06/01/2010 09:25 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Girls Unite

Modern philanthropy has seen some bold moves of late. Thank you, Mr. Buffett. Blessing to Bill and Melinda Gates. But, remember the first billion-dollar bombshell? Over a decade ago, Ted Turner got fired up about the United States owing over a billion dollars to the United Nations. So, he wrote a check to cover our country's debt and started what is surely one of the most effective models of individual, business, NGO and government partnership -- The United Nations Foundation (UNF).

Today, June 1, marks another historic moment with the launch of a new global UNF campaign: Girl Up. Girl Up rallies American girls to step up and become the next generation of impact philanthropist and empowerment activists. At their own online community, girls in this country will get inspired by and educated about the stories of some of the world's hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Easy, engaging tools motivate them to give a "High Five" to girls around the globe. It doesn't take much -- donating $5, telling 5 friends, learning 5 facts -- to make a big impact. A movement of High Fives across American will provide girls who share their dreams with basic needs like access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more.

Do I want my daughter to know that she has the power to touch the lives of the 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries for the better? You bet I do. That's exactly what this is all about: girls standing up for themselves. The next Ted Turner may live in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia or Evanston, Ill. Think what they will accomplish together, when they join forces.

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