A world changing endeavor

April 10, 2012
Robert Munson is a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Danny Kaye Society member. My timing was perfect. In November 1984, I made a modest contribution to the U.S. Fund  for UNICEF.  To be honest, I made the gift partly so I could receive a charitable deduction on my income taxes. A few weeks later though, I received UNICEF's State of the World's Children report. I was stunned by what I read: 14 million infants were dying each year from preventable causes, effective treatments were available to prevent these deaths (vaccines, clean water, etc.), and UNICEF could deliver these treatments inexpensively to a broad area, involving people within the community. In this manner, UNICEF was able to reach out to "every child" and began to significantly reduce child deaths.

© UNICEF/NYHQ1961-0004/Photographer Unknown | UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Danny Kaye entertains children outside the Rehabilitation Hospital in Tokyo. The Danny Kaye Society is a group of dedicated individuals who have chosen to make a lasting commitment to the world's most vulnerable children through their estate plans.

I feel fortunate to have learned about this new strategy from the ground up and to have followed it through the years as a witness to progress. At the time of that first report, 45,000 infants were dying every day of preventable causes. Today that number has more than halved to 21,000 a day.

U.S. Fund for UNICEF's Will Planning Guide

The report inspired me to increase my support to the U.S. Fund. I knew without a doubt that I could make a real difference in the lives of many children. And because I wanted to make sure the battle for children’s lives continued to be won long after I was gone, a few years later I named the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in my will. When my mother was my age she often remarked on the many world-changing events that had already taken place during her lifetime—from early automobiles to space travel. Reducing child mortality is a world-changing endeavor during my lifetime. I am privileged that through UNICEF I am a participant in this effort and not merely a spectator. Please join me and become a member of the Danny Kaye Society by remembering the U.S. Fund for UNICEF  in your will. A good first step is to request the U.S. Fund's Will Planning Kit. Even if you are not quite ready to write a will, the U.S. Fund can show you other ways to make a lasting legacy such as naming the U.S. Fund as a beneficiary of a retirement plan. Together we can make a difference.