Big Bird has Mr. Snufalupagus. Calvin has Hobbes. Lola has Soren Lorenson . Alice and James Stewart both have a White Rabbit. Does your child have an imaginary friend?
Turns out, nearly two-thirds of kids have imaginary friends by the time they’re seven, reports Marjorie Taylor, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon who has studied imaginary friends in children. And that statistic includes all personality types, not just the presumed introverted or friendless. Who wouldn’t want a pal to keep them company?
Has your child missed this milestone? What if your child never had a chance to create her imaginary friend?
Last week, I met the amazing people behind the Shot@Life campaign run by the UN Foundation.
What did I learn?
Millions of children worldwide die from preventable diseases.
Because they lack the access to receive them.
As an accountant and a mom, I’m persuaded by numbers and by my heartstrings. Just $20 invested to vaccinate ONE child can save up to $100, the cost of treating that same child when she falls ill to a vaccine-preventable disease. What a return on an investment!
Giving a vaccine, literally, gives a child an opportunity, a shot at a healthy life. And just maybe, that same child will live to reach the milestone -- Playing with an Imaginary Friend!
Who receives help?
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UNICEF gives priority to ensure that children from the hardest to reach populations also have access to immunization: those with limited or no geographic access, the urban poor, minorities, and children in conflict situations. In crises, at a minimum, UNICEF ensures timely and safe measles vaccinations and vitamin A supplementation.
Devi Thomas, Director of the Shot@Life Campaign, spoke at evo’12 and said, “Worldwide, nearly 2 million children die every year from lack of access to vaccines. That’s about half of the number of kids who enter kindergarten each year in the United States.”
My 5-year old son will be starting kindergarten next year. What if half of his buddies didn’t show up for class because they died from pneumonia or diarrhea? And I knew there was a way to help them?
How can I make a difference?
The American scientist, Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, said, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
Help build that hope and imagination in a young child. Give her a shot to make an imaginary friend.
For starters, Blogust 2012: A Blog Relay for Good launches August 1st. For every unique comment made on the participating blogs, $20 is donated to Shot@Life, to immunize a child in a developing country, and give kids a shot at childhood.
For me, helping the Shot@Life campaign was an easy choice. I know I've made a good investment and I'm being a good mom.
Learn how you can make a difference by visiting Shot@Life.org.