Every year, about 7 million children under the age of 5 die from preventable diseases, and every two minutes, a woman dies from preventable pregnancy complications. In light of these statistics, the United Nations Foundation has teamed with celebrity parents like Jennifer Lopez and NFL star Steve Weatherford to raise awareness with a video fundraiser called the Global Mom Relay.
Now through May 8, every time you share the campaign’s official video on Facebook, Twitter, or via email, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Johnson & Johnson will donate $5 toward improving the health of women and children around the world. You can also donate $5 on the Global Mom Relay homepage, and Johnson & Johnson and the Gates’ foundation will match your contribution. Proceeds benefit four groups: Girl Up, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action [MAMA], and the Shot@Life.
In addition to raising money, the campaign aims to highlight the importance of our moms’ presence in our lives.
Each day during the campaign, which began April 8, moms and friends of moms are sharing stories about what their mothers mean to them and highlighting specific causes they’re passionate about. (Talk about digital storytelling! You can check out the awesome interactive calendar with stories here.)
Lopez’s sister Lynda Lopez, a journalist (pictured here), along with Weatherford, Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, and Miss USA Nana Meriwether, all gathered last week at the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel to celebrate the campaign. They launched the Global Mom Relay video with a New Year’s Eve-style countdown on the TOSHIBA VISION TV, where it will stream till the campaign ends.
Stars and nonprofit executives also took the opportunity to sound off about what their moms mean to them!
“Behind every great man and woman, there’s a mother,” Weatherford, a father of three and a punter for the New York Giants, said to a group of about 40 mom bloggers, organizers, and members of the press.
Despite their different professions and walks of life, all the stars agreed they wouldn’t be where they are today without the love and support of their moms — a fact I think we all, famous or not, can agree on.
“Women and girls are really what we should be investing in,” Lynda Lopez said, “and everyone knows when you invest in girls, you change the world.”
Check out the video below, and visit the Global Mom Relay website to learn more about the campaign, the different moms in the relay, and what you can do to support the cause.
— Melinda Carstensen