A Tale of Two Euro

photo (5)A few months ago, I found a surprise.  In a small donation box, full of familiar green and silver American cash; I found two Euro. 

The coins seemed an extraordinary find in an ordinary place. A stranger that begged to be noticed. And when I picked up the coins to examine their detail, I began to imagine their journey. 

Where did they come from, and how did they get here? Were they carried to KC by a business traveler, returning home after a long time away? A student who had been on a backpacking adventure? Maybe a family returning from the vacation of a lifetime?

Regardless of how they arrived, I was glad to accept the donation. The anonymous stranger who left the coins wanted their value to support the fight against vaccine-preventable disease.

As they gleamed in my palm, however, I began to believe this gift held something more. The coins themselves revealed an unexpected truth. 

Our current reality is that the business traveler, backpacker, or vacationers who dropped the coins in the box, could have just as easily brought the very diseases to our community that the coins are intended to prevent.

Holding the exotic coins in my hands made our world seem a bit smaller, our city less secret. They are a tangible reminder to us that our international connection is real, both in its ability to spread harm and our ability to protect each other from it. And together, regardless of where we live and where we come from, our interactions can effect families all over the world.

Most importantly, I thought of the few in our neighborhood that continue to hold the false belief that we live in a community protected from the dangers of deadly disease - that their children are not at risk. I was holding evidence to the contrary right in my hand.

Although I will never know the Euros’ past, I am certain of their future. 

These Euro will join familiar American currency to be part of a $5200 dollar donation to Shot@Life. The money will be used to provide life-saving vaccines to children all over the world; decreasing the burden of deadly diseases like measles, polio, diarrhea, and pneumonia.

The donation is from a large group of Kansas City families vaccinating their own children, who choose to put their coins in the box to become part of something bigger. To join in the opportunity to make a mark and stand up for a cause that we believe is important to every parent; protecting children with the power of vaccines. 

Together, we all imagine the journey of the coins continuing. A transformation from metal to medication, maybe even protecting a child in the country where their journey began. 

Share the power of connection and awareness by giving another child a shot at a strong and healthy life. Add your coins to the story at giveashotatlife.org.