How Do I Make a Difference in the World?

by Chloe Jeffreys · 15 comments

in Haiti, Travel

This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations FoundationTo learn how you can make a difference in the world without even having to get up out of your chair, go to the end of this article.


Yesterday I went to my doctor to begin getting all the vaccinations I’ll need for my upcoming trip in October to Haiti with Midwives for Haiti.

Like all good nurses, I’d already done quite a bit of research on the internet before my appointment.  It was easy enough to find out what I needed since a quick Google search for “vaccinations to travel to Haiti” took me to the CDC website that has information on travel requirements for every country in the world.

As I surfed the CDC website, I quickly learned that going to Haiti affords me the rare opportunity to catch exotic diseases I’ve never had the chance to catch before! Diseases like Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Malaria, Cholera, and Rabies (RABIES?!?! YIKES! Who didn’t have a mother who scared the holy crap out of them with tales of 20 shots into the stomach if you got bit by a rabid dog?)

This trip all came down so quickly that I was worried I wouldn’t have time to get all my vaccinations, but it looks like I have plenty of time.

Since I’m a healthcare worker, I’m already up-to-date on Hepatitis B. I had the first in the series of two Hepatitis A shots right before I went to Puerta Vallarta last December, so I only needed one more shot for that. Typhoid is just one shot. There’s no vaccine for Cholera. (Haiti has had an outbreak of cholera since 2010 that has affected more than 600,000 people.) And Rabies is three shots (at least it’s not 20!), but the timing of those means I’ll be able to get them done well before I leave.

My doctor only had Hepatitis A on hand, so I’ll have to go to the county Public Health department to get the rest. I was momentarily put out by the inconvenience (because aren’t I a special snowflake?), but quickly remembered how fortunate I am to live in a country where vaccines against Typhoid are so easily available, and rabies is not even on most people’s radar as something they need to worry about.

Riding the Herd Immunity

I know that vaccinations are controversial in this country. I believe they are only controversial because we have the luxury of making them controversial. If children in this country were still contracting polio you can better believe parents would be lining up to make sure their child got vaccinated. Wait, that already happened in this country once.


Polio vaccination clinic in 1954
image from


Leave a Comment; Save a Life

I don’t think this is all just a big coincidence, me having to get all these vaccinations, and being chosen as a UN Social Good Fellow for this year’s Shot@Life’s August blogging campaign called Blogust.  It’s the sort of synchronicity that has the hand of God all over it.

The Halfway Point of Blogust

We’ve halfway through Blogust. On the 22nd, I’ll be sharing my post about the milestones in a 22 year-old’s life. What a journey that’s been seeing my son to 22!

In the meantime, I’m encouraging you to go and comment on each and every post from this year’s campaign. Every comment matters!

I’ve made is extra-easy for you. Just click the easy button and it’ll take you right to Shot at Life’s Blogust campaign.


Click the Easy Button to see all the posts from Blogust

It’s one easy way you and I can make a difference in the world by saving the life of a child one shot at a time.

During Shot@Life’s Blogust, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about moments that matter. For every comment on this post and the 30 other posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines). A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. We can change this reality and help save kids’ lives!

Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! Stay connected with Shot@Life at, join the campaign on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one } August 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm

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Jacqueline Combs August 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

What role does Walgreens have in Blogust? For every comment on the 31 Blogust blog posts, Walgreens will donate a life-saving vaccine to give children around the world a shot at life.
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Anne Rosales August 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm

So glad you’re doing this — best wishes for your upcoming trip and safe travels. Thanks for making a difference in kids’ lives!


Ellen Dolgen August 16, 2013 at 7:15 am

Wow…Chloe…go you! You are truly making a difference!


Susan Williams August 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Glad to leave a comment. Excited about your trip.
Glad to provide a vaccine.
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Cathy Chester August 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Making a difference in the world is all there is. It’s what our lives, the lives of those of us who live comfortably and happily in this country, need to be doing. I feel it’s our responsibility. You, my dear Chloe, are doing it in spades. I am proud of you.

My gynecologist got together with a group of doctors and, after the Haiti earthquake, set up a small hut to take care of survivors. They dedicated time and money to pay it forward, one patient at a time. I hugged him for it.

Thank you for reaching out to help so many others who can’t help themselves.
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Sara Broers August 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I can’t wait to read about your trip to Haiti! Love that Walgreens has partnered to offer vaccines for kids.
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