A couple of months before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, a Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) canvasser knocked on my door. Right away, the organization’s priorities resonated with me. Promoting access to early childhood education? Certainly.
My family was lucky to be able to afford and secure a spot in a great early learning program for our kids, but I knew many who weren’t as fortunate as us. Due to lack of space in a program or lack of financial resources, families around us couldn’t provide their children with a high-quality early education. Having a degree in human development, I knew how critical early years are for getting a good start in life.
SCAN’s priority of preventing maternal, infant and childhood deaths was also an issue I readily embraced. I knew the pain of too many friends and loved ones that had lost a young child. I can scarcely grasp what it would be like to live in a place where this is much more common, yet preventable.
Soon after I started volunteering with SCAN, I was meeting with presidential candidates as they made their rounds in Iowa. I loved asking them pointed questions about their early childhood education plans. And I learned a new term for this skill I had gained – birddogging! SCAN gave me something specific to focus on, and that felt really empowering.
After about a year of birddogging candidates and elected officials, SCAN started its new volunteer leader program. I was thrilled to be asked to serve as a leader, and help find people who would also be interested in volunteering for SCAN.
I’m always a little surprised when someone responds to my call to action; often it’s someone I wouldn’t expect. But that just makes me share the messages even more often.
Now, I spend several hours a month donating my time to this organization because I know how effective we are in creating positive change. In addition to my time, I also decided to donate financially when able, because I know we need resources to get our messages moving forward with actions.
Save the Children Action Network is investing in kids, which is crucial to creating a better world. If my financial donation can help in some way, I’m delighted to do so.