Ring in the New Year by Helping Others {through the World Food Programme}

Have you ever thought about what you would do if an emergency struck?  I often think about  it now that I am a mother. Protecting my family is my number one priority and it’s hard to imagine what would happen if tragedy really did strike. Even though a lot of us try and prepare, it’s not something anyone can ever be totally ready for, in my opinion.

Imagine, however, that you live in a place where it’s already a struggle to survive.  Areas that are war-torn or in conflict, developing nations where food is scarce and unending droughts make feeding your family nearly impossible. It is truly hard to imagine.

So for my final social good post of the year, I’m going to tell you about the World Food Programme and how they help feed families who have lost everything in midst of an emergency:

Help end child hunger
Drought, hurricanes and armed conflict. These three emergencies have one thing in common – hunger.

When emergencies hit, families depend on World Food Programme (WFP) for life-saving food. To ensure we’re there when we’re needed, we rely on you.

This holiday season, your donation can provide life-saving food for refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, families facing the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in Haiti, and mothers struggling to feed their kids due to drought in Somalia.

Here’s how you can help a family devastated by a recent emergency:

• $35 provides nutritious food for 2 weeks

• $75 provides food for 1 month

• $150 provides food for the next 2 months

If you are looking for a way to pay forward all the blessings you’ve received over the past year, this is a great place to start!

Simply go here to donate.

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

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Maternity Worldwide and Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Still trying to think of a last minute gift for that person on your list who has everything?  Instead of hitting the crowded mall, why not save a life instead?  You can with a just a click of your mouse and it’s certainly not too late.

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Did you know that 800 mothers die each day while giving birth?  800.  Think about that number.  800 hopeful, nervous women who long to hold their precious gifts will not live to do so.

Safe-Birth-Certificate-2012-Happy-Christmas-300x211

Maternity Worldwide wants to change this staggering statistic.  And you can help them do it this year by simply purchasing a  ‘Save a Life This Christmas’, their alternative Christmas gift of a Safe Birth Certificate for $24 and $81 for an emergency delivery for a mother in sub Saharan Africa

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The Statistics:

Having a baby should be a time of great joy and hope. But every year across the world 287,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth. That’s one mother dying every 2 minutes, 800 each day. Another 7-10 million women and girls suffer severe or long lasting illnesses caused by complications in pregnancy and childbirth. These women do not need to suffer and die; most lives could be saved relatively easily and cheaply.

  • 162,000 deaths in childbirth occur in sub Saharan Africa, that’s 56% of the total.
  • Women and girls living in poor countries face a much greater risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth then those living in wealthy countries. 99% of deaths take place in developing countries.
  • The maternal mortality ratio (that is the number of women dying per 100,000 live births) is 240 in developing countries compared with 16 in developed countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa the maternal mortality ratio is 500 per 100,000 live births.
  • A woman’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 150 in developing countries compared to 1 in 3800 in developed countries.
  • In Sub-Saharan Africa the lifetime risk of dying in childbirth risk rises to 1 in 39. This compares with a risk of just 1 in 4600 for mothers living in the UK.
  • Poorer women, particularly those living in rural areas with poor access to health services are far more likely to die in childbirth than those who are wealthier or who live in urban areas.

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But there is hope.  In fact, there’s a solution that you can be a part of today.

By ordering a Safe Birth Certificate you will enable a mother in a developing country to safely give birth to her baby.  Long after the bubble bath has been used and the Christmas hampers have been eaten you will have given a lasting gift which will save a mother’s life and enable her baby to grow up with their mum.

A Safe Birth Certificate can be personalised with your own message and either sent directly to the recipient or to you to give to them. Order one here today: http://www.maternityworldwide.org/news/save-a-life-this-christmas

(Maternity Worldwide’s website is British so the amounts are in pounds. When you give, it will automatically change to dollars upon checkout.)

So what are you waiting for? Give the best gift under the tree–a chance to save a life.

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globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Gifts that Give Back (and a giveaway for you!)

Contest Closed:  The winner is commenter number 23, Danielle!  Thanks for playing along, and congratulations!

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for any length of time, you probably already know that I love products that do good.  I’ve always been a fan of fair trade items as well as items that support charity. So this holiday season, I’ve come up with a list of gifts you can feel good about giving to the loved ones in your life.  These are gifts that truly give twice.

Gifts that GiveHere’s how you can shop with purpose this year (clockwise from top):

1. The scarf above is from a company I support, Trades of Hope.  Trades of Hope empowers women out of poverty by selling their fair trade crafts. You can shop for this scarf and other great fair trade items here.

2. These darling shoes are made by a company called Sole Rebels, who sell fair trade shoes that are hand made in Ethiopia. You can purchase these and tons of other great shoes by visiting their online store.

3.  Shot@Life is a campaign that aims to provide childhood vaccines to the millions of children around the globe who desperately need them.  By purchasing this water bottle from their online store, you are helping them accomplish their goal.

4. This hand made change purse is hand crafted  by women in Kenya.  The sale of these hand made items provides not only income to the families of these women, but supports the education of their special needs children!!  You can purchase these here.

5. Coffee!  Who doesn’t need an extra cup of coffee?  It will taste even more delicious knowing that it provides clean water to those in Africa.  100% of the net proceeds from Three Avocados coffee provide clean water in Uganda.  Purchase your coffee that does good here.

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Want to win the beautiful Trades of Hope scarf pictured above?  I have one to give away to a lucky reader!  All you have to do is….

1. You must leave a comment on this post telling me if you would ever purchase any of the items above to give as gifts.  That’s it!

2. For one extra entry, you can tweet about this giveaway (here’s something you can copy and paste):

Gifts that Do Good and a Giveaway! Enter today to win. @hikemama @CTCKENYA @nonprofitcoffee @soleRebels @ShotAtLife http://wp.me/phD5i-2jo

3. For one extra entry, go “like” my Trades of Hope facebook page (or tell me if you already do.)

Make sure you leave a comment for each of the above.  Giveaway will close December 12th.  Good luck!

On This World AIDS Day, Fight to End Pediatric AIDS

actaware-logo-colourIn honor of World AIDS Day (Saturday, December 1,) I’ve been very busy advocating for the tiniest victims of the AIDS epidemic–the children.  This is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart.  I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to use my voice to inform, educate and empower others about this important cause.  Just today, I have had two articles published.

So now I’ll direct you to my article published in my local paper– Let’s Help Prevent HIV Transmission

And also to my post on World Moms Blog– AIDS: The End Is In Sight

If you’d like to do something….I mean really do something, I’m going to give you an easy way to get involved. Go to A Mother’s Fight to help end pediatric AIDS.  90% of child infections are due to transmission from mother to child. Let’s end pediatric AIDS in our generation by donating to help mothers receive testing and treatment. Your donation WILL save lives.  Join the fight today.

tn

globalteamI wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Giving Tuesday: A National Day of Giving

In America,  you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know what the words Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean.  These words are now infused into our cultural identity and  have become the official  kickoff to the holiday shopping season.  Now don’t get me wrong, giving can be nice (and if you would like to give gifts that do good–then it’s twice as nice!)  But a new campaign to urge Americans to not only give, but give back, is launching on a grand scale this year.

It’s called Giving Tuesday.  And you can be a part of it!

“The goal is to launch a day of giving at the start of the annual holiday shopping season and to show that holiday shopping can be about both giving and giving back.

People everywhere,including retailers, charities, online organizations, community centers, individuals, families and more, will come together with one common purpose ‐‐ to help others and incentivize ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of contribution.

Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”

Sounds pretty good, huh?  So let’s spread the word and add one more day to our holiday vocabulary.  Go to http://givingtuesday.org/ to learn more.

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So how are we going to recognize Giving Tuesday around here?  I’m not really sure yet.  I’m going to call a family meeting tonight and see what we can do.  Although we have many charities and organizations that we like to support, I think we will focus on our local community this Giving Tuesday.  Here are some ideas I’m brewing in my head at the moment:

  • donate some of our children’s books to the local library
  • collect food donations to take to our local animal shelter
  • collect food and clothing donations for our local organization that helps families in need
  • donate toys to local families in need this Christmas

What ideas do you have?  Will you celebrate Giving Tuesday along with me?!  Please help by spreading the word and let’s make this a yearly tradition. I’ll report back later this week and let you know how we did!  I also want to share some holiday pictures of the family, so stay tuned….

 

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

Give Hope This Year: Buy Fair Trade Gifts

This year, skip the Black Friday crowds and stores.  Instead, shop with purpose this holiday season by purchasing handmade, fair trade gifts.  These gifts truly give twice.  You see, each purchase helps  women in developing nations obtain economic stability. Be a part of helping women out of slums, sweat shops, the sex trade and extreme poverty by buying their Fair Trade products. These are products with a purpose!

I’m so excited to be partnering with Trades of Hope to help sell these amazing, handmade items from around the globe.

 

Each artisan has a story to tell of hardship, adversity and hope:

Helping women looks good on you.  Choose to give hope this year.  To read more artisan stories and to learn more about Trades of Hope including how to shop, go to my Trades of Hope site.

Run for NYC

Run a virtual race for the victims of Hurricane Sandy….whether it’s a marathon, half marathon or 5K, sign up today to run and raise money for the recovery efforts during the week. 100% of the money raised goes to the Red Cross relief fund.

 

http://www.run4nyc.com/

Party for a Purpose

Are you (or someone you know) adopting? Are you looking for a way to raise funds? I just launched my direct sales business through Trades of Hope, a fair trade company that helps empower women out of poverty by selling their handcrafts. For the month of November only, I am offering to use my business for adoption fundraisers….meaning I will donate all proceeds from your online/catalog party to your adoption fund! Please feel free to share with anyone who might be interested (and please “like” my page, too!) You can learn more athttp://www.facebook.com/LaurenTradesOfHope

It’s time to party for a purpose with gifts that give twice!

Make Your Halloween Even Sweeter by Trick or Treating for UNICEF

I have a secret, a confession really, that I need to share with all of you.  On Halloween night, after the kids crash from their sugar highs and all is quiet throughout the house, I rummage through the mounds of candy and devour some of my favorite pieces.

I can’t be the only one, please tell me I’m not the only one……

It’s a sinfully delicious guilt that I carry around all year long.  But hey, a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do.  Besides, the kids won’t miss those few pieces of candy.

Now that you all know my little secret, here’s something else that  definitely needs to be shared.  You can make Halloween even sweeter this year by joining UNICEF’s Trick or Treat fundraising program.

For 62 years, UNICEF has been motivating children to become global citizens through this festive fundraising program.  It’s a great way to provide the entire family with an easy and fun way to help others.

  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF encourages kids of all ages to help raise funds for their peers in developing countries by going door-to-door on Halloween night or participating in other festive fundraising activities.
  • Through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, more than $167 million has been raised, providing children in 190 countries and territories with much-needed health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

Ready to get started??  It’s easy! You can order your free collection boxes today!  Click on the image below to find out how….

You can get creative with your fundraising efforts and you can even enter the Create a Character contest for a chance to design your very own collection box for next year.

Make Halloween a little bit sweeter this year with UNICEF, and let’s keep the candy stealing just between us, mkay?

 

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

The Power of We

Today is Blog Action Day, a time for bloggers from around the globe to unite and join a global discussion about one important topic.

“The purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a positive discussion that enables social good about an important topic. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.

By blogging about the same issue, on the same day, from their own perspectives, the blogging community focuses discussion and give their audiences the opportunities to take part in a global conversation, raise awareness or even funds for not-for-profits.”

The topic for today is The Power of We.  I love this topic so much and was really excited to write about it.

the reason I started blogging in the first place…..Little Man and I meeting at the orphanage in Vietnam for the first time

I started blogging in 2007 as a way to chronicle our adoption journey.  At the time, it was just a way for us to keep family and friends updated on the long, complicated journey.  Over time, my blog changed a lot.  I wasn’t sure what to write about or how to use my online presence.  But then slowly, after the adoption of our second child (a special needs, older child adoption) I knew what purpose I wanted my blog to serve.

My blog, you see, became my voice.  A voice to raise awareness on the issues that had affected my life personally: autism, special needs adoption, older child adoption, HIV adoption and the HIV/AIDS orphan crisis and non-profits providing aid to orphanages and children around the world.  I  even found my voice in encouraging others that adventure and the outdooors are for everyone–especially for children and those with special needs.

In 2009, through the power of blogging, I was able to team up with some other adoptive mama’s to start a series of campaigns to raise funds for children and families in Vietnam.  We had never even met in real life, but we had forged a connection through our sons’ shared heritages and our online voices.  We took a small idea and using he Power of We, were able to give life-saving surgeries, meals and other resources to people in need.

In 2012, again through blogging, I was able to connect and meet with the moms involved in the World Moms Blog and was able to spread my voice even further by becoming a contributor to their social good column.

And again in 2012, I was able to join a coalition of moms called the Global Team of 200 in an effort to spread my message of social good far and wide.

I am just beginning to harness the Power of We.  I don’t know where I’m heading, but I know it’s right where I’m supposed to be.  Blogging has not only let me find my voice, but has let me truly discover the amazing Power of We. I am so excited to see where this journey takes me.

Together, our voices united, we can bring about the changes we seek.  I have seen it happen before and I am honored to be a part of the Power of We.

Won’t you join me?

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead