Category: Causes + General Do-Gooding

10 ways for families to join in on #GivingTuesday. Lots of them free.

After the total madness of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday (phew) one of the things we love best is #GivingTuesday. The point being that after taking advantage of so many great shopping deals for yourself and your loved ones over the past week, it’s a good time to think about putting aside a little something for others in need, locally and abroad. We can’t tell you where or how or how much to give, but here are ten ideas to get you thinking: 1. Support an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign and help an entrepreneur. 2. Give...

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Celebrate Veteran’s Day by helping the people of the Philippines with Team Rubicon

With the recent devastation in the Philippines and today being Veteran’s Day, we couldn’t think of a better way to honor those who have so bravely served our country and send help to those who need to most than sharing our friends from Team Rubicon’s latest mission, Operation: Seabird. Just yesterday, they deployed 18 former veterans and first responders to provide relief to the typhoon-swept city of Tacloban, Philippines to provide search and rescue and triaging support. If you’re not familiar with Team Rubicon, they are an amazing non-profit that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans to...

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After the pink is gone: ways to take on breast cancer all year long

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is officially ending tomorrow, and this year at Cool Mom Picks we decided to stay away from the “pinkwashing” products, the Facebook memes that don’t really help anyone, and the plethora of pink ribbon products, however well-intended. (Pink ribbon liquor bottles? Sigh.) For so many of us, the fight to find a cure for our mothers, our sisters, our friends, and ourselves never ends, not even on October 31. So instead, we wanted to offer up some organizations that tirelessly work every month to help wipe out breast cancer and support those still battling it....

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The gift that keeps on giving. And bleating.

As it turns out, the hottest gift this holiday season might actually be a goat. And her name is Stella. Don’t worry–she’s not coming to live with you. But she can do a world of good for a family in need. We’re already excited about FashionABLE’s third birthday–and the 30% off sale on their gorgeous scarves–because we love initiatives that help families break out of extreme poverty. In fact, one of our favorite scarves was even designed with the help of ONE.org. And now that Heifer International is partnering with ONE as well, we’re happy to get the word out too....

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The FashionABLE birthday sale: You get the gifts, and so do women halfway around the world.

Three years ago, a small company was founded that would forever change the lives of so many women and mothers in Ethiopia. You may already know how much we love FashionABLE, their beautiful handmade scarves and leather goods, and everything they’re doing to bring women out of poverty to create better lives for themselves. Now it’s time to celebrate their third birthday in style, with a super awesome sale this week only. Starting today, FashionABLE will be celebrating three years with a sale on every beautiful item in their shop including their new fall collection. Every writer from Cool Mom Picks got one...

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Trendy specs that give back to kids in need

For some reason, finding cool eyewear at decent prices is one of the great impossibilities of our time. Sure, you can clip coupons for the discount optometrist in the mall, but you’ll never find affordable, straight-from-Paris frames or those to-die-for vintage shades. That’s why we’re such big fans of this online company with seriously sweet eyewear and a mission we love. The philosophy behind Ivory + Mason is similar to so many other products that give back, most notably Warby Parker.  You get gorgeous eyewear, fair prices, and for every pair of frames you buy, they’ll give a pair to a...

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Colorado flooding: 4 ways you can help

Our family moved to Colorado in 2005, and as cheesy as it may sound, I fell in love with the natural beauty of this state. We’ve camped in Glenwood Springs, hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, and zip-lined at YMCA of the Rockies. I ran my first half marathon in Estes Park, and I’ve been doing triathlons in Boulder since 2009. I never dreamed of doing such things when I lived in New York; Colorado has transformed me. Now Colorado has been transformed by rain and flooding. The pictures and videos document the unbelievable destruction, and the statistics are...

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Gifts that give back beautifully: Given Goods Company

We always love websites with gifts that give back, and now there’s another one that’s not just all about do-gooding, but selling truly fabulous products. Let’s just say you’re not going to have to click all that much to find something you want to add to your wishlist.  Given Goods Company offers accessories, home goods, and all kinds of gifts that are amazingly well curated. Don’t expect a world of big beaded necklaces here (not that they can’t be great too), but the kinds of items you’d find in a favorite local boutique. Toggle over the little blue G icon,...

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Remember 9/11 through volunteering. (A better idea than just watching the news all day.)

It has been 12 years, though the memory of how that perfectly ordinary September morning turned into a day of horror will forever make our hearts ache and hug our children a little closer. Along with the tears (still), we also feel an increased resolve to do something good in memory of all those whose lives were so suddenly changed. If you too want to help on this 9/11 Day of Service but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve long turned to a website that will quickly and easily help you find volunteer opportunities in your area. VolunteerMarch.org finds...

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Kiva + Etsy: The perfect handmade match to support the artists you love

As huge supporters of the handmade movement, we’ve been fans of Etsy since about day one. And now that they’ve teamed up with the amazing charity Kiva, well, let’s just say if you share our passion, this is an effort worth getting involved with.   Similar to Kiva’s existing program which helps provide loans to borrowers in need from around the world looking to start a business, the new Kiva partnership with Etsy now provides artisans with access to interest-free microloans through a program known as Kiva Zip. You can provide a loan to a slew of artisans looking...

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Now you and Seth Rogen can send a funny birthday card together. For charity.

The next time you need to send a birthday card to someone special, wouldn’t it be even better if you got Seth Rogen to help out? Because you can.      Thanks to Treat, the greeting card service from Shutterfly, Seth has joined Treat’s Celebrity Birthday Card Collection to create a pair of funny cards ready for easy customization. You can even add a photo. Better than that, though, is the fact that Seth’s card makes a donation to Hilarity for Charity. So you’re not just giving a card, you’re helping to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s. Which,...

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FEED plus Target: a collaboration we can get behind.

I’m a big fan of the FEED mission, which sells products to directly feed schoolchildren both at home through Feeding America and abroad via the UN’s World Food Program. Whenever I carry my FEED bag, I’m reminded of the good it did. So I’m excited about their collaboration with Target–but it’s ending soon. So if you haven’t checked it out, now is a great time.        The FEED + Target collaboration includes so many kinds of products; check the Target website and there’s surely something in there that you want, especially considering it supports Feeding America. And...

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Sweet dreams are made of these: handmade summer quilts

Oh, hello there, Summer! Long time no see. The weather is warmer, the kids are sweatier, and it’s time to pull out the summertime linens. Or, um, it might be that time if I were the kind of person who’s organized enough to have summer linens. And if I were? Well, CMP fave OM Home would be making an appearance on every bed in my house. Serious loveliness. And a special discount for CMP readers! {Don’t miss the exclusive 20% off CMP sale code after the jump!} OM Home has expanded its line of amazing crib-sized Handmade Kantha Quilts to include twin, queen...

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An end of year teacher gift for the teacher with the biggest heart

In the south, your kids may already already be out of school (and you parents scampering for activities to keep them occupied), but up where I live we still have an entire month left. That also means, a whole month left to think of thoughtful teacher gifts. Looking at Donors Choose this week, I’m so thrilled to see a donation category dedicated just for schools in Moore, Oklahoma that need rebuilding after the recent tornado. Making a donation to the Donors Choose fund to help Moore, OK Schools in a teacher’s name is such a special gift. This is...

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How to support our troops on Memorial Day

With a husband in the military, our troops are always on my mind, even beyond Memorial Day. Even though today is a great day just to celebrate family and the beginning of summer, if you’re so inclined, here are a few very simple ways to show your thanks, and honor military service today and every day. Support a worthy cause: You’ll find no shortage of amazing military charities, from Operation Gratitude and Fisher House Foundation that help provide support for military families, to Team Rubicon, which utilizes the skills of veterans to help people in need and has blown...

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How to help those affected by the Oklahoma tornadoes

Our hearts are so heavy with the news of the devastation caused by yesterday’s tornadoes in Oklahoma. Along with keeping those affected in our thoughts, we have pulled together a list of resources that will bring much-needed help, both now and in the near future. photo: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press On Cool Mom Tech, we’ve rounded up smart ways to use technology to help Oklahoma but in addition, here are some other truly effective ways: A $50 donation to Feed the Children will help deliver 375 pounds of relief supplies to those in need. Or, donate as little as $10 and...

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The 2013 Baby Buggy Bedtime Bash: We’ll be a part this year, come join us!

When I first discovered Baby Buggy, the remarkable organization that helps new mothers most in need, I was instantly captivated. As a new mom myself, I wanted to know what I could do to help. And now, several years later, I’m so excited to not only join the amazing roster of women who consult as “Friends of Baby Buggy,” but to be one of the sponsors of their annual, star-studded, super crazy fun annual kids’ carnival fundraiser. And you’re invited! If you’re in the NYC area, the Baby Buggy Bedtime Bash is honestly one of the best events ever....

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Kids helping kids with tees? That’s mightee fine!

This cool website has one goal: to help teach kids valuable lessons in helping other kids in need. The really cute shirts just happen to be a bonus. Each month, Mightee Kids works with one special charity to craft a gorgeous, soft, kids’ tee shirt with a stylish design based on that month’s cause. You can buy individual shirts or sign up for a monthly t-shirt subscription (at a discounted rate). The shirt shows up in your mailbox along with a brochure that will help you discuss the cause, why it’s important, and how kids can take action, including...

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Landfill Harmonic: Turning trash into beautiful music

As a former music professor, I’m well aware of the transformative power of music in the lives of children. But this unbelievable Kickstarter campaign is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Or heard. Landfill Harmonic is the story of a garbage picker and musician in Cateura, Paraguay which is essentially a slum built on top of a landfill. He turned the trash he found into actual functioning musical instruments for the children in need there, creating “The Recycled Orchestra.” And oh the music they make! The goal of their Kickstarter campaign is to complete a documentary film about several of...

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Vines for your ears

There’s a reason why we keep coming back to raven+ lily. Between their gorgeous baubles and the wonderful cause they support, you just can’t go wrong. And that’s still the case with these new earrings for spring. We’ve featured their affordable leather earrings before, but now the shop has added a few cool new designs to the mix, in particular the Zia Gold Vine earrings, which are made with locally sourced leather by marginalized women in North India. And we love that proceeds from this collection help fund literacy programs for women and children in this community. All the more...

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Gorgeous disposable diapers, including a philanthropic hippopotamus

Though I’ve always been a cloth-diaperer at heart, I use my share of disposables, too. So when CMP fave The Honest Company launched last year, I was so very jealous of the gorgeous diaper prints available because I can’t get them up in Canada. And now there are 3 new patterns to fill me with envy, and not just for their cuteness.  The three new Honest Baby diapers that fill me with cross-border envy include a pink strawberry print that’s adorable for spring even without a diaper cover; an awesome comic book print that will have every little adventurer kapow-ing post-diaper-change,...

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A puzzle piece barrette that just fits for World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Although most people are probably pretty aware of autism, more needs to be done to raise both money for research and family aid, and to foster better understanding of kids (and adults) who are tired of feeling different and misunderstood.  And sometimes, it’s the little things that can help a person feel understood, like a smile and a kind word, or simply wearing an iconic puzzle piece which lets the world know that, yes, you are aware. Or as we would say, “I get it.” Representing the complexity and struggle of Autism, the...

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Self-Respect Underwear offers just the messages our girls need right now

We admit, like a lot of parents, we were pretty shocked (to say the least) about the new Victoria’s Secret line of sexy panties with provocative phrases being marketed towards young teens. Do our ninth-graders really need DARE YOU written on their rear ends? Don’t answer that. So we searched far and wide and we were beyond thrilled to find a line of panties made for girls that we can support. It’s from a mom-run company called Self-Respect Underwear, and they’re still adorable, which means our tween and teen daughters will like them, but they’ve got sayings a little...

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Going Public: How you can help protect education. For all kids.

The state of education in the US has been top of mind ever since having children, as I’m sure it is for so many of us parents. And now there’s a really important documentary I sincerely hope you’ll take a look at if you care about oh, things like every kid in America getting a shot at a good education. Admittedly, I am not unbiased when it comes to Going Public, the upcoming documentary film from executive producer, author, and lauded educational consultant Nancy Letts. That’s because I know Nancy about as well as anyone; she’s my mother. This...

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Clothes for kids, drawn by kids, helping kids. No kidding.

We love to bring you great picks with a great story, and this one hits home on a lot of levels. Here’s how one little girl is making the world a better place through clothes designed by kids, for kids. Bethany Sawyer was only five when she decided she wanted to make the world a better place. With her parents’ help, she’s now the mastermind behind The Giving Goose. All the clothing designs are drawn by kids — vibrant images of all the things kids like: flowers, butterflies, monster trucks, frogs, and more. Your kids can even submit their...

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Keeping your baby healthy in a hopefully healthier world

Wayyyy back in 2006 when I first discovered the non-profit Children’s Environmental Health Coalition blog, now better known as Healthy Child, Healthy World, well as a brand new mom it was like the sky opening, the clouds parting and rainbows dancing around. How wonderful to find a one-stop place for tangible info on how to make my baby’s environment safer and more healthy. (Let’s be honest, we new moms can get a little anxious over stuff like that. Yes? Just a little?) Just yesterday, the new site has totally relaunched and wow mamas, is it good. The new healthychild.org...

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Sustainable suds that do good (and smell great)

This soap looks gorgeous, smells amazing, and saves lives while helping the environment. Meaning we suddenly need to wash our hands. A lot. We love soaps that do good in the world, and the brand Hand in Hand has a lot to offer. The brainchild of a husband-wife team who wanted to found a business based on sustainable giving, Hand in Hand goes the extra mile to improve the world on two fronts: for every bar purchased, they provide one bar of soap to a child in Haiti and save 50 square feet of rain forest. But we know...

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Art with a beautiful message, for a beautiful cause

I’m not usually someone who posts inspirational messages or quotes on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for that matter, let alone on the walls of my home;  but when I saw this lovely print, I decided to make an exception. Especially because of where the money goes. This sweet Be Fearless print is an original collaboration between Fresh Words Market and the LIFT campaign, and 100% of the proceeds from its purchase will go to this organization which helps eradicate poverty and create more opportunities for people in need, right here in the United States. So cool!  I love the simple...

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

We can’t think of a better way to bid farewell to the year than by highlighting our editors’ and contributors’ favorite charities and non-profits, just in time for a final contribution–and tax deduction–for 2012. Do any of your favorites line up with ours? Or hey, maybe you’ll find a cause you hadn’t considered before, that strikes the right chord with you. Even better, some of these great causes are offering matching funds if you donated by the end of day today, ensuring that your contribution will do double the good in 2013. Happy New Year, indeed. Liz: Baby Buggy...

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Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

I just got wind of the most beautiful idea – a group putting together a mountain of handmade snowflakes from children everywhere, to help decorate the new halls of the brand new school where the Sandy Hook elementary students will be returning after the holidays. The information is on the National Parent-Teacher Association Facebook page, but the gist is simple: Send handmade snowflakes to: Connecticut PTA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT06514 Now obviously not every parent has talked to their children about the recent tragedy, nor should you. I think you could still get your...

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