Brad Paisley's H20 World Tour Gets Senatorial Support

by Donna Hughes

The Boot

May 26, 2010

Brad Paisley's new H20 World Tour not only points out the fun aspects of water, but it also draws attention to the serious side of it as well. Brad partnered with the organization Hope Through Healing Hands to help raise funds and to bring awareness to the fact that millions of people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water.

How he came across the safe water initiative was nearly by accident. "I've become friends with [Senator] Bill Frist, and Bill and I went to Washington, D.C., to the Alfalfa Dinner," Brad explains to The Boot. "He took me as a guest to see and meet all these guys. It was the most insane room I've ever been in. Colin Powell comes up and says hello, and then he's talking to [California Sen.] Dianne Feinstein, and then there's [Mississippi Governor] Haley Barbour 'Hey Haley Barbour. How've you been?' I played an event for him. Then you've got [Vice President] Joe Biden."

"And everybody you see is walking around in this place," Brad continues. "On the airplane, [Sen. Frist] was asking about things that were going on, and I told him about that we were going to have the H20 tour and if he knew of any charities. And he said, 'Absolutely. Through the one I'm involved with.' He said it's the biggest problem in the world. It gets overshadowed by disease. It gets overshadowed by natural disasters and everything else -- the largest killer of both children, and I think people in general, is unclean water. I think one billion people are without it, or something like that. And his theory is this, 'If we can go in these places by digging a well or whatever, this is the biggest thing we could do for the world as the wealthiest nation.' So, we decided to pair that up and make that a part of the [tour] too, so we're not overlooking the fact that water is also very important as well as fun."

Senator Frist, his family and staff were on hand in Virginia Beach for the kickoff of the H20 tour. "It was so exciting to be there for the very first show," says the Tennessee senator, who helped to found Hope Through Healing Hands. "We have a great booth, and we signed up many interested activists and donors for this important campaign for clean water."

The show's headliner stopped by the booth to say hello and picked up one of the Water=Hope campaign t-shirts to help spread the word of the organization even further.

The next stop on Brad's H20 trek is in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, May 28.

 

My wife and I were invited to attend a gathering sponsored by Hope through Healing Hands at Senator William Frist's home in Nashville. Towards the end of the evening I was approached about a child in Haiti, Olken Foncime, who was very sick with a heart defect. This was the end of September 2009 and in early October I was planning to leave for Dominican Republic for a two week mission and I offered I would be glad to help this child, however he would need to come to Santiago to be evaluated.
In spite of the flooding of millions of dollars worth of the H2O tour instruments and equipment, the show still went on.

The Brad Paisley H2O World Tour began in Virginia Beach this Friday night, and critical reviews are saying it will spoil you for any other summer shows...and maybe even Disney World.

Hope Through Healing Hands has been honored to partner with the tour to promote awareness, advocacy, and philanthropy for clean, safe water initiatives around the world with our Water=Hope Campaign.

Senator Frist and his family, staff, and friends flew to Virginia Beach for the launch of the tour.
The two weeks I spent on the gynecology service were eye-opening and much less pleasurable than working on the maternity wards. On this service we were mostly giving bad news and taking care of chronically ill patients. Of the urgent cases, the majority presented with complaints of bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. At least half of these were spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), an average of 12 per 24 hour shift. These patients needed manual vacuum aspiration to empty the uterus of any retained products of conception. Amazingly, the women accepted the news gracefully and were cooperative with this method of treatment. Only their strength carried them through this painful procedure as analgesia was not given.
One of our partners, Ellie's Run for Africa, will host its 6th annual 5K race and family fun day next weekend - Saturday, May 22, 2010 - at Percy Warner Park. Not a runner? No problem. There's something in it for everyone...

Ellie's Run was started by a Nashville teen when she was just ten years old. Responding to a "missionary Sunday" presentation at her church, Ellie knew that she had to do something to help the kids she saw in those pictures whose mothers could not feed them and who had no chance at an education.
Today we want to announce the launch of our Water=Hope Campaign in partnership with The Brad Paisley H2O World Tour 2010. The tour begins next week, May 21 in Virginia Beach, VA - and we will be there to promote awareness, advocacy, and philanthropy for clean, safe water.

Around the globe, one out of every seven people lacks access to safe drinking water.


TEXT H2O to 25383 to give $10.*

Your investment will build wells, provide water purification systems, and address sanitation issues both in the United States and around the world. Check in to our website in the coming months to watch how your dollars are being spent.
There is exciting and timely news for students looking to make a direct impact in the world. Each year, the Clinton Global Initiative's CGI U sponsors a competitive grant program called the Outstanding Commitment Awards.  These grants are given to students who submit proposals for "Commitments to Action" that are aimed at improving communities and lives in their communities and across the globe.  The grant awards range from $1,000 - $10,000 and applications are open to all currently-enrolled students, both undergraduate and graduate. The applications should be focused on one of CGI U's five global challenge areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health, and are awarded to student-led groups focused on these areas.
This is a fantastic opportunity for students to take action in making a difference across the globe, and helping turn their ideas into reality. Time is running out however.  The final deadline has been extended to April 30, 2010, so there are only a coupe days left for you to submit your applications.
I encourage students in Tennessee and across the gobe to take advantage of this funding opportunity by submitting an application before the deadline.  For more information about this exciting project, please visit http://www.cgiu.org/funding/.
The CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards were launched in 2008 to provide financial support to innovative, student-driven initiatives. To see a map of previous award winners and their winning projects, please click here.
Yesterday, I had the chance to visit John F. Kennedy Middle School in Antioch, TN to meet with some incredibly talented students who worked hard to raise $1,000 for Haiti relief efforts. The work they did to raise money for such a worthy cause was inspiring, and I left with a renewed and continued sense of optimism about the future leaders we have in Tennessee.

Housing programs lift poor in world

By William H. Frist and Jonathan T.M. Reckford?

8:11 p.m. Monday, April 12, 2010

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/housing-programs-lift-poor-457340.html

As in Haiti and Chile, disasters mobilize us to help families rebuild, rebound and recover.

Yet, in our rush to react, we can overlook the underlying tragedy: those most vulnerable to disaster often live in peril before the earth shakes or the sea rumbles. We must respond to the needs of disaster survivors, but we must also address the constant crisis families face daily in deplorable living conditions.

For example, nearly 9 million children die each year from preventable causes. That’s about 24,500 every day.

By the time you read this article, 50 more will have died, not because of medical barriers, but because of financial ones. Cheap medical interventions can prevent many of these deaths, but medicine isn’t the only necessary measure.

With access to clean water, proper sanitation and other basic services, decent housing fosters good health.

More should be done through public, private and nonprofit partnerships to provide proper housing.

Take those preventable causes above and consider how many of them might have been avoided had families lived in decent homes.

Pneumonia, for example, kills more children each year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined — nearly four children each minute.

Many of those deaths take place in homes with crowded living conditions where bacteria thrive.

Because too many poor families cannot afford adequate shelter, they cram too many people into too small a space — subjecting the entire household to increased risk.

Diarrhea is another leading cause of child deaths. Once a child contracts diarrhea, we can easily treat it with oral rehydration.

But consider again how that same child might have avoided the condition with access to clean water. More than 1.2 billion people lack that access.

Studies have linked health outcomes to housing and housing-related basics such as water and sanitation. In Mexico, the World Bank found that replacing dirt floors with concrete floors improved the health of children, including a 78 percent reduction in parasitic infections and a 49 percent reduction in diarrhea.

In Malawi, researchers from Emory University concluded that young children living in Habitat for Humanity homes were 44 percent less likely to contract respiratory problems, gastrointestinal diseases or malaria than their counterparts living in substandard housing.

Behind those statistics are the hopes, lives and dreams of children who are significantly less likely to fall ill when they have adequate shelter.

Health threats from inadequate housing are not limited to developing countries. In the United States, 6 million families face disproportionate health risks because of their housing. Cockroaches and mold exacerbate asthma in children and adults.

The list goes on, and even though it’s poor and low-income families who suffer most, all of us have a stake in the good health — and by extension, the good housing — of everyone.

Creating decent, affordable housing is not only the right thing to do, it’s smart and economical — saving health care dollars at home and promoting economic development internationally.

When families are well, they don’t incur costly hospital visits, and when they can afford their housing, they can better maintain a healthy life.

Health initiatives in the U.S. and beyond must address the positive impact adequate housing has on good health.

As Congress assesses U.S. foreign assistance, policy-makers should recognize the importance of shelter as a standalone issue, as well as a means to support other development outcomes, such as improved health.

We as individuals must speak up in the conversation around decent shelter.

We can advocate for sound housing policy, roll up our sleeves to build affordable housing or financially invest in housing solutions that bring health, hope and healing to families around the globe.

Dr. William H. Frist is a physician and former U.S. Senate majority leader.

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is CEO at Habitat for Humanity International.

I was initially blown away at the number of delivery rooms when first arriving on the labor and delivery ward at University Teaching Hospital (UTH). There were no less than 20 beds for mothers who were in labor or those who were pregnant and very ill. The monitors, such as those used to assess fetal heart rates found in most U.S. hospitals, were absent. As were bedside sitting areas for patient's family and friends, likely as a result of limited space.

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