NEW YORK (November 30, 2010) – The 2010 UNICEF Snowflake Ball will take place on November 30 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. In its seventh year, the black-tie gala will celebrate the lighting of the UNICEF Snowflake and honor those individuals who have made key contributions to UNICEF's mission to save and improve children's lives worldwide. During the evening, UNICEF will present the Spirit of Compassion Award to Olivia Harrison.
UNICEF has been battling polio for decades. In 1988, UNICEF teamed up with a coalition of organizations and governments to launch a hugely ambitious partnership called the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since then, incidence of polio has dropped by more than 99 percent. Still, polio hangs on. While endemic in only four countries -- Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria -- polio does not respect borders or sovereignty. And all it takes for the disease to spread is for only a few people to remain unvaccinated. Even in places where it has been eliminated, just a handful of new polio cases can reverse decades of work.
I have to be honest. My heart feels like it's been torn from a beloved family member. I miss Haiti. And I realize that if I can't be there physically, I need to constantly remind people that Haiti deserves attention. The Haitian children deserve our help. I'm grateful that I work for an organization that is committed to them ... an organization that has the steadfast support of generous donors who have given so much and will stay with Haiti in the months and years to come.
Each year, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and partner Pier 1 host a the Pier 1 Imports/UNICEF Greeting Card Contest. Recently the Harriman, NY Pier 1 hosted this year's winner, Kelsey Fosstveit, a 13-year-old from nearby Cornwall, NY.
It was evening when videographer Doron Schlair and I arrived at the sprawling Manila hospital. We followed directions to a small, dimly lit ward painted the sort of blue/green color so common in hospitals--no matter what part of the world you may be visiting. A male nurse met us at the ward's entrance, helped us put sterile gowns over our clothes, and gave us a critical directive: keep your voices very low.