Imagine it’s down to the last few days before your wedding. The stress levels and emotions are heightened. You and your family are working hard to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch. Meanwhile, life outside this anticipated occasion, is pressing. You may have taken vacation time but work-related emails, text messages, and phone calls still come in anxiously awaiting your return. Some would choose to let those messages remain in the back of their mind for the moment. My sister-in-law; however, was in her multi-tasking glory and able to effectively manage it all.
With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, and Cyber Monday today, I must ask if you are all aware of a new day created about 4 years ago called, Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. Its whole purpose is to celebrate generosity and to kick off the giving season. It is observed all over the country by charities, businesses, and families on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. For those of you who use Twitter and Facebook, the hashtag #givingtuesday is likely to come across your newsfeed at some point soon as there will be billions of mentions and impressions in print and social media. Today, on the eve of Giving Tuesday, I’d like to highlight the nonprofit organization, Save the Children, where my sister-in-law Jenna works. Jenna says she chose to work for this organization because she is most hopeful about what they are doing and will continue to do to for kids in need. Funds raised by Save the Children support programs that give to children in the United States and around the world. Let me tell you a little more about what that means.
Little girls and boys across the U.S. and all over the world dream of a future free from poverty where they can receive the care and education they need to grow, thrive, and have the best chance for bright, successful futures. Because of the generosity of others, Save the Children has been able to save millions of newborn lives, help millions of children get an education, and protect millions of children from harm. But there is still work to be done.
Every year, infection claims the lives of more than 1 million newborns. Inexpensive antibiotics and vaccines can provide children a lifesaving defense against deadly conditions like pneumonia and diarrhea. Nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to under-nutrition. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year. Save the Children works to ensure that all children receive these life-saving health treatments.
We all know that learning allows children to thrive and builds foundations for them to be self-sufficient. Around the world millions of children miss out on going to school because of overcrowded classrooms and financial barriers. Many students are forced to drop out at a very young age to work and provide for their families. In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 American children lives in poverty — that’s 15 million kids who understand all too well what it means to go without – without books in their homes, healthy foods, and places to play and exercise. Save the Children works to provide better access to learning, supplies, and training of teachers and caregivers.
And finally, when children face an uncertain future during and after natural disasters, conflicts, and disease outbreaks, Save the Children helps protect them, providing medical treatment and nourishment, and restoring hope.
Jenna is a corporate fundraiser for Save the Children and has the privilege of working with generous companies on their giving programs. She says, “As a fundraiser I try to keep in mind that I’m not asking anyone to give up something. Most people agree that every child born into the world, regardless of where, deserves the chance to achieve their full potential. My job is to focus on what philanthropy helps us all gain – a chance at being part of making that happen. I feel privileged to work for such a well-respected organization with support from amazing companies like TOMS and T.J. Maxx, and also people like Jennifer Garner who volunteered her time and talent to host our recent gala fundraiser event, highlighted by People magazine here.”
If you’ve been thinking about how you can make a difference this holiday season, check out Save the Children’s Holiday Gifts of Joy catalog at www.savethechildren.org/giftcatalog. Whether you choose to give to Save the Children or another one of your favorite charities, I hope today’s blog provided you with a new kind of inspiration – inspiration to help make the holidays a little brighter for children and families who are less fortunate than ourselves.
All Photos – Save the Children
Author – Martha Knake
Guest Author – Jenna Baker
Chief Editor – Emily Schunke