Barbara Smith, of Girard, was recently appointed Kiwanis Division 21 Eliminate chair.
Eliminate is the Kiwanis global service project to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus, also known as MNT. According to a recent press release from Kiwanis Division 21, MNT kills one baby every nine minutes.
"I cannot imagine why such heartache is still being experienced today,'' Smith said. '' No mother should watch her child die because an instrument used to deliver the baby is contaminated by tetanus spores found in the soil everywhere. Not when the means through immunization can prevent it.''
According to Smith, the cost of prevention is only $1.80.
Kiwanis global has pledged to raise $110 million by 2015, which also is the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International, Smith said. Working together with UNICEF, Kiwanis hopes to eventually eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus. According to the press release, UNICEF has the capabilities to reach the most isolated places in the world. Ohio has a goal of raising $4.2 million of that $110 million by the end of 2014 thereby saving 2.3 million lives.
''My job is to keep people informed about the project and try to get others involved,'' Smith said.
Fundraising will begin Nov. 4 when the Kiwanis Club of Western Mahoning County will host an informational event at the Southern Park Mall. The event also will include a basket raffle.
A lifelong Girard resident, Smith is a member of the Kiwanis club of Western Mahoning County and executive director of First Night Canfield.
Smith also chaired a convention recently involving Trumbull County and Western Mahoning County Kiwanis Clubs.
''I know the Mahoning Valley has a big heart where children are concerned,'' Smith said. '' I am confident people will step forward to help."
For more information on the Eliminate Project, on Kiwanis, or, to donate, contact Barb Smith at 210 E. Prospect, Girard, OH 44420, call 330-502-1460 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations should be made out to Kiwanis International Foundation which has 501c3 status. Smith is also available to speak to other groups about the project.
"Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time."