“…there is perhaps no more important window of time than the first 1,000 days of a child’s life,” said Elizabeth McCostlin, managing director for the Midwest region of UNICEF USA, at this year’s Humanitarian Awards celebration. “For 72 years, UNICEF has been there for the world’s children — no matter how remote, no matter how complex, no matter how dire the situation.”
Over 435 guests gathered on Oct. 4 at the Ritz-Carlton to support the world’s children through the critical, lifesaving work of UNICEF USA.
The eighth annual UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian Awards Luncheon shed light on the urgency of early childhood development, with the theme #EatPlayLove. UNICEF USA honored two women who dedicate their lives to children; both in early childhood development and the mental health space. The 2018 honorees included Dr. Colleen Cicchetti, executive director of the Center for Childhood Resilience at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Phyllis Glink, executive director of the Irving Harris Foundation.
“If we all do our part, big or small, to act on the behalf of those who have no voice or no power, we can transform the world,” Glink said.
Sherrie Rollins Westin, president of Global Impact and Philanthropy for Sesame Workshop and UNICEF USA board member, delivered the keynote address. Westin connected with the audience, sharing personal stories of her teenage children and their transformational trips with UNICEF. The nonprofit educational organization has joined forces with UNICEF and many other partners to address the individualized needs of children, everywhere.
“UNICEF has arguably saved more children’s lives, more than any other organization in the world,” Westin said. “I believe in order to contribute the most to society as a whole, investing in young children is where we can have the greatest return on investment.”
All funds raised will support UNICEF programming, like early childhood development.
More from Make It Better:
- UNICEF USA to Honor 2 Chicago Female Philanthropists for Their Commitment to Children
- This is What Going Back to School Looks Like Around the World
- Join UNICEF USA in Putting Children First Around the World
Emily Stone is Associate Editor at Make It Better. She earned a degree in journalism from Elon University in North Carolina. Along with writing, Stone has a passion for digital storytelling and photography. Her work is published in Chicago Athlete Magazine. Stone is a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Stone is a fluent Spanish speaker who in her free time loves a good dance class.