Parenting

6 Ways To Give The World's Mothers And Kids The Gift Of Health This Season

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the approaching season of giving (and, let’s be honest, receiving), never giving a second thought to what’s going on outside of your home or community. But as families come together to celebrate, it’s important to remember those less fortunate than us, near and farflung across the globe.

More than a third of the world population lacks access to medicines essential for health and survival. This affects women and children the most: over 13 million children under the age of 5 die every year from preventable or avoidable illnesses, and 40 percent of mothers give birth without access to medical assistance.

To reverse these statistics and inspire a healthier global community in 2016, we partnered with Johnson & Johnson to find six ways you can give the gift of health this season to mothers and children around the world.

Volunteer At A Children’s Hospital
volunteer hospital
Donating your time -- and your positive energy -- at your local children’s hospital is a great way to give back to your community while helping to improve health outcomes for children and their families. Volunteers can provide hope, healing and care to children who are battling an illness simply by spending time with patients and comforting their families. Inquire within your local children’s hospital about opportunities to get involved.

Help Women And Children Access Clean Water
water sanitation
Roughly 2.4 billion people around the world don’t have access to decent sanitation, according to the United Nations. That means one in 10 people lack access to safe, hygienic water. And this hits women and children in the developing world the hardest: every 90 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness. In Africa and Asia, for instance, women and children walk an average of 3.7 miles per day just to collect water that may or may not be clean enough for consumption. That’s why a donation to water.org, an international nonprofit organization that provides access to safe drinking water and sanitation, could have immeasurable benefits for women and children throughout the developing world. Make an online donation or browse these shoppable products: a portion of proceeds from each purchase goes to water.org.

Sweat For Charity
fitness
Whether you want to run or bike or swim in an official race, or just want to log some miles on your own for a worthy cause, working out is a great way to make gains for your personal health while contributing to the health of mothers and children across the globe. Crowdfunding websites like Crowdrise make it easy to set up a personal page that encourages friends, family, coworkers and your social media followers to donate to a specific charity or cause as you work toward your goal of a 5k, sprint triathlon or even a marathon. If you’d rather work out solo, download the Charity Miles app. Every mile you run, walk or bike that’s logged by the app can raise money for worthy organizations that support women’s health initiatives, like Every Mother Counts, Girl Up and Shot at Life.

Purchase With Intent
online shopping
Want to make a positive difference for the millions of girls in the developing world who lack access to menstrual products, while supporting local employment for women in Uganda? Currently, girls in developing countries can miss out on up to 20 percent of their education due to a lack of sanitary menstrual products. But for every eligible sanitary product you purchase from Lunapads.com, a student in need will be provided with a Ugandan-made AFRIpad, a sanitary menstrual kit. By purchasing Lunapad products for yourself or your loved ones, you’ll be providing girls with AFRIpads and supporting the employment of local Ugandan women. Access to AFRIpads help ensure girls don’t miss school for menstrual reasons -- and by completing their education they can look forward to a better, brighter future.

Get Tech-Savvy
take picture with iphone

Did you know that snapping a single photo with your smartphone could make the difference between a child receiving oral surgery to heal a cleft lip, or living with that deformity their entire life? Sharing your pictures through the Donate a Photo app could provide medicine for children in need, help an infant sleep through the night or give a student in need a backpack. Each photo you share -- up to one per day -- helps to reach a goal you choose from a selection of trusted causes curated by Johnson & Johnson. And even if a goal isn't reached, that cause still receives a donation.

Give The Gift Of A Safe Birth
newborn
You don’t need to be a medical expert to help newborns and their mothers this holiday season. Save the Children’s Emergency Newborn Care Packages are available for purchase, providing invaluable and life-changing aid to women and children living in poverty. For $45, you can supply soap, a clean baby blanket, a knit baby cap, breastfeeding information, and parental counseling to mothers in need. Not only does this package have the potential to save lives, but it could also give new mothers and their children the opportunity to thrive in spite of a trying situation.

Johnson & Johnson remains dedicated to its commitment to improving lives for women, children and families around the world, which is why the company will match your contribution to Save the Children’s Gifts of Joy catalog, dollar for dollar, up to $300,000. As we celebrate health and happiness this holiday season, the importance of contributing to a healthy global community is more prominent now than ever. By working with our enduring partners, Johnson & Johnson continues to advance the health and well-being of children and families around the world.