So I left my baby girl for a night to fly down to Anaheim to volunteer at the Vitamin Angels event Thursday night and to attend the Natural Products Expo West convention. Although it was hard for me to spend a night away from my little Apple (my nickname for Aria, because of her apple-y cheeks that are yummy enough to bite), it is a cause so near and dear to my heart that I could not resist.
Ever since Aria was born, my heart has been swollen with love. Truly, I feel love for everyone and everything, especially children. I see Aria’s face in the faces of other children, and I have an urgent desire to pick up, hug, and kiss every child I see, an urge that I have quelled only with great difficulty (mostly because I am sure other parents would not appreciate it overmuch). Anyway, Vitamin Angels was started by Howard Schiffer, truly an angel clothed in human flesh. Vitamin Angels addresses a very important problem for children in the world: Vitamin A deficiency, which leads to night blindness, decreased ability to fight infections, increased risk of developing respiratory and other illnesses, and even mortality.
We live in a developed country, where our food is fortified and where we can roll up to a CVS or Rite Aid or Walgreen’s or what-have-you to get vitamins for our children. Children in developing countries, unfortunately, don’t have this luxury. Even in the unlikely circumstance that their mothers are aware of the need for Vitamin A supplementation, children in developing countries simply do not have the access to Vitamin A that their counterparts in first-world countries have. Vitamin Angels remedies this inequity, and at the ridiculously low cost of 25 cents per dose. Last year, Vitamin Angels reached upwards of 24,000,000 children, a truly remarkable accomplishment that is to be lauded and applauded and shouted from the rooftops.
Thursday night, I got to check people into the event and pass out baseball caps. I got to meet luminaries in the Health & Wellness industry. I got to drink in the spectacular view of Angels Stadium at night from behind home plate, underneath a canopy of bright lights and stars. I got to meet and work alongside such wonderful Vitamin Angels staffers as Maureen, Jessamyn, Eva, Nikki, Phoebe, and Brittany. I got to hug Howard Schiffer. I got to hear him say, “One day, one of these children that we have helped will be a doctor in a hospital, where I am the one who needs help. One of these children may find the cure for cancer, or write beautiful music, or create inspiring art.” It’s true – once a child has been born, it is the responsibility of ALL OF US – the worldwide village – to ensure that child not only survives, but thrives.
Lastly, I want to share this image from the Vitamin Angels web site, which brought tears to my eyes. I can’t explain why this picture moved me so much. The tears just kept streaming down my face when I saw it, liquid evidence of some nameless emotion. Perhaps it was my soul recognizing a fellow mother’s joy in her baby, the deep love that she feels for her child, and the deep desire every mother has for her child to thrive and experience the best in life. This is the common thread that binds us together as the fabric of humanity, is it not? It is what allows us to know that we are not so different from one another, after all.
Mare Pulido is a Master Herbalist, certified Aromatherapist, and guest blogger for Vitamin Angels. She also runs her own blog, Holistic Mamas, where she writes about natural remedies and describes her journey through holistic parenting.
Go here to view the League of Angels event page and view slideshow>>
League of Angels at Angel Stadium.
Howard Schiffer giving his speech at League of Angels.
League of Angels check-in table with Eva, Nikki, Maureen, and Mare.