Category: Doing Good

The quote that does more than inspire: It saves lives.

Sharing, liking, or commenting on this post donates one life-saving vaccine to a child around the world. Please read on for the full story.   One of the most wonderful things about social media is that it gives every single one of us a voice. One of the challenges however, is that sometimes it’s easy to stop at so-called awareness; we may discuss topics and causes we’re passionate about but that doesn’t always translate into tangible action. I get it. We’re all busy, and we’re all guilty of this from time to time. That’s why I’ve been so thrilled to be...

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Behind every product is a person: Excellent reminder from Krochet Kids.

We first featured Krochet Kids a few years back, and immediately loved this non-profit’s mission of creating gifts that give back, to help provide job training and a sustainable income source in impoverished communities around the globe. While they have big hearts, they have great taste too; their items are really stylish and wearable, something I also look for when we find fantastic fair trade companies to share here. Related: To the Market: Fashionable gifts and accessories that reinvent women’s lives. Now the organization has added one more cool item to their catalog: A t-shirt created in collaboration with Jeff Sheldon, who you might better know as Ugmonk. The...

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Two fantastic new crowdfunding platforms to help the small makers we love

I love the popularity of crowdfunding independent projects, especially since it’s helped to launch so many companies we love on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. And now there are two new platforms I’m so happy to learn about, because they really are dedicated to artists and indie makers, and have yet to be taken over by companies that already have $4 million in VC funding: Fund on Etsy, and Seed & Spark.   FUND ON ETSY Fund on Etsy is just as it sounds — a pilot program to help support makers who want to stretch beyond “mom who sews things on...

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Bystander Revolution: The anti-bullying site every parent should know

There’s not one of us who didn’t grow up facing some sort of bullying. Did I ever tell you about the girls who called my number in high school and hung up every half hour, for hours and hours into the night? (That was before caller ID.) Then there was the girl at summer camp who handed out birthday cake to every other girl in our bunk, and when she got to me, she looked right at me, threw my slice on the floor, and said, “oops…I guess yours fell.” Some of it still stings, all these years later. And I can imagine you all have...

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It’s World Immunization Week. Here’s 3 ways you can help make sure more kids grow up healthy.

This year, April 24-30 is World Immunization Week, and based on the screams emanating from the pediatrician’s office on my last visit, I’m guessing this isn’t one my kids are thrilled about. But as they get older, they’ll know why they should be. Vaccines save lives—an estimated 3 million per year, in fact. As a mom, I want to do everything I can to make sure my kids aren’t at risk for contracting polio, measles, or any other disease once cut young lives short. Mothers in the developing world don’t always access to these immunizations though, and right now 20% of the world’s children aren’t getting the vaccines they...

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The Nepal Earthquake: What you can do to help the victims

As the massive rescue and recovery efforts are underway to assist those affected by the devastating Nepal Earthquake, we are all feeling like we want to help in some way, even though we feel so far away. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can help the many NGOs and charities that are sending teams over. If you’re looking to contribute, we rounded up some organizations that could certainly use your support right now. – Over at CNN, there’s a helpful list of charities supporting Nepal Earthquake relief, including the Nepal Red Cross Society, Global Giving, and UNICEF, just to name a few. They...

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The Peace Exchange: Fair trade accessories from an organization that just gives you more faith in humanity.

I admit that like a lot of you, that it can get really hard, day after day, learning about yet another violent incident around the world; another area facing political unrest, turmoil, and terrible conditions, especially for women and children. But as I recently heard Nicholas Kristoff describe at a ONE Girls + Women’s summit, every time he visits these countries he returns feeling less discouraged, not more so. Because there’s always one person, one group he encounters, doing absolutely remarkable things to help the lives of other people. Maybe that’s why I’m always looking for these kinds or organizations to support; it’s a necessary reminder...

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Life Empowered: How kids can help change the world one light bulb at a time.

Imagine if you didn’t have electricity at home and your kids had to go out and sit under a street lamp on a deserted street, alone each night, in order to finish their homework. That’s exactly what a lot of kids face in other parts of the world, though when we think of “energy poverty,” we don’t always think about such relatable examples of its effect. That’s why, as we turn our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I love the idea of using it as an opportunity to talk to our kids about why having access to energy matters. And that’s what the...

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Tattly tattoos do good. And it’s great.

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Tattly tattoos, but even more now that they’ve teamed up with charity:water to help raise money for an awesome cause. The Craziest Thing tattoo not only has a message I’d more than happily wear on my arm (or back or leg), but 80% of the proceeds from each purchase go to support the charity: water initiativ to bring clean, safe water to developing nations.   And if you think temporary tattoos are just for kids, no way! Sure, my kids love their designs, but I love wearing them just as much as they do, especially since...

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The must-watch anti-bullying video for kids and parents

My friend, fellow mom, and one-time officemate of mine Joanne turned me onto this Champions Against Bullying anti-bullying video that just launched, and wow. It’s powerful. I see a lot of these and this may be the first one that I rushed to share. The spot features teens reading beautiful notes of love and encouragement written on their Facebook pages, and I don’t want to give away the end, but warning–it will stab you in the heart. Full disclosure: The PSA was created by former colleagues of mine at Deutsch NY, but I couldn’t be more pleased to post it. If you have...

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For MLK Day, a whole new twist on a day of service just for kids.

We love finding service opportunities for kids and families as a way to get kids excited about public service and volunteering early. So I was so delighted to learn that the wonderful NYC is My Backyard camp, which my own girls attended a couple summers back, is hosting a Martin Luther King Day community service camp on Monday, January 19, as a way of honoring Dr. King’s legacy. With schools out of session to commemorate the holiday in New York (I am actually disappointed to learn that this still isn’t recognized nationwide; so, go NYC!), it gives kids an opportunity to participate in community service projects, compile supplies for...

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Year-end charitable donations and purchases that put people to work

Before you close the books on 2014, there is still time to make a big difference in the lives of other people. Supporting an organization that gives people in need a chance to earn a living for themselves and their families is a great way to make your dollars matter, so I put together some favorites. Plus, for many of the organizations featured here, you can purchase something wonderful for yourself or friends and family as a way to support others. Of course the purchase of goods won’t be tax-deductible, like an outright donation. But we love any way that helps ensure great organizations like these will...

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NYC food truck offers locally-sourced food with a side of social justice

The next time I’m in NYC, I hope my plans take me to wherever the Snowday Food Truck is parked. A maple syrup-themed food truck with a seasonal farm-to-truck menu, its purpose is greater than serving delicious locally-sourced food. The truck is run by Drive Change, a New York-based organization that hires, teaches, and empowers formerly incarcerated youth. See, in New York, the age of adult criminal responsibility is 16. (It’s 18 years old in almost every other state.) Snowday is a “vehicle for social justice,” employing 24 young people coming out of the adult criminal justice system and offering hands-on experience and transferable leadership skills. All...

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#GivingTuesday: 7 amazing organizations to help you give back as a family all year long.

We love how #GivingTuesday has become such a widespread tradition across the US in just two years, and we’ve been thrilled to share some of our favorite ways to give back–on this day and any day. We love promoting our favorite charities and causes, and gifts that give back, but this year, in honor of #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting family volunteer opportunities. I can’t think of a better way to balance out the post-Thanksgiving retail focus, and maybe even to start a new tradition for your kids, than to get out there and give back to others. In fact, it’s become a really wonderful aspect of...

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5 simple tips to get kids involved in ending poverty

Getting my kids involved with helping others has always been an extremely important part of parenting for me, and I’ve done my best to include them in my own charitable passions when I can. But after attending the recent Global Citizen Festival on behalf of our sponsor (and event partner) Citi, I’ve been thinking more deeply about global poverty, an epidemic affecting a staggering 1.2 billion people, and how I can get my own kids involved.     Admittedly, poverty is not an easy topic to broach with kids, but it’s an extremely important one. Start when they’re young and it’s not only...

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The 2014 Martha Stewart American Made award finalists: A few of our favorite shops worth voting for

We are thrilled that Martha Stewart is again shining a spotlight on those gifted American makers who brings us so many gorgeous items to decorate our homes, dress our babies, and beautify our lives through the 2014 American Made awards. And now it’s time for you to vote for the Audience Choice Winner  from over 1,000 finalists. That $10,000 prize could go a long way towards helping one of your favorite American companies succeed. Though you can vote up to six times in a 24 hour period from now until October 13th, good luck narrowing your votes down to only six companies....

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Moms in Training: Hitting the pavement for a great cause

If you need a good reason to strap on your sneakers and get some exercise this fall, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s NYC-based Moms in Training is ready to provide you with all the motivation you need. And best of all for you new mamas: Your stroller-riding baby is totally welcome to join you and more than 300 new friends in this group that won’t just help you in your quest for better health, but could help thousands. Moms in Training’s mission–to help stomp out cancer by raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training– goes way...

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Our planet: #Itsnotwarming, it’s dying

My mother came over this week with a handful of beautiful green ombre buttons, but they had a darkness to them. As she pinned one to each of my children, she explained that these were the new Milton Glaser Earth Buttons, a graphical show of solidarity he’s created in the fight against global warming. However the design legend (ever seen an I ♥ NY logo?) is making a point with this effort that it’s not actually global warming at all we’re talking about–it’s the planet, dying. A  more severe concept than “climate change” to be sure. So he’s created an icon...

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10 years of Postpartum Progress: We’re standing up and cheering loudly for moms everywhere.

We’ve mentioned the amazing work of Postpartum Progress before, but if you’re not familiar with it, this is a good time. Katherine Stone’s blog-turned-full-fledged-nonprofit has grown into a true force for change, helping the hundreds of thousands of women around the world who suffer from the most underdiagnosed, underdiscussed, underfunded and undertreated women’s ailments in the the world. It is, quite literally, a lifesaver. So we’re so pleased to be able to wish Postpartum Progress a happy 10th anniversary this week.   Katherine Stone at the 2014 Iris Awards, accepting for Industry Influence – Philanthropic Work In that time, it’s amazing...

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Edible Schoolyard NYC gets busy in Harlem

I get so excited about school programs that are innovative and exciting for kids, and one of my favorites is the seed-to-table education offered by Alice Walter’s esteemed Edible Schoolyard program. In New York’s East Harlem neighborhood, where Edible Schoolyard NYC operates, less than 2% of grocery stores have fresh leafy greens available. It’s hard to condemn kids for not eating healthier when they don’t actually have those options available to them. So SYNYC is doing something about it  by creating schoolyard gardens, and this week they’ve launched an Edible Schoolyard NYC Crowdrise campaign to raise $50,000 to benefit several schools’ gardens. This could really change the...

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Eat out to #86AIDS with Project (RED), the best reason we’ve had not to cook in ages.

We are big fans of Project (RED) here at Cool Mom Picks, so we’re really excited to eat out in June (zomg it’s June already) in support of EAT (RED) DRINK (RED). From June 1-10, restaurants, all those trendy food trucks, and bars around the country are teaming up with this amazing organization to give a portion of their sales to the outstanding Global Fund to Fight AIDS. There’s even an amazing growing movement of social media photo shares, with the requisite hashtags, to get everyone spreading the word in fun ways.   With life-saving antiretroviral drugs costing a mere $.40 per dose–that’s the kind of change...

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What one remarkable family is doing to support adoption

We are lucky to have Kate Etue, one of the most incredible writers and all-around loving, wonderful people on our staff. And when she showed me what she was doing to help support the 147 million orphans around the world, and her own pending adoption, let’s say I grabbed the tissues. Then rushed here to tell you all about it. In that order. It started out with the design of their own lovely adoption t-shirts to raise money from friends for their own adoption. But I think they’d be awesome shirts for anyone supporting adoption in any way. Isn’t the message...

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Cool Moms agree: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is currently the #1 trending topic on Twitter and is taking over tumblr with user photos of people from all walks of life holding up handmade signs about why we need more diversity in literature–especially for kids. It was created as a response to a national literary convention that put together a panel of “luminaries of children’s literature” and only included white male authors. The uproar demanded more diversity in books, in authors, and in the attention given to books by and about people of color, LGBTQ, and the otherly abled. Today through May 3 (and beyond!) it’s easy...

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Sponsored Post: National Thank a Police Dog Week

This is a sponsored message from PetArmor.   Police dogs are cool. Fact. But it’s easy to take for granted those four-legged officers that are so essential to helping our men and women in uniform do their jobs and keep us all safe. In fact, most law enforcement agencies don’t even have the budget to provide the thousand-dollar protective vests to their K-9 officers. That’s why PetArmor has declared the week of April 28 National Thank a Police Dog Week and is working with the non-profit Vested Interest in K9s to help donate the protective gear they need. It’s a great opportunity...

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Honor International Women’s Day by sharing one simple story from ONE that makes a difference. Easy.

We celebrate the hard work and contributions of women every day here at Cool Mom Picks. For this year’s International Women’s Day today, we are standing with ONE to applaud the essential work of one group of women in Africa: farmers. You may not think of farmers being women, but throughout countries like Rwanda and Kenya, they make up to 80% of the agricultural workforce in some communities. Whoa.  It’s important to spread the word about their hard work to feed their communities, since investors and outside support usually go to farms owned by men. We’ve been a fan of many...

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The Super Bowl commercial we’re most excited about: Bono’s Project (RED) song, Invisible

Because we’re huge fans of moms everywhere, we’re also fans of Bono and his ONE organization and Project (RED). Especially because of what they’re doing during the Super Bowl tonight: U2 will release their new single, Invisible, (produced by the very cool Danger Mouse) on iTunes, all to help raise money to provide HIV/AIDS medicine to go to the 250,000 babies still born with HIV each year. Here’s the thing — it is free! But it will only be available from 6:00 pm Sunday night until 11:59 pm EST Monday night through the Project (RED) Site. [update: here’s the link for the U2...

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Ways to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the kids

From books that celebrate his life’s story, to activities you can do with the kids on this Day of Service, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, or any day of the year.    Volunteer opportunities If your local newspaper or websites don’t list any special events, check out All For Good’s searchable database for Martin Luther King Day events in your area. In the Boston area, I was able to find events where people of all ages will make fleece scarves for homeless people, serve at...

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Sole Hope: Throw a shoe party, save lives

There are a lot of things we can take for granted living in the US, like the fact that our children are probably not going to lose their limbs to bug bites. But now that I’ve found this incredible organization called Sole Hope that helps prevent that very thing in Africa, I’m not only enlightened, I’m inspired to help. Essentially there are these bugs in Africa called jiggers. Ever heard of them? I hadn’t. They are little sand fleas that burrow into bare skin, lay eggs, and can lead to huge problems like tetanus, gangrene, and even paralysis and amputation which...

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Outstanding ideas for that last-minute charitable contribution for the year

Before the ball drops and the bubbly pops, don’t forget those last-minute charitable contributions that help your year-end tax bill and a worthy cause. Here, one of our favorite annual traditions: a list of our own staff’s favorite charities that could use your support now and every day of the coming year. Or hey, maybe they’ll just inspire you to discover a great new one or remember an important organization of your own. Kristen: Team Rubicon Every year, Team Rubicon gets my vote as a worthy cause. Not only do they assist the needs of individuals affected by tragedy...

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One toy in, one toy out: Used toy donations to help kids in need this holiday season

Especially with so many services that help facilitate toy donations, there is nothing more sad to me than seeing a perfectly good plastic toy sitting by the curb on garbage day. And yet, if you’re like me, you’re not quite sure who to call about the sand table gathering wet leaves in the back yard or the pile of electronic guitars and singing cars your kids accumulate over the years that you might be clearing out, especially with the new gifts coming in for Christmas. Now there’s a way to pass your formerly loved plastic toys on to children...

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