Monthly Archives: April 2013

Shot@Life Keeps On Birthday Bashing!

Here is the text from The Maker Mom’s blog interview of…ME!

Written by Kim Moldofsky

Friday, April 26, 2013

Shot@Life UN Immunization Campaign, Geography and Emily White: STEM Girl Friday

When I was at the Blissdom Conference I agreed to help out with a post for Shot@Life’s birthday and World Immunization Week. I was thrilled when they paired me with a Shot@Life Champion, Emily White, who is also a mom, a geographer, and this week’s STEM Girl Friday.
How long have you been involved with Shot@Life and how did you get involved?
I was introduced to Shot@Life at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs [GFWC] Conference in Charlotte, NC in the summer of 2012. I brought information home to my local GFWC Club, and we have some fundraiser and awareness events in the works for later on this year. I became a Shot@Life Champion after attending the Champion Summit in Washington, D.C. I will become the State President of GFWC South Dakota in another year or so, and am so impressed with what Shot@Life does and how they market themselves that I knew I would want to choose this program to deliver life-saving vaccines where they are needed most as my major focus during my presidency.

You are a geographer! Tell me a bit more about that. I AM a geographer! I love what I do – I am the Operations Manager for the South Dakota Geographic Alliance. My job is to promote geo-literacy in K-12 classrooms. I believe that my work is important. Being a Geography Educator is probably one of the most important jobs out there, though most Americans would disagree. Or not realize that the field of Geography actually encompasses more than memorizing ‘states and capitals’.
Geography is a skill that allows a person to develop critical thinking and solid decision making skills. All a person has to do to understand this is watch the evening news. Why are particular countries at war? Are these wars strictly about culture and religion? How does the location of natural resources factor in? Where are water resources located? Other people depend on the outcome of these decisions. This is why a geographic background is so important.
During Geography Awareness Week (last November) I went to 1st and 2nd grade classrooms and taught them about global interdependence by using a pencil as an example of how we are all connected across the globe. A pencil has five parts, each manufactured in a different country. I used Google Earth to “fly” the classes to countries where the pieces are made. Then we talked about how the decisions we make here in the United States affect other people in the world. Educated decisions are better decisions. A solid background in geography makes educated decision makers.
This is the same message that I promote when talking to people about Shot@Life – we are all connected across the globe. In order for a disease to be eradicated, we all have to work together for the benefit of all because diseases don’t respect borders and boundaries. A disease eradicated in one country is a disease eradicated for all countries.

What would a worldwide polio map look like now and how would it look different than, say, a 1950 map? Going back to the early 1900s, polio was spreading across the globe, especially in cities, and especially during summer months. Scientists were working on a vaccination for polio and finally came up with an effective vaccine in the 1950s. Those countries that effectively used the vaccine saw a dramatic drop in polio cases since then, including the United States, where polio has been eradicated since 1979. In 2013 endemic polio cases exist in three countries: Afganistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. So a map of polio now would only highlight three countries, whereas a map from the 1950s would highlight many countries, all over the globe. I’m not sure what the exact number would be, but it would be a very colorful map. In contrast, the more recent map would kind of boring to look at. Let’s eradicate polio in those last three countries and get rid of the polio map all together!

Using your knowledge of maps, terrain and shifting boundaries what are biggest barriers to childhood immunizations in developing nations? When you look at a map of Afghanistan, the first thing you may note is that this country has a lot of mountains and deserts, and not much transportation infrastructure in place. Combine these factors with political unrest and fighting taking place in various regions, and you have a huge barrier to country-wide health care, let alone distributing childhood vaccinations equally.
While not all developing countries are in the same situation as Afghanistan, many of these countries don’t have the country-wide health care infrastructure in place to make addressing issues like immunization easy. The children who are least likely to receive immunizations are going to be rural kids whose families simply don’t have access to health care, clean water, sanitation, proper nutrition, and so on. Immunizations are only one issue of many for people in developing countries.
What has been your proudest moment working with the Shot@Life campaign?
My proudest moment working with Shot@Life was when a group of us went to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and shared the Shot@Life message with our Congresspeople. I was the only Shot@Life Champion from South Dakota, so I got paired up with some fantastic Champions from New Jersey. We got to share our message as both advocates and moms with the people who are most in-touch with the pulse of the Nation. As the Shot@Life campaign continues to grow, I like knowing that I was one of the earliest supporters and that I helped plant the seeds of the future for healthy children around the globe.
Thank you, Emily! Would you like to become a Champion? Learn more about becoming a Shot@Life Champion here.

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The Shot@Life Birthday Bash Continues, Cyber-Style!

Mad props to all of my Champion friends out there who are taking the time to celebrate Shot@Life’s first birthday in high style! This post continues from yesterday’s post, and I’ll be putting content up each day this week to help pass the celebration on to others.

As you can tell from my Blog title, I DO STUFF. Sometimes I take physical challenges for fun, sometimes I try new things to experience this world that we live in, and sometimes I do stuff simply because it’s important. Shot@Life is in the latter catagory – Shot@Life is important.

What Do I DO for Shot@Life? I advocate, I fundraise, I educate – I speak at events, I reach people through Facebook, my Blog, and through the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. I pass my passion on to others.

Not to brag, but this past weekend I spoke at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs South Dakota State Meeting, and, after my 1/2 hour powerpoint presentation, a woman in the back row raised her hand about wildly and announced at the top of her lungs that she would donate $100 to Shot@Life in honor of her very brand-new great grand baby twins. She caught my passion and became a Doer of Stuff.

Nuts and bolts right here: $20 pays for the procurement, shipping, and distribution of vaccines that cover four major diseases: polio, rotovirus, pneumonia, and measles. $20! That’s all it takes to give a child a Shot@Life – a Shot at birthdays, a Shot at playing soccer, a Shot at hugging their mother.

Take some time out of your busy day today and become a Doer of Stuff: check out Shotatlife.org and learn how you, too, can become a Champion for all those kids in the world who need their childhood vaccinations.

Here are some awesome and inspiring stories celebrating Shot@Life’s 1st Birthday….

1. Angela Youngblood, whose own mother threw her fantasic birthday parties when she was a child, interviews Suzanne Chan, who is both a mother and a lobor and deliver RN, on her blog ‘Jumping With My Fingers Crossed’. Giving Kids A Shot@Life

2. Elizabeth Atalay of ‘documama’ gives us all a list of a few ways that we can help give kids a Shot@Life. Happy Birthday Shot@Life!  #BirthdayBash – you can catch her passion by reading this article.

3. Courtney O’Donnel interview Sili Recio on her blog ‘thesunnysideoftheroad’, right here on WordPress. Happy Birthday Shot@Life talks about Sili’s life being raised in a developing country until she turned 5.

4. Homegirl Quel (Kel) in Austin interviews Yolanda Gordon, a mother of two children with Autism, and discusses the importance and safety of early childhood vaccinations. Shot@Life Champion Spotlight: Autism Mom Supports World Immunization

5. Yolanda Gordon was then inspired to interview Ellen Marshall (right here on WordPress) in her blog ‘lesser known feats of awesomeness’. Shot@Life Champion Spotlight: Ellen Marshall

6. Kimberly Murray, of Kimberly Murray Photography, interviews Documama’s Elizabeth Atalay for Shot@Life’s Birthday Bash. Celebrate Shot@Life’s First Birthday With Documama (Then check out Kimberly’s fantastic photography throughout her website. WOW!)

7. World Mom’s Blog (a tremendous resource, all you moms out there) interviews Courtney O’Donnell, who is currently living in Berlin, Germany, about the importance of vaccinations. A Birthday Wish for Every Child: a Shot@Life

8. Anyone from Utah? Check this out: Shot@Life Champions will be giving away FREE cupcakes at The Sweet Tooth Fairy gourmet bake shops in honor of Shot@Life’s 1st birthday! Locations and times are posted here. How cool is that??

9. formerly phread posts about Shot@Life and how it’s a totally legitimate charity backed by some very real people. What is the Global Mom Relay?

10. Dad Labs (taking back paternity!) interviews Melissa Gardner about why she joined the Shot@Life campaign. Interview with Shot@Life Champion Melissa Gardner

11. My Mommy Reads posts from her 4 year old’s perspective. Kids deserve a shot@… …swinging, dancing, playing an instrument, swimming in the deep end, climbing trees and so much more! Kids Say It Best!

12. I have to list My Mommy Reads twice because she also interviewed my friend Amy Baxter, who invented a pain-reducing gadget called the Buzzy. So, rather than being the “Evil Needle-Wielding Fiend”, she can just be a great doctor. Dr. Baxter is also a Shot@Life Champion! Gettin’ Buzzy!

13. Julie the Wife interviews Jenny Eckton who traveled to Uganda with Shot@Life last year. It’s a Shot@Life Birthday Bash & You’re Invited!

Emily, Doer of Stuff

Shot@Life Turns the big 1!!!!

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a big supporter of childhood health issues, particularly childhood immunizations. Earlier this year I took a big step and became a Shot@Life Champion, which means that I am now officially devoting some time each day/week finding ways to reach out to others to educate people about the importance of childhood vaccinations across the globe.

Because this week marks the 1 year “Birthday” of Shot@Life (and World Immunization Week) a number of us bloggers are taking to the blogosphere and writing up essays and interviews with people who are also passionate about childhood health. It’s kinda a big deal! A child dies every 20 seconds (statistically) because of a vaccine-preventable disease. That’s so sad…and so rediculous because their death could have so easily been prevented! Every child deserves a Shot@Life! Every child deserves to reach their 1st birthday.

I am going to post a number of links this week to other bloggers out there who are posting content in celebration of Shot@Life’s Big Birthday Bash. I encourage you to take some time to read what others are saying this week about the importance of childhood immunizations. Thanks for doing this for me…and for you!

1. My friend Myrdin Thompson, who admittedly is not usually a birthday kind of gal, interviews Lois Alter Mark in her blog “Roots and Wings”. Every Child Should Have A Shot@Life

And here Lois interviews Myrdin via StyleSubstanceSoul in a cross-pollination posting extraveganza! Myrdin Thompson: Change Agent and Shot@Life Champion

2. Barb Hoyer of “a life in balance” interviews my New Jersey buddy Sarah Donza Hughes. Shot@Life Birthday Bash

3. Jessica Peace-Urgalles sums up the benefits of Shot@Life beautifully in her blog “Ms A: Charity Meets Style” with her post Shot@Life Birthday Bash: Celebrating Birthdays Through Global Vaccination.

4. Holly Pavlika interviews Champion Lee Reyes-Fournier in her blog “momentumnation” in a piece called The Shot@Life Birthday! Meet A Champion.

5. Jessica at Found the Marbles interviews Lisa Lightner in Happy Birthday, Shot@Life!

6.  Sili interviews Courtney at My Mammihood with an article entitled It’s the Shot@Life #BirthdayBash!

7. Fadra from All.Things.Fadra celebrates this birthday in mad-video style! Celebrating One Birthday So We Can Celebrate More!

8. CoupleDumb Interviews Shot@Life Champion Holly Pavlika – and if you’ve never read CoupleDumb before, you are in for a treat!

9. Adriane Gentlicore of adrianescrazylife interviews Lori Harding in Shot@Life 1st Birthday Bash.

10. Elena Sonnino of LiveDoGrow interviews Lyssa Sahadevan, Former Teacher of the Year in her state, in Happy Birthday Shot@Life!

11. Mushy Mamma interviews veteran health practisioner Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco DNP PNP-BC CPNP FAANP (I love all those letters!) in Shot@Life’s 1st Birthday! #GetVax.

12. Jessica of Blog of a Bluegrass Belle (one of my favorite blogs to read each week) writes about the connection and support between Shot@Life and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a volunteer organization that she and I both belong to (in our spare time!). Shot@Life and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs: A Shot at Sisterhood

13. more coming….

Still Doing Stuff…

…just not saying much about it.

I’ve been “single” parenting it all week long. Hub is finally home today, but now I’ve a grant to write, a child’s dentist appt and an airport run in the morning, then…. Whatever the day has to offer. Perhaps a nap? Hah! No, alas, I will be working on writing this crazy grant.

Since I’ve last posted, we took the boys to a science center, so that’s something to look towards in a future post. I was supposed to be a judge in a state-wide history contest, but that has been postponed until later on in the week due to impending weather – but also a potential future post.

Really, I’ve mostly been at home with the boys, trying to shovel and snow-blow us out. It is APRIL, I’d like to remind…the weather. APRIL. So we received maybe 6 inches of snow last week over three days, but this was the nasty thick, sloppy, wet, HEAVY snow. It took me three hours just to clear that which I am legally obligated to clear by my local municipality. I did enjoy late mornings spent snuggling with my little guys while watching cartoons from under the quilts. We couldn’t go anywhere, so we stayed warm and kept each other company. They had 2-1/2 days off of school last week.

This week? We are supposed to be due for a return of bad weather starting Wednesday. woot. I hate to be so negative about impending snow since I love all things Arctic, but I also enjoy Spring, wherever it went to this year.

Ah, and I did have quite the experience last night! I walked into my bedroom and saw that one of my recessed ceiling lights was RAINING. Yeah, that’s never good. I spotted a minor leak up in the attic that can be repaired as soon as the snow and ice are gone from the roof outside the leak location. For now it’s a bucket and the odd hope that things don’t thaw out too quickly lest more water appear. And ixnay on the ightswitchlay.

So I am still doing Stuff, just not in a planned, coherant kind of way.

Emily, Doer of Stuff

Sertoma Butterfly House & Purdy Marine Cove, Sioux Falls, SD

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What three and seven year old doesn’t like adventure? I recently took the boys to the Sertoma Butterfly House and Purdy Marine Cove in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a day of indoor exploration while the weather was way too cold to play outside.

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The Marine Cove portion is small but includes quite a few tanks with saltwater species and a touch tank of small Horn Sharks, Bamboo Sharks, Horseshoe Crabs and Southern Sting Rays. Thing1 was barely brave enough to touch one of the baby sharks, and Thing2 wasn’t so sure. Be sure to rinse your hands off in the public restrooms before petting any of these animals.

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Thing2 was fascinated by the anenomies.

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The Butterfly House is what we really came to see. I imagine that this is one of the warmest places in South Dakota on a cold, winter day.

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We saw a number of different species of butterflies throughout the day. The boys liked to watch them land on these feeding plates and eat fruit.

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We also saw two resident turtles alongside the manmade stream.

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I wish that I knew more about butterflies so that I could identify them for you here, but I don’t. These two, though, are Thing2 and Thing1. Their hair is growing cloudy and big from the humidity in the butterfly area.

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Little boys like water features for whatever reason.

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More butterflies are having lunch.

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Thing2 started getting a little antsy around the butterflies after a few flew too near his head and startled him.

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Big brothers are an awesome defense against Komakaze butterflies.

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This is the best group shot that I got. Makes me look fat, though. The boys look good!

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The Sertoma Butterfly House and Purdy Marine Cove also has a children’s reading room and classroom for further adventures. We sat and read some books about plants and nature, and the boys got to see some little critters up close. This lizardguy was showing off his powers of standing perfectly still for Thing1. This was the perfect way to calm down before getting into the car for the long drive home.

Although I didn’t take any photos, the boys also got to pet some rather lovely puppies and rabbits. The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society was set up with an informational table and some animals that day in addition to the regular exhibits.

Admission is reasonable: $8.50 for adults, $5.50 for 5-12 year olds, $3.00 for 3-4 year olds, 2 and under free. If you plan ahead, stop off at any local hotel lobby in the area and you are likely to find a brochure for $1 off admission for one adult.

I should point out that I think that the Fins & Flutters gift shop here is very nice. There are a ton of little inexpensive things so that a child could go home with something from this experience for very little money. I think I spent $5 total on both boys, for some little sticker books with their favorite animals. This is so much better than the attractions that start with things at $20+ for kids.

Everyone went home better educated and happy! We even found some nice educational resources on the organization’s website when we got home (color pages here!). Highly recommended if you happen to be wandering the prairie! Go! Do!

Emily, Doer of Stuff