Category Archives: Global Team of 200

WaterAid: Transforming Lives In Madagascar

This summer while children in the United States swim in pools, play in fire hydrants and splash parks and argue with their parents about drinking more water, the children in Madagascar deal with life without taps or toilets. WaterAid is on a mission to change that.

Every year in Madagascar, 13,000 children under five die simply because they don’t have access to clean drinking water and sanitary waste removal.

This amazing project by WaterAid will reach 12,000 children in Madagascar, or 31 schools and over 100 toilets and 150 taps. Think about that while your children swim in water cleaner than most children in Madagascar will ever drink from.

The best part? Even if you aren’t able to donate to help today, you can follow the story and see the amazing work in action.

I hope these children’s dreams come through, and thank WaterAid for giving them the resources to make that happen.

I wrote this post as part of my work for the Global Team of 200. 

Global Newborn Health Conference: Day 1

I considered not writing this, in light of the horrible tragedy in Boston. But I am writing it for the 8000+ newborns that will die globally today, most of them of something we have the capabilities to prevent.

Today was day one of the Global Newborn Health Conference I wrote about earlier this month. 

I’m not an expert, obviously, and was in awe listening live to the stream of the conference at the brilliant minds that have come together to put newborn health on the global public health agenda. Rather than try my novice hand at interpretating everything I’ve heard, I’ve created some images to share what I found most striking from today’s conference.

For more details, follow #Newborn2013 on Twitter. Check out Mom Bloggers for Social Good.





Newborn health is now a priority. As a mother that lost a newborn, I’m comforted knowing that thousands of people are working to making sure more babies live to become adults.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

It was the Super Bowl that opened my eyes to human trafficking in the United States.

My home town, Indianapolis, hosted the Super Bowl last year and suddenly the media was full of stories about the problem of human trafficking and how it’s a big problem during large events, like the Super Bowl.

Human Trafficking has been reported in every. single. state. That means your state. Somewhere in your backyard right now, children are being sold into slavery or worse.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, watch this PSA to find out how you can help.


And make sure to like UNICEF USA to find out more.

The REAL Awards: Read About My Nomination and How You Can Nominate a Health Hero!

I’ve shared before how I had never heard the phrase “congenital heart disease” until after my daughter was dead. I was thrown in the CHD world, and was floored to learn that heart defects were the most common birth defect and occurred in 1 in 100 babies. I was absolutely shocked to learn CHD was one of the top killers of infants, killing more babies than SIDS or anything else I’d read about besides prematurity. I quickly struck up friendships with other CHD families and watched their journeys in amazement.

If I thought I was shocked after learning the plight of CHD families here, when I realized the fate of children with heart defects globally, I was beyond words.

I felt especially drawn to the children in Iraq with heart defects. While probably not the main cause of increased heart defects, in areas like Fallujah, Iraq, some reports say as many as 1 in 10 children are born with heart defects. The babies with severe heart defects like Cora? Don’t even have a chance, yet.

I learned about the heart kids in Iraq through an amazing organization, the Preemptive Love Coalition. Ever since, I’ve tried to help. I donated my $5000 prize from the Babble Mothers Changing the World contest to PLC and have donated more funds from different fundraisers.

The men and women behind the organization are heroes in my book.

So when as part of my work for the Global Team of 200 I learned about the REAL Awards, my thoughts immediately went to the health heroes working in Iraq. I’ve never met him, but I nominated Dr. William Novick for a REAL award.

Dr. Novick saving the life of a child in Iraq. Photo by the Preemptive Love Coalition.

He leads another awesome organization helping heart kids internationally, the International Children’s Heart Foundation. ICHF partners up with PLC to provide the medical teams for many of their remedy missions. Dr. Novick himself has been on many of these remedy missions, changing the lives of heart kids in Iraq who have no options for survival outside of the Preemptive Love Coalition and ICHF.

the REAL awards

Do you know a health worker making a difference like Dr. Novick? Nominate him or her for a REAL Award through November 29. 

About the Real Awards, from their press release:

“It is estimated that every 3 seconds, a child’s death is prevented thanks to care provided by a frontline health worker. But many don’t have all the support and supplies that they need to do their jobs well, and hundreds of thousands more are needed to end preventable deaths and to tackle the challenges of chronic diseases that need to be managed regularly.”




November 10 is Malala Day: Support Education for Girls Around the Globe #GlobalTeamof200

Afew months ago, I got an email asking me to be part of a group of moms using their blogs and social networks for good, with targeted projects each month. I hit the reply button in record time.

Every month, I’ll be writing at least two posts as part of the Global Team of 200, a project by Mom Bloggers for Social Good. I’m excited to share causes from around the globe, and of course as a newborn health advocate, projects that benefit babies will always be my focus.

Today, I’m sharing something a bit different though. I was grabbed by this girl’s story. Malala.

Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban. Her “crime?” Promoting education for girl’s in her country. Her bravery and her tragic ending are something that need to be remembered, and shared. She survived the brutal crime and was later flown to the United Kingdom.

She is changing and improving lives still. I’ve signed the petition calling on Pakistan to provide education for girls, and I’m asking you to as well.  Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will hand deliver the petition to the U.N on November 10.

Supporters are declaring November 10 “Malala Day.” That day, tweet your support and stand with Malala using the hashtag, #IAmMalala

I feel so lucky that I didn’t have to fight to go to grade school, high school and to get an education from the university I most wanted to attend.

She is 14. She is braver than most adults I know. For Malala, and all the girl’s around the world denied education, I stand with Malala.