How Your $1 Can Save Lives

January 16th, 2012 by Dionna | 36 Comments
Posted in Compassionate Advocacy, natural parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

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Dear Readers,

Today I’d like you to join me in partnering with BirthSwell and Circle of Health International to improve maternity and newborn care in Haiti. Today I’m asking for your help. The help I’m asking you to give is very simple: you can donate $1.00.

One little dollar.

What can one dollar buy these days?

  • A couple of postage stamps
  • A bottle of water (maybe)
  • Less than a third of a gallon of gas


But if every person who subscribes to this blog gives one dollar, you can send an experienced midwife to HCM Maternity Clinic in Fond Parisien, Haiti, an earthquake-affected region.

Your dollar can provide education and mentoring for the two Haitian midwives who work at the clinic.

Your dollar can improve the maternity care for the 2,000 women seen at that clinic every year.

Your dollar can improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

Your dollar can save lives.

Each year, one-third of the world’s population will be affected by natural disasters.1 Thirteen million will become refugees and 20 million will be displaced within their own countries. Women and children constitute as much as 80% of the world’s refugees and displaced people.

The need for quality and accessible reproductive health care in crisis settings is urgent. In areas where conflict and turmoil is rampant, nurses and midwives are the primary reproductive health care providers.


Circle of Health International (COHI) is a US-based non-governmental organization with the mission of working with women and their communities in times of crisis and disaster to ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care.2

COHI knows that the majority of pregnant and birthing women worldwide are cared for by midwives. Karen Feltham is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Clinical Instructor of Nursing at Binghamton University in New York. Karen is a former board member of COHI and has volunteered her clinical services in Nicaragua and on a previous trip to Haiti.

Karen is planning a trip to HCM Maternity Clinic in Fond Parisien, Haiti, an area that was affected by an earthquake two years ago. She has three goals for her time in Haiti:


  1. Review existing protocols for managing emergencies and deciding when to transfer to the local hospital. Provide clinical support and skill building where it could improve outcomes for Haitian women and their babies.
  2. Run emergency drills using improved protocol for complications most likely to be seen at the clinic, including shoulder dystocia and postpartum hemorrhage.
  3. Improve monitoring processes so that the clinic can evaluate their existing protocols and make improvements based on evidence, not just anecdotal understanding.

COHI relies on volunteers like Karen to provide support to the on-the-ground work of midwives. Karen is donating her time, but she needs transportation to Haiti (about $800 in airfare and local travel) and room and board on the compound where the birth center is located (about $300). This will be Karen’s second trip to Haiti – she first arrived in Haiti four weeks after the January 12, 2010 earthquake to help provide part of the emergency response.

The women at BirthSwell offered to organize a fundraiser to support COHI’s inspirational work. And like COHI, BirthSwell knows that change isn’t built by just one person – it takes a community working together. That’s why BirthSwell has asked a variety of bloggers to write about COHI and reach out to our readers to help Get Karen to Haiti.

So what can you do? Donate!

I would love for the readers of Code Name: Mama to join together and knock BirthSwell’s goal of $1000 out of the water. I have about 1,000 readers subscribed to my Feedburner. I have over 3,800 readers connected on CNM’s Facebook page. If each of you gave only $1.00, we would more than triple BirthSwell’s goal, allowing them to do even more to help the midwives, women, and children of Haiti.

As of 11:59p.m. on January 15, the amount raised was $496. How much can Code Name: Mama readers contribute today, January 16? Just $1.00 each – that’s all I ask! Keep an eye on the ticker below – your contribution counts!

And if you do want to donate more than $1, there are also several beautiful perks and gifts for donors offering $10, $20, $35, $50 and $100 gifts. See the right sidebar of the Get Karen to Haiti page for more information on how to claim your gift!

We’d also appreciate it if you’d “like” COHI on Facebook, like BirthSwell on Facebook, and Tweet about the campaign using the hashtag #GetKarenThere.Be sure to follow COHI and BirthSwell on Twitter too.

And thank you – for reading, for sharing this with your friends and family, and for caring enough to help.


  1. All information in this post is from the COHI media kit provided to me for purposes of this post.
  2. COHI has worked with midwives in Tibet, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Sudan, Palestine and Israel, post-Katrina Louisiana, Haiti and Japan. COHI focuses its activities on safe motherhood, gender-based vi­olence, and HIV/AIDS.

36 Responses to:
"How Your $1 Can Save Lives"

  1. Ruth Ann

    Done…with pleasure!!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Thank you, mom :)

    • Ruth Ann

      I don’t know if this is where we are supposed to be posting what we donated…for the drawing…if it is…I donated $10 in your honor….maybe YOU should get the 10 entries…lol

  2. Jeanette   JeanetteIBCLC

    Thank you *so* much for this great post and your support of COHI! We’ll be tweeting out the progress over the day – exciting!

  3. Charise@I Thought I Knew Mama   ithoughtiknewma

    Thanks for sharing this! I donated and will share with others.

  4. Ashley Gleeson   gleesonmama

    I donated $5 in honor of my sweet little man Liam and his soon-to-be-arriving sister! :-) Thank you for sharing this.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Thank you Ashley, and congratulations on your upcoming arrival – big brothers and little sisters are the best :)

  5. Jeri Thurber   jeri_thurber

    Donated $2.00. Not much, but hopefully it will help get a midwife where she is obviously needed.

  6. Amy   anktangle

    I donated $5 and shared on Facebook. I’m excited for us all to help make this happen!

  7. Brittany@Mama's Felt Cafe   mamasfeltcafe

    I donated $16. I hope they reach their goal!

  8. I gave $15 in honour of my due date with my own little one (Aug 15). Thank you for sharing this!

  9. I donated $20 but if I think I’ll give your awesome cloth wipes away since it’s gonna be costly to send them to me if I win

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Jenny – I would ship them if you win and want them :) But I’d gladly redraw if you win and decide you wouldn’t use them!

  10. Karen Moravek

    I donated $50 and shared on Facebook. Great cause!

  11. Shannon @ The Artful Mama   The_ArtsyMama

    Reposted and donated $5 in Code Name: Mama’s honor!

  12. Autumn

    I donated $1. I’d love to give more but I’m pretty broke :/ I shared on fb so hopefully more donate!

  13. Heather   xakana

    I donated, too. A dollar can pay for a lot more than you realize when you’re as poor as many of us here in the US, even, but it does do so much more elsewhere!

  14. Shawna

    I donated and shared on FB :) Hope it helps!

  15. Done. Glad to help. Besides… I hear your Family Cloth rocks! ;-)

  16. Amy   Peace4Parents

    Thank you, Dionna! :)

  17. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    I donated and shared, but I won’t steal more of your awesome family cloth. :) We have to distribute it more equitably…

    What a great cause! Hooray for midwifery care going where it’s needed.

  18. Julia @ A Little Bit of All of It   JuliaLittleBit

    I donated $1 and shared on Facebook!

  19. Hillary   hillaryboucher

    Wow! You ladies are just amazing! This has been such an exciting day for the campaign. Thank you so much for your support!

  20. Amanda Jillian ?   scarlettsidhe

    Sadly I literally don’t have a dollar to my name … but I did share this post =]

  21. Dionna   CodeNameMama

    Thanks to all who have donated so far!! And Lauren, you are a generous lady – if I draw your name, I will re-draw :)

  22. Holly N.


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