Full disclosure: plugs for my work & colleagues

Wow. A kickoff to an annual day of recognition for one campaign, a dedicated fundraising effort on a primetime TV show watched by nearly 40 million people, and the beginnings of a new flagship campaign — all in one week — all the combined efforts of the wonderful people I work with.

My About page says it: that anything I say on this blog is from me and by me only, and not endorsed by my employer – and that’s true. Usually I am subtle when giving kudos to the issues I work on, and use banners or buried links to show what I’m focused on 9-10 hours every day, but today is different. Today – it deserves a real mention.

This is a shoutout to the great work of the United Nations Foundation. To the great work of my teammates and my department, Public Affairs, and all of the other staff involved in these amazing and impactful projects. This is to say that even on the days when we want to tear our hair out, go hide in the corner, close out our emails, and say “no,” that the power of  saying “yes” to inspirational and innovative ideas is so worth it in the end. It’s so worth reading emails or tweets from our supporters, giving us props for our shoutout on American Idol, for pledging to end malaria, for empowering girls around the world. It’s worth the emails that our team shares immediately after a win, full of pride and virtual pats on the back and sighs of relief that the hard part is done.

Sometimes in our daily work, we get caught up in the negative moments and the frustrating times – but in the last three days, I can truly say that I have been able to come home and still say that I feel so honored and fortunate to work at a place like the UN Foundation, and with such amazing, passionate, hard-working people.

And with that:

-Sign up to Sleep Out to End Malaria on April 24, the Eve of World Malaria Day at www.nothingbutnets.net/sleepout.

-Visit www.unfoundation.org/idol to donate to help the UN help Haiti rebuild and recover.

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This is why I came to DC

Since January 13, the day after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, I have been consumed by all things…Haiti. Tweeting, Facebooking, mobile texting, emailing, updating, you name it, it has been about Haiti. The moment I saw the news, I knew that for the rest of the week, it was going to be a different world at work. It was and continues to be. That’s the power of a non-profit.

Our entire public affairs team has put in countless hours reaching out to media, posting updates from our colleague who went to Haiti to deliver medical supplies, asking people to donate to help the UN. Many of us (including myself) worked the entire three-day weekend, to ensure that our organization was doing all it could to support the UN’s relief efforts in Haiti – and it’s nowhere near over.

That being said, yeah, laying around in bed the whole weekend would have been nice, but at the end of the day, what really matters is that I’m proud to be part of such a powerful, inspiring group of people who are putting others before themselves, putting their all into something bigger than themselves, putting their passion for their work first and foremost in this time of need.

This is why I came to DC.

I have never been a part of something like this. In 2005 when Katrina hit New Orleans, I was scared for my family, and sad for the place of my birth, the place that I still hold dear in my heart. At college, I helped raise money for relief, but didn’t head down to rebuild, didn’t post banners on websites or urge people to give through their cell phones. And for the tsunami, I am reluctant to admit that I had no part in the relief efforts at all – I watched from the sidelines.

But here, now, I finally feel like I am truly helping. I may not be in Haiti delivering the medical supplies, the food, the water. I may not be setting up telecommunications so that families can call loved ones. I am proud of the people that do those things, and I admire it. But I do feel like here on my end, in front of the computer, that I am making a difference with my tweeting and banner posting, and email sending. Because how else do we get out the word about this crisis, how else do we let people know what they can do to help?

I’m proud of my team, proud of everyone who has given a part of themself for this effort.

This is why I came to DC.