Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How the power of giving transformed the lives of those I loved

The cause I fight for is for a better healthy world for children, and, this journey of activism started a long time ago in my native country, Mexico.   At a very young age I started to see the suffering of children and parents from illnesses that could have been easily prevented if they only had either the economic resources to pay for medical care, or living proximity to a medical clinic. Later as a missionary, I served for 20 months in communities were some families lived in one room carton houses with dirty floors, which, unfortunately, is the perfect condition for diseases to thrive and spread.  As a nurse in my adult years, I volunteered many times to practice preventive medicine in rural areas, administrating basic healthcare and immunizations.  My work was fulfilling and I could see how helpful it was to the community as whole to bring this care to them; however, I am still saddened by the reality that there are still very many children who I was not able to reach in time, and still today the same.  I’ve decided though that instead of succumbing into feelings of powerlessness or ambivalence from witnessing the poor quality of life these, and many, innocent, sick children endure, I will do everything I can to make a difference to make sure our youth and future generations to come will have access to what they need for a happy, healthy life!  The pain of this matter is serious, but the help you and I can administer is worth investing in that heart ache because I know that this not a lost cause, just one that needs more people with hope and fight in their hearts.

Three years ago, on one of my humanitarian trips, with World Vision Mexico, I was introduced to the community of Tetzilquila, an impoverish but charming place located at the top of the mountains of the Sierra of Zongolica in Veracruz.  No roads, no thriving markets, or nearby clinic facilities existed here. Living in extreme poverty though, there were 40 families who called Tetzilquila home; the majority of whom didn’t even speak Spanish, but their native tongue, Nahuatl (Aztec language).
With the help of an interpreter I spoke with the children of this community who confided in me their aspirations to one day attend college and become teachers, nurses, doctors, and a plethora of other admirable professions, which they believed would also help their families.  These intelligent kids with their big dreams and humble homes inspired me.  Their community’s school was only one room, staffed with one bilingual teacher whom taught them from 1st to 6th grade. While the picture I paint for you may appear dismal when compared to American upbringings, this arrangement didn’t discourage these kids one bit.  Many children gladly walked from their homes and around the mountains to attend school. It is amazing to me how powerful and resilient these children are, and, how necessary it is for us to believe in them.
So with that in mind, I pledged to those children to help them become the students they wished to be, and return with the school supplies and teaching materials they needed for their minds to truly.
Later during my trip, I was informed of how in dire need the community was of better medical care. As far as I had known there was no nearby clinic, but what I learned was that as resilient and brave as these people were with their educational goals, they also feared not in endangering themselves in their journeys to receive medical care; they would climb and hike alongside the mountains, walking such long distances that lasted hours.  All these obstacles stood in the way of them, which would be difficult for those even in good health, but this journey is one only undergone if those endeavoring are in a weakened sickly condition, or bearing child, and feel they really must trudge on towards help. Truly, these were a strong people to live in such a demanding environment.
So then another dream was born! I collected and fundraised for three years until I was finally able to build the clinic in their town they so desperately needed.  September of this year, 2016, my dream was completed and the clinic was open!!
I give because I am passionate about saving children’s lives! I want children like those featured in this picture, and many others in developing countries, to receive the medical care they need and the preventative care vaccines provide, that truly will give them, a “ Shot at Life”. 
This #GivingTuesday, Shot@Life is taking on measles – one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.  Between 2000 and 2015, the measles vaccination resulted in a 79% drop in measles deaths.  Let’s continue the progress this #GivingTuesday, as we aim to get more vaccines to children around the world. Here are a few ways to get involved on November 29:

 - Get A Shot. Give 2 Shots. – Get your flu shot, or any immunization, at a Walgreens between Black Friday and #GivingTuesday and Walgreens will donate TWO life-saving vaccines. 

- Shop Ethically – Shot@Life partner, and ethical sourced jewelry company, Bloom + Grace will donate triple the vaccines for every purchase made between Black Friday and #GivingTuesday at bloomandgrace.com.

- Double Your Impact – Grandeur Peak Funds is matching all donations made to Shot@Life on #GivingTuesday up to $20,000. Help us provide 2x the measles vaccines to children around the world.

- Also you can buy my homemade Jewelry https://www.facebook.com/Jewelrythatsaves/?ref=page_internal at where and all the profits from the sales today will be donate for measles vaccines.