Gray Fades


Friday evening, I felt depleted. Oh the gray that builds sometimes, especially this time of year. Laying on the couch, I hit play on A Path Appears. 

The three-part documentary film based on the book of the same name by Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, shows on PBS. Episode One talked about sex trafficking in the United States. Episode Two covered Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. You can watch Episode 1 and Episode 2 on-line until February 14. The last part will show this evening and takes place at the Kiberia School for Girls.

It was midnight when I finished, and the gray had receded.

Proximity does that to you. You remember who you want to be.


Earlier in the month, Nicolas Kristof wrote an article about a high school friend, stuck in a cycle of poverty called Where’s the EmpathyOh, how we need and long for understanding that leads to empathy, that moves us to act.


I’m excited about A Path Appears.

The IF Gathering where so many women gathered and dreamed this past weekend.

Voices like Amy Sullivan, who remind us that serving is hard, but glorious.

and progress like the Millennium Development Goals.


{Mother and their children at a Mother’s group in South Delhi, India}

The Global Team of 200 is reporting this month with Save the Children and MDG4, reducing childhood morality. The number of children dying from preventable causes decreased from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. Progress… but still 

  • Each day an estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children die from largely preventable causes.
  • More than 1 million babies die on their first and only day of life across the world, and 2.9 million in their first month.

Newborn mortality rates can only be reduced through

  • fairer distribution of essential health services
  • universal healthcare access; this means making these more available to the poorest and most marginalized families, as well as to communities living in rural areas.

The world produces enough food to feed every man, woman and child yet 1 in 8 go to bed hungry every night. 

???????????????????????????????{Mother and son in a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia}


Let’s rise up to meet those suffering with empathy and action.

It is our calling, why we breathe.

and gray fades.


to give voice

ENDING_NEWBORN_DEATHS_REPORTCOVERSave the Children presents its annual report Ending Newborn Deaths Ensuring Every Child Survives. About Proximity is partnering with Global Team of 200 to share the report with people invested in making a difference.

The statistic that stands out to me is that 40 million women give birth alone, without any health care worker or midwife present. 

FIRSTDAY_INFOGRAPHIC2The report is worth looking through especially the human faces that represent newborn health: Shefali of Bangladesh who has lost three of six babies, Derese of Ethiopia who lost his wife in childbirth, Rose from Congo who walked in labor to give birth at the nearest clinic, Pushpa of Nepal recently trained in midwifery and has saved countless lives, and Hawa of Somalia a health care worker for twelve years and who has delivered over eight hundred babies.

The momentum of universal health care in many countries, is a defining feature of the report. Health coverage that is available to all at birth will serve to benefit the most vulnerable. The report will be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2014.

How can you help? Sign a petition here that urges President Obama and Congress to increase investment in early childhood, maternal and newborn health, as well as nutrition programs.


Let us give voice to the most vulnerable among and around us.

Get Ready- Get Safe

DisasterReport2013.jpgGet Ready- Get Safe is a Save the Children Campaign.

Despite a record disaster year and high-profile school tragedies, most states still fail to meet basic child-safety measures endorsed by a national commission after Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children reported.

There have been many high-profile natural disasters in recent years like Hurricane Sandy and Isaac, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Colorado fires. Not only that, but the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite these wake-up calls, significant progress has only been made in four states. {wondering what four? New Jersey, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Utah.}

What are the four critical standards?

  1. an evacuation plan,
  2. a family reunification plan
  3. a plan for children with special needs
  4. that states require all schools to have disaster plans that account for multiple types of hazards.


Save the Children is launching a new campaign called Get Ready- Get Safe. Click here to learn more. You can take action here as well, by writing to your governor to urge them to help your state meet requirements. You can also look at the report card for your state.

See their Disaster Preparedness Printable, it is incredibly helpful!


This was so eye-opening to me. I’m the Mom who is searching through cabinets for batteries when the power goes out, hoping to find a working flashlight. We could do much better in our family to be prepared.

I think I like to pretend nothing will happen. It’s nice to think sunny days, but the reality is a disaster can happen anywhere. Being prepared helps ensure families, schools, and childcare centers will emerge with best case scenarios.

Superstorm Sandy: Journey of HopeThis is my state of Michigan.

michiganWhat preparedness actions have you taken with your family? How do you think your area does? 

{This post was done through Global Team of 200 and all photo credit goes to Save the Children.}

Super Power Nutrition!

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About Proximity is earning a Super Cape in the kitchen today!

Global Team of 200 is bringing awareness to Save the Children’s Food for Thought Report. When you place yourself in the proximity of your own children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I can’t imagine them suffering from chronic malnutrition. This is a topic no one would want a parent to suffer through.



World Leaders will meet June 8th for the Nutrition for Growth Summit in London.

Lacking basic nutrition not only stunts children’s growth but also severely impairs the ability for children to learn.


Ways to help world leaders know malnutrition is important to us and support the work of Save the Children:

  • Do you tweet? Here’s a sample:  @whitehouse let’s make sure all kids get healthy food in their #next1000days so they can reach their full potential. #Nutrition4Growth
  • Follow Save the Children on Facebook.
  • Follow Save the Children on Pinterest.
  • Make healthy nutrition a priority in your family and schools!


How is About Proximity earning our super power cape? A Gr8 Recipe!

This is a simple, healthy, inexpensive recipe we have used in our family since Kris and I were married. (I’m sharing a recipe… for those of you who witness my cooking skills this is a little humorous.) Our kids like this recipe because they get to choose their own toppings.


For a special addition I would love to give this book away! Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Food in Kids’ Favorite Meals.

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Leave a comment to win! 

What’s your favorite healthy recipe? 

That First Moment

That first moment:

ellie 012

Dear Ellie and Josiah,

We hoped for you. We prayed for you. Then you were there with us.  All amazing hope and grace flooded our hearts. You looked up at us like we had known one another forever. A new life and suddenly our lives had the most amazing purpose. All you were and would become was wrapped up in that single moment. Our hearts cracked open because we knew we could never love anything like we loved you. 

Love,  Mom and Dad. 


I remember feeling so scared. The weight of the responsibility of bringing a life into the world did not fall short on me. But, the moment I looked at my daughter and then my son all my fear faded away. They looked at me like they knew I was their Mom. All my insecurities and inadequacies seemed small in that moment.

I am so thankful we had good health care to guide us in those first moments. I was completely awkward that first day (and honestly, the awkward parenting moments keep coming.) Neither birth was without its challenges, but I knew we had the assurance of amazing health care to guide us through.


We received a chance to make it into the world together.

That was a blessing I don’t take for granted.

It is a blessing many Mom’s in this world do not receive. 


The Global Team of 200 is working with Save the Children to bring awareness to maternal and newborn health care.

  • Watch this touching video about celebrity Moms and their love at first sight moments and our global needs. Video
  • The State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report is Save the Children’s signature annual publication, which compiles global statistics on the health of mothers and children. Here is the infographic for the report. I’ll be pinning it on my Pinterest Causes board.


Maternal and Newborn Health is a cause we can get behind. We have all been mothers, or daughters, or aunts. 

How can you be involved:

Beautiful Images from Save the Children: 


Liberia: Newborns

Newborn daughter of Wilma Francis, in the Mvolo Primary Health

What was your first moment like? How do you support maternal and newborn health? 

The REAL Awards

[Frontline health care worker: Pauline Ochola]


Save the Children and Frontline Health Workers Coalition are launching the REAL awards to honor health care workers around the world.

Nominate a health care worker and read about nominees inspiring stories here.





Health care workers are REAL life hero’s. Most recently during Hurricane Sandy, nurses evacuated 20 babies safely from NYU Langone Medical Center NICU, some manually squeezing air into the babies lungs.


By some estimates, the world is short more than 5 million health workers, including one million frontline health workers.

It is estimated that every 3 seconds, a child’s death is prevented thanks to care provided by a frontline health worker.

[Statistics By: Save the Children]

[Frontline health Care Worker: Esther Madudu]