching a new online store to purchase gifts that give back like Shot@Life inspired cell phone cases, water bottles, tshirts and more! Proceeds from these gifts will go to help vaccinate children around the world from four of the most deadly childhood diseases. Anyone who donates to Shot@Life will receive a 25% off coupon to purchase gifts from the online store! Check www.shotatlife.org/shop on Tuesday, November 27 to start shopping!