That is the number of children under the age of five who will die before their fifth birthday, according to World Bank. In a country of almost 81 million, that is not an insignificant number. It is a number that hits very close to home because one of my children came close to being a statistic instead of the beautiful healthy child that he is today. When I met my son for the first time, he was the skinniest child I had ever seen in person. His arms were the width of my finger and his legs were the size of my thumb. His bottom was just a flap of saggy skin. He was almost four months old and instead of doing all those sweet milestones, his only focus was survival.
At Art for Ethiopia 2009, we raised money for a well. The well will allow an entire town access to safe, clean water. How wonderful that so many families will no longer have to make dangerous, hours long visits to gather water.
At Lights of Hope 2010, our generous guests gave enough money for 100 girls at Children’s Heaven to be fed for 500 days. What a gift to help those girls to be able to focus on their future instead of survival.
We have been so lucky to have so many generous donors. Your generosity saves lives. Many of you will never meet the people that you have helped and so let me tell you, as a grateful mother, thank you. People like you saved my son’s life. People who were willing to put money where their mouth is, people who will help someone that they have never met because helping is the right thing to do. Thank you, thank you, thank you.