My publicist and I took a bit of a catnap (actually we wish we were napping!) for a few days but we’re back. We have two amazing women to celebrate this week. We’ll start with Melinda Gates.
Melinda turned 49 last week, which we tweeted on her actual birthday, Aug. 15. A loyal SK reader (Hi Liz!) jokingly asked what kind of birthday gift she should expect from husband, Microsoft icon Bill Gates. While of course, Melinda could have the moon if she so requested, we know she would prefer world peace and optimal health for every child on earth.
Not in the way the nauseating beauty pageant contestants say they want world peace and to personally feed all the little hungry children. Melinda is not for show. If she wants something, she goes out and gets it.
Not yet 50, Melinda has already made incredible progress toward making the world a better place. Look at this brief list of achievements (which are still ongoing):
- Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she oversees everything from the distribution of immunizations to impoverished children around the world to contraceptives to couples in Senegal.
- In 2002, Melinda and Bill Gates received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards. The Jefferson Awards are given to those who give back to their communities.
- December 2005, Melinda and Bill Gates were named by Time as Persons of the Year alongside Bono.
- Melinda and Bill Gates received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on May 4, 2006 in recognition of their world impact through charitable giving
- November 2006, Melinda and Bill Gates were awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education.
- Melinda was ranked #3 in Forbes 2013 list of the 100 Most Powerful Women
- She was ranked #4 in 2012 and #6 in 2011. (She’s sliding!)
- May 2006, she was honored for her work to improve the lives of children locally and around the world with the naming of the Melinda French Gates Ambulatory Care building, at Seattle Children’s (then called Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center).
- Melinda chaired The Campaign for Children’s, a $30- million comprehensive fundraising campaign to expand facilities and grow the hospital’s research program to find cures and treatments.
- On June 12, 2009, Melinda and Bill Gates received honorary degrees from the University of Cambridge. Their benefaction of $210 million in 2000 set up the Gates Cambridge Trust, which funds postgraduate scholars from outside the UK to study at the University.
- This year, 2013, Gates was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by her alma mater Duke University as a tribute for her philanthropic commitment.
Critics could add that Melinda has the resources to make it happen. Yes, she does, but so do the rest of us. OK, my publicist and I don’t live in a 60,000 square-foot house with lake views, but we have more resources, and especially ability, than we realize. So do you. We should take a lead from Melinda and use our assets toward making the world a better place.
Off to do my part, xo, Louisa May Alcatt