Lobby Day 2016: Come and rewrite Murphy’s Law

May 23, 2016
Photo courtesy of Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy.

By Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy

I have three kids and work full time, so like many moms, I try to maximize the efficiency of my children’s routine doctor visits. Jacob, Matthew, and Sarah file into one exam room together for their yearly check-ups. One, two, three exams and we’re finished. Done. 

However, a couple of years ago, a flawlessly planned family trifecta of appointments was instead interrupted by Murphy’s Law (note my last name). It was also a profound ah-ha moment. Dr. Ratner told me that each of my children needed vaccination shots. Murphy vaccinations are never smooth or simple, and here we were with three kids getting shots at the same time. 

As a mother, I thought to myself, How in the world is this going to play out without absolute chaos, tears, and drama? Short answer is that it played out exactly as I feared. There was a veritable Murphy family meltdown in exam room 2 at Children’s Pediatricians & Associates that day. 

Like every mother would, I felt awful that my kids feared the needles and the pinches associated with them. I found myself crying along with my kids, but it wasn’t for their pinches or their drama. Actually, my tears were because I realized right then that the shots were lifesaving, a form of privilege that so many children around the globe don’t have. After working at Bread for the World for over a decade, the statistics related to children who die from preventable diseases are quite real and even numbing sometimes. Every five seconds a child dies from preventable causes.

So there I sat, consoling my crying (screaming) kids and giving them hugs, yet painfully aware of the privilege my children “enjoyed” that day. On the occasion of this routine doctor’s visit, my children were three little faces of the “surviving and thriving” statistic.  Each born into this privilege due to a series of factors having nothing to do with them.  Grateful, humbled, and horrified all at once. That was the reason for my tears.

I’ve thought of that day many times since Bread has launched this year’s Offering of Letters: Survive and Thrive. The inoculations we have easy access to are not a universal right. My children will not only survive but will thrive because their growing bodies and minds have never known a day of hunger. Nutrition is the first and foremost building block for healthy children to flourish and live into their God-given potential. My children. Our children. God’s children.   

If all of God’s creation is to thrive, the U.S. Congress must invest in global nutrition. Congress should increase funding in the Global Health Account to at least $230 million and robustly fund programs that target maternal and child nutrition. Join me and my kids on Lobby Day June 7 to deliver our message directly Capitol Hill. Your members of Congress need to hear from you – and visiting them in person will have the greatest effect.

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy is senior associate for national Catholic engagement at Bread for the World.

Every five seconds a child dies from preventable causes.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

From the Blog