A Passion for Helping Children
Susan Rowe's introduction to Save the Children was serendipitous. Her mother had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand and served alongside a woman who later went on to work for Save the Children. When the two colleagues met up several years later in Chicago, Susan joined them and was fascinated to learn about Save the Children's work around the world.
This happened at a time when Susan was the newly-named Managing Director for Carat, the well-respected media planning and buying company. As luck would have it, Susan was looking for a charity for Carat's Chicago office to support and Save the Children's international operations had great appeal for the global media company. Susan mobilized the Carat office to participate in events, such as holiday bazaars and an online gingerbread decorating contest with proceeds benefitting Save the Children.
As Susan became more involved with Save the Children she wanted to visit the field and see first-hand the work that was being accomplished. She traveled to Mali, the first delegation of volunteers, and later to Northern Vietnam, which she describes as an incredible experience. "I met some amazing people on the trip," she said. "It truly changed my life I knew I wanted to devote myself to raising money for Save the Children."
Not long after her trip, Susan had the opportunity to put her compassion and energy to work and make a tremendous contribution to Save the Children. In December, 2004 a wall of water hit Indonesia following an earthquake and epic tsunami. Thousands were killed and many more left homeless. Four days after the horrific event, Susan received a call from Save the Children.
Using her professional expertise as a strategic media planner, and leveraging her many connections throughout the industry, Susan mobilized a pro bono media campaign on behalf of Save the Children's emergency response in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She activated over 50 people who were part of the extensive network at Carat and her media outreach garnered free spots on network television, cable and free online banner ads. It is estimated that the campaign provided Save the Children with $6 million in free media.
Susan continues to be an evangelist for Save the Children and is passing on her passion to the next generation. She currently sponsors several girls and boys in Mali, Nepal and Bangladesh in the names of her nieces and nephews. "I want to give them a sense of what the world is really like, rather than just what they know in their own backyards," she said.
And, while there are many countries and programs that are particularly close to her heart, Susan feels strongly that it is critical to reach the children most in need.. "I know it's best to give Save the Children undesignated funds, so it goes to whatever the biggest need is at any given time," she said.
Susan has bequeathed funding to Save the Children in her will. She reasons, "Signing up for a planned giving program is an extension of what I was doing all along, and this way I'll be continuing to help long after I'm gone."