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How your continued support will help Unicef to make children's lives better all over the Commonwealth

With just three days to go there's a huge feeling of expectation among the athletes, organisers and volunteers hoping the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be the best ever.

We know this will be the best-ever Games for children thanks to the unique partnership that has brought Unicef together with Glasgow 2014 and many others, including the Sunday Herald and The Herald, to ensure that the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony and the days to follow will inspire millions to save and change children's lives across the Commonwealth.

Unicef has been supported by some of the world's leading sportsmen and women including Scottish icons like Sir Alex Ferguson and Andy Murray.

Sport helps children in so many ways. The stories of children in these papers over the past few weeks show that sport can help improve health, reduce violence and provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play and to feel included. It's especially important for girls, too often marginalised or neglected in their communities. It encourages children into education and supports life-saving campaigns to keep children safe from disease. Sport and play can also help bring back the smiles of children affected by war and conflict.

You'll also have seen how Unicef UK helps thousands of children in Scotland. We work in hospitals and the wider community to support mothers and newborn babies get off to the best start, and in schools to teach children about their rights and helping to build their confidence. With your support, we will be able to extend this work.

At the Opening Ceremony this Wednesday, alongside the athletes, Unicef and the children of the Commonwealth will have a starring role. You'll get to see some of the work we're doing to save and change the lives of children, through the eyes of our celebrity supporters and some extraordinary Glaswegians.

There is an important message. All children have rights that should guarantee what they need to survive, grow up safe and healthy, participate and fulfil their potential. Yet millions of children die from preventable diseases. Millions more don't go to school, or have food, shelter or clean water. Unicef works to transform children's lives by protecting their rights.

So I want to thank the Sunday Herald and The Herald for helping us, and to everyone who has supported our work with donations or through our grand auction. Thank you so much for helping us Put Children First.

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