Category: Doing Good

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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Heifer International gifts: Buy the cow. And the goat, and the flock of chicks.

We love end-of-year charitable donations (or any time of year) to deserving organizations, and we’ve always been fans of Heifer International. Especially now that they’ve made it even easier to help a family take care of itself through your donation–and it happens to make a fabulous Christmas gift too. Heifer International is an amazing nonprofit that for years has been working to end world hunger by giving milk cows, goats, and flocks of chicks to impoverished communities–all to help the communities help themselves. And this year, they’ve added their own Christmas Wish List that makes it really easy to find...

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Holiday gift tags that make a difference in the lives of hungry kids

One goal that my husband and I have set for our family this holiday season is to give back as much as we possibly can. I think we’re all feeling it a bit this year. That’s why I love products like these holiday gift tags, which look great and do great things, with all of the proceeds going straight to those who are in need. These holiday gift tag created by No Kid Hungry, are the perfect gift tags or Christmas notes for loved ones. You can choose between two attractive styles. And every purchase gives back–exponentially. Purchase just...

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One of the most important presents you could ever give: clean water

As wonderful as it is to unwrap gifts during the holidays, it’s even more wonderful to give gifts that can’t be wrapped in the first place. Especially this one–because it will also be appreciated for a lifetime. Cool Mom Picks has always loved the mission of charity:water: to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. And its holiday campaign is one I can totally get behind: the organization is suggesting we “give up the gifts” and instead help fund 100 new wells in Ethiopia. Just $10,000 fully funds a shallow borehole well in northern Ethiopia–a region...

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10 cool Christmas ornaments that give back

It feels like the world is in a very give-back kind of mood this year, doesn’t it? And while we have quite a few gifts that give back on our holiday gift guide, there’s something particularly special about ornaments that support a great charity or cause. Every year, you (or the lucky recipient) gets to be reminded of the do-gooding aspect of the season, which I think is my very favorite part. Here, a few favorites which support an incredibly diverse range of causes, some for as little as $5 an ornament. –Liz Ornaments that support children in South Africa...

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FEED the world: let them know it’s Christmas time

In honor of World AIDS Day today, there’s a lot you can do. It can be as simple as signing a petition to keep funding for AIDS treatment and prevention going to save the lives of moms and babies. It can be talking to your kids about AIDS and how far we’ve come with treatment and research. And it can be making a generous contribution through the simple act of shopping. The Project (RED) shop offers a lot of great products that help support AIDS research and treatment to various degrees. But what I particularly love is this FEED (RED) Love 30...

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Because the coolest superpower is always giving back

We bet you know a pint-sized superhero or two. You might even have one battling baddies in your living room at this very moment. So maybe it’s time for some new superhero threads for your fave good guys (and good girls).  One of our favorite indie imaginative play companies, Pip and Bean, has been turning out handmade kid capes on Etsy since 2009. This holiday season, this mom-and-pop shop are offering an awesome promotion that will not only have your little superheroes rockin’ their very own capes, but will also help them put smiles on the faces of other kids...

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One thing you can do to make a difference for millions of women. And it’s free.

As some of you know, I recently spent a week in Ethiopia with the amazing organization ONE, specifically to see the tangible good that foreign aid is doing for mothers and families around the globe. The amazing thing about ONE is that they never ask for your money–only your voice. And that voice matters indeed. I’d love if you can take 30 seconds (really!) out of your day to do one little thing for them–and for all mothers–in honor of Giving Tuesday. And it won’t cost you a dime. Only about 30 seconds. My small request: Please sign this...

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We’re giving back to our favorite causes on #GivingTuesday

While Cool Mom Picks is known for finding the coolest stuff out there for our readers to buy, we’ve also got a big soft spot for causes and charities, and generally just making the world a better place. (Bonus points if it also involves shopping for cool stuff.) So it’s no surprise that when we heard about #GivingTuesday, we couldn’t wait to learn more–and we knew our readers would dig it too. #GivingTuesday is a collaborative effort, spearheaded by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, to promote generosity and giving during the holiday season. We’ve devoted recent...

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Little Pickle Press: Children’s books that give back, especially to the children who read them.

I love children’s books with messages that support our values, but a lot of those books seem to put the messages ahead of the storytelling. In other words, I’d like to own more books that are as engaging as Eloise but maybe aren’t how-to’s in achieving bratdom status before fifth grade? So I’m thrilled to have found a small publisher that does a beautiful job with kids’ books about topics like the environment, global citizenship, health and imagination–but your kids will just think they’re just good books. Little Pickle Press is a small publisher with big ideas. I’ve recently...

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Paying the thankfulness forward to other families on Thanksgiving

Today we are feeling so thankful to be home, safe, and with family, taking it all for granted that we can make fun of our aunt’s terrible stuffing and bitch about the football game that just happens to be “very important,” right when the dishes have to be done. But the truth is, we’re not all so fortunate. Hurricane Sandy is hardly behind us, where I live in New York City. So many families on the East Coast are still struggling without jobs to go back to, without homes to return to–one of our own writers and her family...

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A trucker hat with big attitude…and big compassion

I couldn’t help but giggle out loud when I caught wind of these awesome trucker hats. Available at Barnabas Clothing in four colors, the COOLio trucker hat is kind of more coolio than sticking Pabst Blue Ribbon up there which, you know…so Williamsburg circa 2004. But what’s really cool to me is that this small company donates a portion of all sales to The Living Room International, to care for HIV/AIDS patients in Kenya. –Liz Find a mix of cool accessories and clothing that gives back online at Barnabas...

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5 ways to support our troops on Veterans Day (and every day)

As a daughter of a veteran and a military spouse, Veterans Day isn’t just another Monday off from school. It’s when we take a moment to honor our own family members and others who have sacrificed so much for our safety and freedom. If you’re looking to provide support to our troops and their families in honor of Veteran’s Day, here are 5 ways you can help today and on any day of the year. -Kristen   [vintage flag: rusty lantern] 1. Support a worthy cause Your monetary donation, no matter the size, can help provide services and support...

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Vote!

We know how busy you mamas are these days, do we ever, but we really hope you’ll take a break from playing super woman today and vote! Whichever button you decide to push (or hole you decide to punch), please take a moment today and hit your local voting booth. Pack some snacks, load up the iPhone with some fun apps, and make a difference. And better, celebrate the end to the campaign ads and phone calls that seem to be timed exactly when your kids have fallen asleep. And if you need a little help finding your voting...

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The Inspiring Mom Awards: help a deserving mom win $1000 for her charity

Recently we told you about the Inspiring Mom Awards, sponsored by Tea Collection, and now I’m so thrilled to let you know that after much (much!) deliberation it’s been narrowed down from 100 nominees to 9 finalists in 3 categories. And your vote can help 3 of them win $1000 toward charities of their choice–something we know a lot of mamas are thinking about these days. Just read their brief stories–you’ll be inspired, trust me. Congrats to the finalists of the Mompreneur category, which I judged with Giggle’s Ali Wing: Jackie Majerus of Connecticut, Amy Sue Nathan of Illinois, and...

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Hurricane Sandy: More than a dozen ways you can help

Like many of you, we’ve been overwhelmed by the photos and stories of Hurricane Sandy. Some of us have even lived through it (but we’re all safe, thank goodness!) so have been grateful that so many of you have asked how to help those in need after this devastating storm. With so many bogus charities popping up (arghhhh), we wanted to share a list of some of the many wonderful, legitimate causes that are doing good work in the midst of Hurricane Sandy that could all kinds of support–whether it’s money, foods and supplies, or even your volunteer time...

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Feed the world with beautiful limited-edition art

My kids are getting to an age when they’re understanding that there are big differences between the way we live and how families around the world live.It’s pretty tough these days, though, for a kid to feel like they can make any kind of impact in a faraway country. Because, frankly, when you only have a couple of dollars a week at your disposal, it’s going to take a long time for it to add up to much. The beautiful Global Compassion poster from Children Inspire Design might be just the answer our family is looking for. Purchasing a signed, limited-edition poster for...

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Huggalos: the huggable friends helping families heal

No matter how hard we try, there will be times when our kids will be scared or sad and we won’t be right there with hugs. From overnight trips to hospital stays, we found a great, snuggly friend to help keep a kid’s heart warm when they need it most. And as a bonus, 20% of proceeds will go toward breast cancer research during the month of October! The Huggalos were invented by mom Donna Broder to help her son transition to preschool, but the idea has blossomed into a wonderful way to help kids with family members overseas,...

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Method soap: cleaning your hands, your dishes, and now, your oceans

Every square mile of our oceans has an average of 46,000 pieces of plastic swirling around there. It’s killing nearly one million sea birds a year that swallow it, and another 100,000 turtles, dolphins, whales and sharks. I don’t know how to say it any other way, but that’s disgusting. So I’m so delighted to see that none other than Method is doing something good about it. For more than a year, Method has worked with volunteers from Hawaiian environmental groups to scour local beaches and collect (by hand, no less) more than a ton of plastic. With help...

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It’s World Food Day. Here’s something you can do about it in less than 10 seconds

Today is the UN’s official World Food Day, the kind of thing that often leaves well-meaning people thinking geez, what can I possibly do that will make any difference at all for hungry kids? Well here’s one thing: Sign a really simple petition from a really effective organization. The ONE.org World Food Day Petition was put together by ONE, the advocacy organization I recently traveled with to Ethiopia. (You know…Bono’s thing?) The goal is to get 175,000 signatures and I know the amazing readers of Cool Mom Picks can help. It’s a simple message: Dear World Leaders, Please make...

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Celebrate International Day of the Girl with Cool (Girl) Picks

October 11 is an exciting day at Cool Mom Picks, because what’s more amazing than girls? Initiated by the United Nations, today is the very first International Day of the Girl Child, a day highlighting the challenges and injustices that girls all over the globe continue to battle. So today, along with sharing our favorite girl-related charities, we celebrate the amazing young women of the world by sharing our favorite “strong girl” picks.  Artist Amanda Visell’s gorgeous strong girls prints (above) remind us: sometimes the knight in shining armor a girl needs most is herself.  Want your smart little...

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Get involved: October 11 is the International Day of the Girl

At Cool Mom Picks, we’ve long been champions of causes and advocacy programs that benefit moms, kids, and families. So we’re thrilled to tell our readers that today is the very first annual International Day of the Girl Child, created by the United Nations to inspire greater awareness of the adversity and abuse faced by young women across the globe. Here are a few of the terrific organizations that are taking action to protect, honor and celebrate girls–not just today, but every day. In November 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 to be the International Day of the...

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Eco-sweet and plastic-free: we’re in dollhouse heaven

When I survey my children’s toys, I have two thoughts: 1. I should have purchased stock in Duracell. 2. How can one household amass so much plastic? So I was thrilled to come across a world of handmade toys, interactive ideas, and three oh-so-beautiful words: “no plastic parts.” If you’re seriously nostalgic for simpler toys like I am, you’re going to adore the online toy store Once Upon a Treehouse. Once Upon a Treehouse is the charming brainchild of two mamas, Lori and Tara, who are sisters. The background story of their business is as sweet as their creations....

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7 smart tips for supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month the right way

October is here, which means Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In other words, prepare for the influx of pink ribbons on everything and loads of Facebook “awareness” memes on your wall. In the past, we’ve been happy to support great companies with their hearts in the right places who are donating a percentage to a reputable charity. But as this month has become more and more commercial (BCA fried chicken? Really?) and talk of “pinkwashing” abounds, here are a few things to keep in mind when you consider how to do some real good for a really important cause. 1....

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A teacher gift that gives back to teachers? I give it an A+!

I panic whenever it’s time for teacher gifts. How many apple mugs does one person need? Does she have food allergies? Will the collection of Starbucks gift cards send him spiraling into caffeine-induced madness? But here’s one gift that’s beautiful, useful, and gives directly back to something dear to any teacher’s heart: other teachers. We’re always excited about new offerings from the Leakey Collection, and we’re extra pleased to find these affordable and do-good-able Beads for Learning bracelets. Each one is handmade of Zulugrass remnants by Maasai artisans, which means that each 26″-inch wrapped bracelet is different and striking. ...

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Want to win $50,000 for your school? You should. Here’s why.

I remember sitting down at my very first PTA meeting, excited for my daughter to enter kindergarten at a wonderful public school, until I heard these words: It looks like we’ll have to cancel the dance program this year. I felt the tears well up in my eyes. As a former dancer myself, knowing there was a full-time dance instructor on staff, as well as a visiting program with a notable professional dance company, was one of the key reasons I was excited about the school. With enough fundraising we knew we could bring them back. But it wasn’t...

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Put a letter on it with a Jana Feifer custom tote

As we moms know, when your belly and butt are often times growing and shrinking thanks to your kiddos (not just me, right?), handbags and purses are the one thing that will always fit. Well, at least that’s the rationale I’m using to snatch up one of these gorgeous custom totes.  I’m not generally one to wear my name or initials, but for the Letters for Literacy tote by Jana Feifer I will make an exception. Known for her gorgeous color-blocked leather totes and hobo bags that even scored a place on Oprah’s Favorite Things List, Jana took a hiatus from...

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