Category Archives: Shot at Life

Using Your Storytelling Powers for Good Session at EVO

Above: Tracey Clark and Kristen Doyle discuss how they were able to raise money and awareness about the Shot@Life campaign through their #Shot4Shot campaign. Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.

Devi Thomas, Director of Shot@Life campaign, talks about the power of storytelling for good.
Last Saturday the UN Foundation and its Shot@Life campaign sponsored a session at EVO social media conference for women entitled Using Your Storytelling Powers for Good.

Speaking on the panel were Devi Thomas, Director of Shot@Life, Tracey Clark (, Kristen Doyle (, Chrysula Winegar ( and and me (

The overarching theme of the session centered around storytelling and how to effectively incorporate social good into one’s blog. Using the power of authentic stories, causes and non-profits can be successfully amplified on a personal blog especially if the cause or non-profit is something you deeply care about.

Devi Thomas, Director of Shot@Life, drove home the importance of storytelling to better discuss weighty issues.

Working with non-profits, whether they are local, national, or global, is quite easy. Many of these organizations are limited and cash-strapped. Any help a blogger can offer them will always be well-received. Do not hesitate to contact non-profits via traditional email or even via social media (especially Twitter) if they are active on the medium.

Some audience members at the Social Good Session at Evo; Devi Thomas (Director Shot@Life front left)

If you are going to write about and support causes be sure to stay around for the long haul. You don’t simply want to write about a cause and forget about it. Choose causes carefully and be fully invested in them.

Also, be sure to educate yourself as much as possible about the cause you care about and bring your readers and followers along on your journey.

Once you have identified a cause that you care about it becomes easier to discuss them on your blog by sharing stories that relate to the cause. It helps your readers become more interested in the cause and helps relay your passion for it.

Chrysula Winegar discussed hooks and anchors she used to write about Shot@Life from her mother’s friend who has polio to meeting Nelson Mandela.

Learn more about Shot@Life at

Photo of Devi Thomas: Kim Orlandini Photography

All other photos: Jennifer James

I was invited by the UN Foundation to be a panelist on the Storytelling Powers for Good Session and received a stipend to cover travel and expenses.

Shot@Life Campaign Launches in Atlanta

Last week I was in Atlanta on a National Press Foundation and UN Foundation press fellowship to learn more about global vaccines. I along with the nine other fellows received a comprehensive overview of the global vaccines landscape from experts from UNICEF, CDC, the UN Foundation and the United Nations. I will blog about what we learned throughout the week. We also attended the Shot@Life official launch at the Georgia Aquarium last Thursday.

Atlanta area mothers and children learn and share about the value of vaccines during the Shot of Life launch event in Atlanta, Ga., Thursday, April 26, 2012.

Shot@Life (who is a partner of Mom Bloggers for Social Good) educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for this global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines.

Hundreds of Atlanta area families attended the Shot@Life launch at the Georgia Aquarium. Children played games and participated in educational exhibits about Shot@Life and parents were educated about the importance of ensuring that children in developing nations get the lifesaving vaccines they need to live a full life like their own children.

In an official launch ceremony Kathy Calvin, the CEO of the UN Foundation, moderated a panel of vaccine experts and advocates including First Lady Rosalynn Carter, CEO of Every Child by Two, Ambassador Andrew Young, Board Member of the UN Foundation, Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the National Center of Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, and Anne Geddes, world renowned photographer and Shot@Life Global Advocate.

Each panelist talked about their personal stories and ultimate work with vaccine advocacy – either on the national or global level – and expressed why this issue matters to them and other Americans.

A panel of distinguished experts and leaders speak to journalists and partners during the Shot@Life campaign launch in Atlanta, Ga., Thursday, April 26, 2012.

According to Shot@Life, 1 in 5 children around the world does not have access to lifesaving vaccines and a child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that can be prevented. There are some success stories already, however. Polio is nearing eradication with only three countries where the paralysing disease is still endemic – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. India is currently one-year free from any reported polio cases.

Additionally, one billion children have been vaccinated for measles since 2001 decreasing deaths by 74 percent. And Ghana rolled out two new vaccines – pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines – simultaneously last week during World Immunization Week. Ghana’s attention to the importance of vaccines marked the first time the two vaccines were launched at the same time in any African country.

Also announced at the Shot@Life launch was an official media partnership with Real Simple magazine. “In this role, the award-winning Time Inc. Lifestyle Group brand Real Simple is playing a crucial role in raising awareness about the campaign by getting the word out to its millions of readers,” said Elizabeth Gore, the UN Foundation’s Vice President of Global Partnerships.

To learn more about Shot@Life visit

All Photos: Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for UN Foundation