Monthly Archives: January 2013

Clean Water for your Valentine

As January draws to a close, I wanted to blog about one more social issue that you may consider in time for Valentine’s Day. I’ll be back in February with more regular blogging!

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My kitchen sink. The shower. The flushing of my toilet.

All of these places have one thing in common-the extraordinary ability to  easily provide safe water for drinking, cooking, cleansing my hands, bathing and  sanitation.  All of these things I use on a regular basis without a single thought as to how much we take clean water for granted.

But the sad reality is that so much of our world does not have easy access to clean water.

  • worldwide 800 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet.
  • As a result, 2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases with countless more unable to attend school.
  • Millions of women are unable to work because they spend so much time collecting water and caring for sick children.

That’s why I’m so happy to blog about WaterAid.

wateraidnp28_726-1“Founded in 1981, this charity transforms lives by helping the world’s poorest people gain access to safe water and sanitation. Together with local organizations, communities and individuals, WaterAid uses affordable and locally appropriate solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to people in developing countries.

WaterAid has programs in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Central America, and offices in the US, the UK, Australia and Sweden.”

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, you can spread some love by donating the gift of clean, life-saving water in honor of your Valentine. Go here to learn more!

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Human Trafficking: What You Might Not Know

Most of us have probably heard various facts and figures thrown out in the media about the large numbers of humans that are exploited, abused and sold as victims of human trafficking. In fact, you probably conjure up images of far away, developing nations where poverty is a way of life and trafficking is common.

So what if I told you that the U.S. is a major player in the human trafficking crisis? 

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There have been reports of human trafficking in all 50 U.S. states. In fact, The U.S. is considered one of the major destinations for trafficking victims.

Hits close to home, doesn’t it?

What’s even more disturbing are the statistics:

  • Around the world today, the estimated number of trafficking victims ranges from 20-30 million
  • roughly 26% of all trafficking victims are children

So how can we ignore nearly 5.5 million children, especially when some of them are here in the U.S.?  It seems like such a staggering statistic, but there are ways you can help.

UNICEF works to protect all children from violence, exploitation, and abuse—aiming to reduce factors that make children vulnerable to trafficking and creating protective environments that guard children against exploitation in the same way that good health and nutrition fortify them against disease.

The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to bring us all closer to a day when there are ZERO exploited children.

To learn more, please visit UNICEF’S End Trafficking website.  Ready to do more? Click here to view UNICEF’s ‘End Trafficking Toolkit‘ for real ways you can make a difference. The first step is educating yourself and then raising your voice.

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Two Years Ago…we became a family of four

Two years ago today we were flying home from Hong Kong, exhausted, overwhelmed, a bit scared but very excited.

That means Big Brother has been home for two entire years!  What a wild, crazy adventure it’s been.  Although Big Brother has come so far, he still has so much to overcome.  But we’ll get there.  We couldn’t be more proud of you, Big Brother!

momavi2Mommy and Big Brother, the first day we met (January 10, 2011)

hk15Big Brother and Little Man checking each other out at the orphanage in Hong Kong

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hkcity Beautiful Hong Kong

 

The Moments that Take Your Breath Away

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When I look back over the past 31 years of my life, the moments that stand out most sharply in my mind all tend to all have one thing in common-they all have that rare ability to make my stomach tumble and steal my very breath.

There are many moments I recall….like jumping into the ocean for my first dive at 12 years old or walking down the aisle to the handsome guy that would soon become my husband.  Spectacular sunsets, walks on the beach and misty, muddy hikes through the woods.  Also those moments when the early morning sun filters through the trees in such a majestic way that it nearly brings tears to your eyes.

Then there are those moments that not only take your breath away but usher in a new chapter of your life–like becoming a mom for the first time as I stood and held Little Man in an orphanage in Vietnam….

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And that moment in Hong Kong when Big Brother first looked at me–I mean really looked at me–and smiled….

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And then the surreal moment when I saw a little, tiny heartbeat appear on a monitor as I laid in the doctor’s office, wondering what I did to deserve so many blessings….

babybThese fleeting moments that are forever engraved in my mind seem so simple but yet so profound. I love awaking each day with anticipation that I’ll have a chance for just one more…