Gabrielle Blair and Cindy McCain

By Gabrielle. Image of me and Cindy McCain here.

Hello, Friends. How are you? I’m writing from Washington D.C.. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m here attending the AYA Summit put on by ONE Girls & Women. It’s a short conference (I fly home this evening), but holy moly it has been impactful. We’re learning from the country’s experts about some of the heaviest topics in our world today. Poverty, Hunger, Human Trafficking, Preventable Diseases, Ebola, the World Water Crisis. We’re learning about how these things affect women and children in overwhelming percentages.

There have been a lot of tears, a lot of emotional presentations. And a lot of HOPE as well. In fact, yesterday, we were introduced to Sa’a. She is one of the 300 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria, and she escaped after 48 hours. She shared her story and her experience. I’m still STUNNED at getting to meet her, and honored to hear her words. Amazing.

As I have been tweeting and instagramming the #AYASummit, I’ve received questions from readers about what they can do. And I do have a request. A favor. And it will only take a minute. A long-standing program called GAVI provides vaccines that save the lives of millions of children each year. If you’d like to know more, this page has super helpful information about GAVI.

But it’s time to re-up the funding for this essential program. If you are willing, please use Facebook or Twitter or Instagram to send a message like this to the White House: @Whitehouse – Help save 6 million children’s lives by funding @gavi #AYAaction.

I would be over the moon if you would be willing! Please join me in putting our voices to good use. I know it seems like one little tweet doesn’t matter, but it does! Our collective voices create real change and affect real policies.

I need to return my attention to the summit, but before I shut my laptop, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:

–  This 3-D printed model of a heart saved a child’s life. Unbelievable. Thanks, Ashley!

– If it’s getting kids to read, is it a problem? An interesting piece on the Percy Jackson series.

– Mobile Showers bring dignity to the homeless.

–  Are you a good judge of faces?

– Change.org is challenging other companies to offer more generous parental leave policies. Would you or your partner have taken more time if you could have?

– I love the look of this DIY camera!

– A group of storytellers just launched an Indiegogo Campaign for Haven Magazine Volume One. All profits go directly to Freeset USA, a community in India who are building a restorative business and haven for women who have escaped from sex trafficking.

– A guide to being a super woman — even if you can’t have it all. Thanks, Rachel.

– A really thought-provoking read on our schools, and whether they are preparing our children for the future or for a world that doesn’t exist any longer.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.

kisses,
Gabrielle

P.S. — We have a school fall festival and a church trunk-or-treat this weekend. How about you? Any fun plans?