Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What I want for Mother's Day.

I woke up this morning at 4am feeling rested enough to face the day. Seeing an opportunity to steal an hour or two for myself, I decided to get out of bed and get online. I thought I'd post photos of our recent trip to Yosemite or read up on the latest election news.

Instead, another link caught my eye. It said, 10 million children worldwide die from lack of health care. I read the article and learned:

Use of existing, low-cost tools and knowledge could save more than 6 million of the 9.7 million children who die yearly from easily preventable or curable causes, the report said.

They include antibiotics that cost less than $0.30 to treat pneumonia, the top killer of children under 5, and oral rehydration therapy — a simple solution of salt, sugar and potassium — for diarrhea, the second top killer.

I was compelled to visit the website for Save the Children, the organization that was the source of this news and information, to learn more.

There, I learned about their response to the deadly cyclone in Myanmar.

Their article said the death toll could reach 10,000.

This morning, I read other reports that say the death toll soars above 22,000.

(photo credit)

This news and information is truly mind-blowing.

I felt powerless and ignorant at the thought that I couldn't even find Myanmar on a map.

I now know it is near Bangladesh, where in mid-November 3,000 people died from what was called the worst cyclone in a decade.

Save the Children is helping there too. (photo credit)

I read about five of their other current emergency responses and started to feel discouraged.

I wanted to go back to bed or just turn off the computer. I can maybe give a little but lately, I've been giving to Barack Obama's campaign with the hope of getting a president who seems genuinely committed to facing real atrocities. (photo credit)

When I explained to someone recently that the shirt I was wearing was part of the Product (Red) Campaign, they responded that they prefer for their money to stay in the United States.

This mindset is difficult for me when I know children are dying elsewhere but we have plenty of need here too. (photo credit)

Just yesterday, I read that kids who are dependent's of the city of San Francisco, may have to leave Edgewood, one of the best (and only) treatment facilities we have for troubled youth in our city, by June 30th, if funds aren't found. One of the kids on my caseload was moved there just after the first of the year, just before his 13th birthday. He's doing well now. Thriving. What will happen to him?

I don't pretend to have the answers but do want to keep bringing the issues to light in conversation. Thinking about these things reminds me of a quote I read on my cousin Ariel's boyfriend's MySpace page last night. (photo credit)

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems. - Gandhi (I just asked Jac to be my friend.)

So what are we capable of doing?

Most of us are capable of buying a present for our mom.

This Mother's Day, give a gift that inspires hope.

Honor your mom by sending her a beautiful rose plant or a bracelet that was handmade by Navajo Native Americans
and support Save the Children's mission to help children in need in the United States and around the world. Or forget the stuff and make a gift donation.

If you really can't afford to donate any money (I've been in that boat too.), find a way to volunteer. Save the Children. Edgewood. United Way. American Red Cross. Peace Corps. CASA.

Thanks for thinking about your ability to create change. Yes we can.

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