***updated with new donation widget and hopefully, the video is working!***
Uh-oh, the dreaded V-word. Vaccines. I know enough about them to be afraid, but not enough to ditch them.
What I do know is that vaccines have eradicated many diseases in our world.
One such disease is tetanus.
Tetanus? Is that even a thing anymore? Who’s ever heard of someone who has tetanus? Not me.
Well, until I went to Cincinnati. Until I met (!) the President & CEO of US Fund for UNICEF, Caryl Stern. Until I saw the video diary of Bryan McCleary, Director of External Relations of P&G and his trip with UNICEF to Angola, Africa. Until I read that 140,000 newborns and 30,000 mothers die each year from this preventable disease; a disease that has been preventable for the last FIFTY years!
Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) is one of those diseases that’s just lurking everywhere. It’s transmitted through dirt and in the air and passed through open wounds. Open wounds like UMBILICAL CORDS. Many infants in third-world countries are delivered in mud huts with no clean water available. Umbilical cords are cut with whatever sharp instrument is around instead of a clean knife. Then packed with mud to stop the bleeding. And within 5-7 days, they die from tetanus.
It’s not a silent slow killer either. It’s marked with muscle rigidity, muscle spasms, inability to eat and seizures triggered by light and touch.
LIGHT and TOUCH.
Imagine your newborn baby, having muscle spasms and whenever you tried to comfort him he had a seizure. It’s horrifying.
Pampers has teamed up with UNICEF to end tetanus. Period. Since the year 2000 UNICEF has already eradicated it in 11 countries. It’s not out of the question because each vaccine only costs FIVE CENTS. One nickel. If you buy a pack of Pampers (with the below sticker on it), they’ll donate one vaccine.
You know, I don’t usually get involved with big charity organizations. My passion is not cancer or animals or storm victims. I’m glad someone is raising money and support for each one of these issues. But it’s not just me. I’m passionate about families and kids and Godly values. I’ve posted about Compassion because I want people to give their money to help raise kids to LIVE in this world but also to LOVE God.
But when I saw this video (I’m about to link to it…) of children dying when they are SIX days old, I was impelled to act. They just should not show a video of a newborn baby writhing in pain to a pregnant woman. It’s cruel and unusual.
Normally, big companies that give money makes me kind of irate. I mean, a movie star giving away 1 million dollars when they made 13 million on one of 3 movies they made last year, doesn’t impress me. (like uh…this.) It doesn’t motivate me to give when a company says they’ll give away one penny for every upc code I cut out, save and mail to them. It’s just false generosity. Why don’t they just donate the money and send out a press release?
Well, I wanted to ask the Global VP of Pampers Baby Care, Jane Wildman and Bryan McCleary this same question.
But before I could, they showed us the video (the link is coming…) of Mr. McCleary’s visit to Angola to see UNICEF’s progress with tetanus vaccines. They told us about the contest that P&G had so that 2 employees could travel with Mr. McCleary to Angola. They told us stories about their employees who were in “puddles” after watching this in-house video. We heard about these same employees who are saving their nickels so they can in turn save babies. And to top it off, they donated 1,000 vaccines in MY name. And 1,000 vaccines for each of the Mom bloggers that attended this event.
That’s only $50. But it’s 1,000 babies. 1,000 precious bundles of joy. 1,000 lives that God knit together.
I finally spoke up and said, “One of my biggest pet peeves is companies who have false generosity. But listening to what you guys are doing behind the scenes with UNICEF makes me motivated to give. I want to save babies with you.” (or something like that. I’m sure it wasn’t that expressive…)
So. Now, that you’ve heard my heart-gush. Here’s the video. Remember, this was an in-house video just for P&G employees. Not a marketing ploy. We had to beg them to give it to us. (Thank you, Amanda at PainePR!)
Did you watch it? If not, go back and at least watch the first 40 seconds. That’ll do it.
Now do you see why I’m writing this forever long post? Like I said, I had to act. So, here’s my idea.
In honor of the 1,000 vaccines that were donated in my name, I’m going to challenge you my dear readers and friends, to match that donation. I’d like us to collectively donate 1,000 vaccines to the Pampers/UNICEF tetanus fund. I’d like us to save 1,000 babies from tetanus. But to show you how serious I am (and to encourage you, too) I’m going to start it off by donating 1,000 vaccines personally. Will you partner with me?
If you’d like some more info, check out Pamper’s site and some of the other bloggers that were at the Pampers’ event. Kailiani tells a story about a mama in Mozambique and how her baby is alive thanks to these vaccines. Christine at Boston Mamas has an articulate (we haven’t seen that here in awhile…) retelling of our entire experience. And check out Stacy’s fantastic post, too.
By the way, if you’re here because of the word “vaccines” and want to argue their safety—please don’t. I am not an expert on Pampers, UNICEF or tetanus. Nor am I an employee of either organization. I’m just a mom who wants to help babies.