CoupleDumb Interviews Shot At Life Champion, Holly Pavlika
What is a Champion? Most people will automatically think of an athlete, muscular and showered with medals. Some will think of someone who is part of a team and is willing to share their talents so together they can defeat their enemies. The truth is champions are all this and more. Champions are mild mannered Moms who fight for a cause. Champions are unassuming Dads who are willing to speak out for something that is right.
Today, it is my privilege to introduce you to a woman who is more than just a Mom and more than just a savvy business woman, entrepreneur. She is a Champion for Shot@Life and speaks for the millions in our world who do not have a voice.
What made you get involved with Shot@Life?
I loved learning that my voice and social media could connect me to people and raise awareness for issues and things I cared about. It all started with a newspaper article saying how much money was going to be spent on Mother’s Day gifts–over $14 billion in the U.S. alone; flowers that die and chocolates none of us want on our hips. And I thought what if 1% of that went to helping mothers in need, wouldn’t that truly be Mother’s Day? And 10 bloggers agreed with me. We picked a cause–Christy Turlington was just about to launch “Every Mother Counts. We held a twitter party that got 21.3 million impressions, got 175 other moms to write blog posts about this and it was picked up on a lot of news feeds. I got emails and DMs from women saying how important this was. I even got to attend a press event and meet her in person.
From there Global Poverty Project asked me to live tweet from an event with Dr. Jeffrey Sacks and Dr. Ruth. It was such an amazing experience sitting in the middle of a packed event, tweeting and having your tweets projected and streaming on the wall. I’ve since lived on a $1.50 a day for them to raise awareness about hunger.
I think it was at the Global Poverty Project event that I met a UN official. They asked if I wanted to get involved with them. I said, “Yes!” I had been warned by the CEO of Global Poverty Project and he was right. By then I was hooked on the great feeling social good gives you.
I’ve spent years marketing products and services, but it’s much more fulfilling using those skills to make a dent in some of the world’s issues. It’s ridiculous that so many women die from childbirth and childbirth issues. It’s crazy that there are 17 million kids in America that go to bed hungry. And a child dying every 20 seconds from diseases we can prevent? Why wouldn’t I want to do my part to spread awareness of this?
What are your super-powers? (What are your special qualities that make you a champion?)
I don’t know that I have super powers. I sometimes wish I were a celebrity so I could get more people to listen to me and take action. I wish I could write words so powerful that people would want to share them in massive quantities. And I wish I were so moving in my passion that it was contagious and others would want to join me like the Pied Piper of Social Good. But I do have staying power. I guess that’s a super-power. I will keep at this till the day we wipe polio off the face of the earth. They predict 2016, but I’m impatient and I hope we “get it” before then. If India can do it when no one thought they could, then we should be able to stop it in the last three remaining countries.
If you could have one Champion wish – what would it be?
Hmmm. I would have to say I’d like to see significant change to the “every 20 seconds a child dies from a preventable disease” statistic. No child should go without the opportunity for a healthy, happy life. I’ve often thought about how so many children don’t make it past the age of five and when I look at my own children with that in mind, I can’t fathom the mother’s anguish at losing what I consider to be my heart and soul.
What do you think champions are made of?
Champions can be made of anything. I look at our group of 400 and growing Champions. They come from all walks of life, with different skill sets, but a shared enthusiasm for this cause. We all have big hearts. I think we all consider this as part of being a good role model for our children and in some ways are doing this as a tribute to them. I went to Tanzania with Shot@Life and one night by the side of the road met two moms. They wanted to know why I came all the way over to Tanzania and why was I doing what I was doing. I told them and they thanked me. I carry that simple thank you with me everywhere I go and in every conversation I have about Shot@Life.
Holly is an amazing woman who has committed to making a difference here and all over the world. And yet, if you passed her on the street, you wouldn’t be able to tell that she is wearing a bright green cape or that her mind is filled with thoughts of bringing an end to Polio, saving children and the love of her own kids. All of this to say, anyone can be a Champion. All you need is the desire to do good. All you need is the fortitude to stand against the tide and say “A child dying every 20 seconds is unacceptable!” Go now and join the hundreds of people who have taken that pledge to become a Champion for Shot@Life. Together, we will build an unstoppable force to ensure that every child has a Shot@Life!
You can find Holly doing her thing at the following links:
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