For the last two years, I’ve been honored to participate in Shot@Life’s Blogust program, where comments, shares and likes all translate to vaccines for children in developing countries. In 2014, this blog was responsible for over 3,000 vaccines, and last year over 10,000 (yes, TEN THOUSAND) vaccines came from just this blog. I am thrilled to be a part of the program again this year, and doubly honored because I am now part of the United Nations Shot@Life Advisory Panel. Can we top last year?!

When I was 18, I knew a guy who scoffed whenever someone congratulated him on graduating from high school. “Everyone graduates from high school,” he said, “it’s nothing special.” I was appalled, because even as a naive kid I knew that wasn’t true. We are so incredibly privileged.

An education is something we take for granted in this country. It’s inevitable that at age five, kids will start school. Annabel started Kindergarten at age five, just like I did, and my own mother before me.

All of us at age five.

Meanwhile, in developing countries the age of five is celebrated not because a child will begin school, but because they have survived that longOne child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could be prevented with a vaccine, many of them before the age of five. It breaks my heart to know that these parents and children are suffering and dying simply because they weren’t afforded the privilege of being born in a country like ours. They’ll never get the chance to experience the things that so many of us take for granted. 

Shot@Life and Blogust want to help kids around the world reach their fifth birthdays, thanks to the power of global vaccines. I don’t want any parent to lose a child to a preventable disease because they didn’t have access to the medications and advances we have. I want to help eliminate that heartbreak from a parent’s life.

Blogust is a month-long digital dialogue, bringing together many of the most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions to change the world through inspirational imagery and storytelling. This year marks the fifth year of Blogust helping kids around the world reach their fifth birthday thanks to the power of global vaccines.

 The Blogust 2016 digital relay participants will be sharing the story behind #TBT baby photos or videos of themselves, their kid(s) or a side-by-side comparison at important milestones – from first steps or first smile to fifth birthday. Every parent everywhere should be able to experience these milestones, which is why every like, comment and social media share their posts receive (up to 30,000 throughout the month of August 2016) will trigger a donation by MAM to help provide a vaccine for a child in need around the world.

So what does that mean for YOU, dear reader? You can comment as many times as you’d like – for the entire month of August – and every comment will help save a life. You can also like or share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and pinterest to add to the vaccine tally (use #Blogust). It’s a wonderfully easy way to ease heartbreak all over the world.

Let’s have another amazing year saving lives!!

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