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AdvocacyNovember 14, 2013

My First Experience with Advocacy

By, Desiree Gaines

Desiree is the president of the Wingate chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association(SNPhA), a Shot@Life partner.

On October 31, staff from the Shot@Life campaign trekked from Washington, DC to Wingate, NC to teach us about advocacy and using our voices to stand up for childhood.

Wingate’s SNPhA chapter was already involved with Shot@Life before this day. On World Polio Day (October 24), we brought awareness to ending polio for good through “Polos for World Polio Day.” Yet, many of us had never advocated our government for a cause near and dear to our hearts.

On November 1, a group of pharmacy students braved the cold, dreary weather for a unique opportunity – a meeting with a staffer from Senator Kay Hagan’s office in Uptown Charlotte!

We met with the Shot@Life team early that morning. They provided background information about World Polio Day and facts and statistics about the crippling disease. They also encouraged us to share our stories or personal reasons for supporting efforts to eradicate polio.

One student told their personal story of a relative who contracted polio overseas. Another student shared her concerns as a mother of a 4-month-old who just received vaccinations. Our goal was to get Senator Hagen to co-sponsor Resolution 270, which supports the goals and ideals of World Polio Day.

Once we arrived at the office and signed in, we were promptly introduced to the staffer and began our meeting. Each student brought forth background information, personal stories and concerns about polio. Shot@Life shared the important data and statistics they talked to us about earlier. We also asked our Senator to help get Resolution 270 passed.

We left Senator Hagen’s office inspired and ready to continue our efforts in making a positive difference not only in our community, but in the lives of children worldwide! Advocating is easy. Join Shot@Life and voice your support for global vaccines. Together, we can be a shot at life for millions of children around the world.