Expectant mother Gina Anderson and her husband, Brent—our supporters of the month—have found a way to incorporate their passion for social justice into a unique celebration of their baby’s arrival.
Instead of a traditional baby shower, Gina and Brent held a “shower for the world.” Attendees took turns reading stories of mothers around the world who have been helped by Partners In Health. In lieu of gifts, the couple started a fundraising campaign and requested that friends and family donate to Partners In Health.
We asked Gina more about her inspiration for the shower, and why this cause is so important to her.
How did you learn of PIH, and why have you chosen to raise money on our behalf—specifically for our work in women’s health?
I first learned about PIH in 2006 when I interned at the University of San Francisco. I decided to join the school-wide book-read of Mountains Beyond Mountains and attend a lecture by Paul Farmer later that semester, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Since then my path has converged with PIH in other ways—hearing a local representative in my community speak about their work in Chiapas, and organizing a speaker at my school to describe his time with PIH in Haiti. Therefore, PIH has continued to stay in the back of my mind as an effective nonprofit striving to alleviate poverty and empower structural change among the people it serves.
Once I became pregnant, I began reflecting on other women abroad that were also expecting. I thought about how they may not have access to health care, clean water, electricity, or proper nutrition like I do. I could not fathom what that would be like. Slowly, I began having a growing desire to do something for the women and children who, by no fault of their own, were born into a different circumstance than my own.
Why did you have family and friends read the stories of women aloud?
Reading the stories of expectant mothers brings this reality closer to home and hopefully stirs awareness, compassion, and an understanding that "this could have just as easily been me" if I were born in a different context.
One statistic that is excruciating to read is that 750 women die each and every day due to childbirth complications.
What do you hope your fundraising will accomplish for other moms around the world?
My hope is that this small gesture of raising money will save more lives of women and children. My hope is simple. I would pray that every child can grow up in a safe and peaceful community, have access to affordable health care, receive a quality education, and go forth to share their gifts with the world. This can be accomplished when we share our resources.
I think of a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou's book Letter to My Daughter that I recently read: "I seem to have more than I need and you seem to have less than you need. I would like to share my excess with you."
In this day and age, we have the knowledge and resources to prevent poverty-related deaths, and therefore this must become a concern for all of us. Everything changed for me upon believing that no one life is more important than another.
Any funny stories or moments from your pregnancy that you’d like to share?
I'm approaching my eighth month of pregnancy and have enjoyed every minute of it. Some of the highlights have been attending three different weddings this summer. One thing I have noticed at each of the receptions is that I seem to leave quite an impression on the guests with my dance moves! I guess people aren't expecting a pregnant woman to boogie-on-down, but I just love to dance.
Although we have decided to find out the baby’s sex at our delivery, one thing I’m certain of is that he/she will be a great dancer.