Monday, October 21, 2013

Walgreens event donates vaccines for developing countries

 Walgreens event  donates vaccines for developing countries

On Sept. 4, 2013 Walgreens announced their partnering with the United Nations Foundation this flu season to help provide life-saving vaccines for children in developing countries through a donation to the Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.  I was super excited and jumping with joy for what this will mean too for many mothers around the world.
 As many of you know I am a passionate advocate and Champion for Shot@life, a campaign to protect children worldwide by providing live-saving vaccines to children in developing countries.  Also I am an educator and a former nurse who worked in a developing country.  There I saw the needs and illnesses, with pain, agony and sadness in the eyes of many mothers.  There was nothing the doctors could do to save their children patients from simple diseases that could have been easily prevented.  Statistics show that 1 in 5 children worldwide lack access to basic immunizations, and a child dies every 20 seconds from a disease -preventable vaccines.
So, it was great news of Walgreens helping to provide up to 3 million live-saving vaccines to children in need!  How amazing is that? … Very amazing!!  Because of this campaign 3 million children will get vaccinated and can live free of childhood diseases.  I am even more pleased to know that over the last 2 years Walgreens has worked with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to donate more than 400,000 doses of flu vaccines for at risk populations.  This has helped save children’s lives from Laos to Nicaragua.  Here in the United States, together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they developed a flu shot voucher program 4 years ago.  Since then Walgreens has distributed approximately I million flu vouchers to uninsured and underinsured individuals nationwide.  How cool is that?
For that reason I decided to take any opportunity to share that information and put in my teachers page wall, my church wall, my facebook page and on twitter.  I also told everyone I knew in Broken Arrow about how they can help with this effort.  I went to my neighborhood Walgreens and shared the good news and had a meeting with the store manager about promoting the campaign with an event and making some posters for the store. 
Cheryle Neil my Walgreen manager and I
Later we had our flu shots together and took a picture.  A week later I told all my friends that until October 14, 2013, for every flu shot administered at any Walgreens pharmacy around the country, Walgreens will donate the value of a live-saving vaccine like polio or measles through Shot@Life... Up to 3 million vaccines! So, I challenged all my friends in Broken Arrow to get their vaccines at my neighborhood Walgreens!

Great posters made for this event
 Still more amazing was that I received an e-mail at the end of September while in New York from my neighborhood Walgreens Manager, wherein they t told me that they  agreed to do an event to let people know about “Get a Shot, Give a Shot” before October 14, 2013.  We did it! We passed out advocacy cards, shared the message with customers, and had a lot of fun!  You can see for yourself in the pictures that we had people lined up for their flu shots.

waiting for their flu shots! 

More shots
our girl Xochitl and husband Dan are big supporters

I want to give a big shout-out to our Broken Arrow Walgreens at the corner of 91st and Olive!  Their support was incredible! The pharmacy staff, the nurse, the sales associates and their wonderful manager Cheryle did a great job preparing for and carrying out the event.
I sincerely hope Walgreens did very well around the country.  To be honest, I am curious to know how many vaccines they we were able to provide in the overall campaign.  I would just love it if our grand total was 3 million vaccines!  Can you imagine 3 million children having the opportunity to grow older and free of childhood diseases?  I can!  I have seen the wonderful work that Shot@Life and UNICEF are doing many countries.  Last fall I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda with the UNF Shot@Life team and saw many lines of mothers and families participating in UNICEF Free Family Health Days in communities like Mumbende and Fort Portal.  This program offered vaccines; HIV, blood sugar and blood pressure testing; vitamin A monitoring, de-worming, and prenatal care 4 times a year – free of charge to the public. 
I was awed and joyful to see that all of our advocate calls, e-mails, meetings and fundraising efforts are really making a difference in children’s lives.  Just think – and it was all because of you and your contributions of time, talent and financial donations.  THANK-YOU!