Non-Profit Spotlight: Vaccine Ambassadors

This Non-Profit Spotlight was written for us by Lisi Martinez Lotz, PhD, Program Director at Vaccine Ambassadors.

As the mother of two children, I often think about my parenting style.  Like any parent, I want to ensure that they engage in an enriching set of activities, while also having plenty of time to “just be kids.”  Along with creating a well-balanced, diverse daily life, I feel that it is my duty to instill a sense of service in my children.  By doing so, I hope they will be more community-minded and socially-aware as they grow up in our consumer-driven society.  I aim to do this by explaining to them how fortunate they are and how it is their responsibility to give back to others.  I work to do this from a place of humanity and mutual respect for all as opposed to a place of privilege.  It can be a difficult task.  But rather than pretending that everyone in the world has access to the same opportunities and material needs, I think it is important for parents to acknowledge inequity both in our community and globally, while presenting children with a tangible solution they can take part in.

Clinic1The concept behind Vaccine Ambassadors is that every child deserves the same access to life-saving vaccines.  Here in the US we often take the availability of vaccines for granted, but that is not the case in many parts of the world.  Parents and children elsewhere understand the deadly consequences of not being vaccinated, because the reality is evident in their communities.  In fact, each year 1.5 million children will not live to see their 5th birthday due to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccine Ambassadors believes that once families in the US are aware of the global problem, they will want to be a part of the solution.  Our goal is to present them with a simple, tangible means of taking action that involves the whole family.  Through Vaccine Ambassadors, parents and kids can now become active participants in increasing access to life-saving vaccines for ALL children in the convenience of their pediatrician’s office.  During their visit, they are offered the opportunity for the child to become a Vaccine Ambassador and as such $2 or their chosen amount is collected.  A small contribution of $2 is enough to purchase DPT vaccines for 6 children.  The child will then be recognized as a Vaccine Ambassador during each visit, and as a result they will receive a sticker in appreciation for their generosity.

Through this process, children can feel pride in knowing that another child will be protected with the same vaccines they receive.  They will also gain an appreciation for the healthcare they receive, and may even view their shots in a very different light, creating a more positive experience.  Together, parents and children will be able to give one of the best gifts a parent can receive, a chance for their child to grow up healthy and strong.  Just imagine the impact we can make if every time a child in the US receives health care another child in the world benefits as well.

For those of you whose clinics have yet to become Vaccine Ambassadors we ask that you join us online at www.vaccineambassadors.org to donate or invite your pediatrician to become a partner.  You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VaccineAmbassadors and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/VaxAmbassadors

Vaccine Ambassadors, LCC is owned and operated by The Fund for Children and Youth, a 501(c)3 organization.

There are many incredible non-profit organizations providing important, and often times essential, services to families in our area. It is an ongoing challenge for them to raise awareness about who they are, what they do, and how they can help you and you in turn support them. It is our hope here at MomInChapelHill that we can shine a “Spotlight” on the amazing family related non-profits in our area. If you would like to recommend one for us to feature please email us.

Please note that all posts in the “Non-Profit Spotlight” are written fully by the non-profit and not by MomInChapelHill. We made this decision based mainly on the fact that no one can write more eloquently or passionately about their organization than the members of that organization.

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