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Give the Gift of Healthy Kids on Colorado Gives Day

By Stephanie Wasserman, Executive Director of the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition

With the holiday season in full swing, I know that you may be considering charitable donations as a way to celebrate and spread the joy of giving. Today marks the annual Colorado Gives Day (#COGivesDay), an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. When supporting the charities that inspire you this Colorado Gives Day, I encourage you to remember the invaluable role the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC) plays in keeping Colorado kids healthy.

For me personally, this holiday season has been tempered by the recent loss of my 84-year-old mother. As my family reflects upon her life, we are grateful for the opportunities to honor and celebrate her memory by giving back. Not only was she a generous gift giver and donor to many worthy causes, she also lived in a generation that was greatly impacted by both the devastating effects of now vaccine-preventable illnesses and the availability of new, life-saving vaccines.

My mother pictured as a teenager on the Chicago lakefront in 1945.

My mother pictured as a teenager on the Chicago lakefront in 1945.

One of my mother’s earliest memories was a time when a measles outbreak caused the Chicago Public Schools to close. Both sick and healthy children were kept home for weeks as a way to halt the spread of the disease. In order to make sure children kept on pace with their academic studies, the school district broadcast classwork over the radio. It is hard to imagine such an event occurring today, but after fifty years of success, we are now seeing spikes in measles cases due to people not getting vaccinated.

While losing a parent is never easy, the fact that she lived to 84 is a testament to the public health benefit vaccines conferred on her by protecting her from many vaccine-preventable diseases over the course of her long life. And as she aged, and her immune system aged with her, she and our family were thankful for the community benefit vaccines provided.

As a mother, I am grateful for the ability to offer my children lifelong protection from diseases of generations past so that they too can live long, healthy lives.

On this Colorado Gives Day and throughout the holiday season, CCIC looks to you to support our mission and efforts in 2014. Your donation today, no matter the amount, makes a difference. All donations made to CCIC on December 10 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. through ColoradoGives.org will be increased by an incentive fund that will automatically increase the value of your donation.

Together, we can help keep current and future generations of Colorado kids healthy.

At CCIC, we believe…

  • Every child and adolescent should be fully immunized to keep all of Colorado healthy.
  • Collaborating with diverse partners and families strengthens our ability to advance childhood and adolescent immunizations in Colorado.
  • Identifying and promoting effective policy solutions that improve access, delivery and demand for childhood and adolescent immunizations in Colorado increases immunization rates and reduces preventable illness.
  • Educating providers on evidence-based immunization clinical practices promotes a high-quality health care work force and improves health outcomes.
  • Conducting parent outreach and awareness campaigns on the importance and safety of vaccines increases the demand for immunization.

From all of us at the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, warmest wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season!

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