Category: Doing Good

Martha Stewart American Made Awards – a big chance for your small biz

We love small businesses, and we love Martha Stewart. And now they’re coming together in a marvelous opportunity for one lucky entrepreneur or crafter. Could that be you? Second question: could you use $10,000? Martha Stewart’s American Made competition is searching for the next generation of creative entrepreneurs launching their own small businesses, just as Martha herself once did. Although Martha and her editors are currently selecting their top ten entries, you can nominate yourself (or someone else, of course) for the 11th spot, the Audience Choice Award. Simply go to the nomination form and provide all the necessary...

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Today, please hit “Like” to help end pediatric AIDS

As a mother, here’s a program I’m so happy to be able to tell you about: for the next few hours only, you can help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in a significant way by barely lifting a finger. In fact, you will quite literally save lives. And saving lives is at the heart of the Sub-Saharan NGO Mothers 2 Mothers whose mission is to prevent transmission of HIV from mothers to their unborn children, and to improve the health of all mothers suffering from HIV. I’m heartened to hear that LGT Venture Philanthropy has chosen Mothers 2 Mothers as their featured charity of the...

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The coolest birthday dresses, now 100% for charity

This October, my youngest daughters will be turning 4 and 2 and as part of our family tradition, they will be wearing hand-me-down Courtney Courtney kids’ dresses. We first featured them in 2008 on Cool Mom Picks, and designer Courtney Chu has since remained one of our all time favorite indie designers, period. Well now, she’s decided to use her now hugely popular birthday dresses to raise money for charity. And we’re in love all over again. If you’re not familiar with her work, Courtney whips recycled t-shirts and fabrics and turns them into the most amazing dresses unlike...

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Pimpin’ the hose

Tap water’s making a comeback, and here’s a great way to share the love. And the water. On the surface, Faucet Face is a company that sells glass water bottles. But behind the scenes, they’re trying to start a movement towards tap water and away from pricey and eco-unfriendly bottled water. As part of their initiative, every bottle you buy helps build water filters in rural India, providing a minimum of 100 liters per bottle. In fact four bottles means one complete water filter will be donated. Pretty great. Fear not the glass bottles! We’ve covered them before (bkr...

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8 of the best online bullying resources that we hope you never need

With so many of us parents of school-aged kids, we were surprised that we didn’t realize just how big the impact of bullying can be. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, about 160,000 kids won’t go to school each day for fear of being bullied. To us, that’s about 160,000 too many. So we’re happy to share these amazing resources to help families who might be dealing with this in their own lives.   1. The Bully Project The Bully Project is an important independent film turned non-profit initiative to help kids and families across the USA who are coping with bullying throughout the school year. Whether...

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4 ways to use technology for social good. Good!

This post is sponsored by Chase — a strong supporter of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, a program that helps find jobs for veterans of the US armed forces. Learn more here: As if I needed yet another reason to love technology, it’s worked wonders in opening up opportunities for busy parents like me who want to support the causes we care about, but don’t always have the time. As much as we value hands-on charitable work, between working and chasing after four kids, our bandwidth rapidly disappears. I’m looking forward to supporting my own favorite causes through hands-on volunteering...

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Join the Culture club for good karma

Love bright prints, colorful toys, and cottons that will really breathe this summer, since they were crafted to withstand the sweltering heat of Africa? Love knowing that your purchase helps babies all over the world?  Us, too. That’s why we’re digging Culture Baby.[don’t miss a terrific offer after the jump–for both you, and others in need] Culture Baby is a global fair-trade emporium bringing international goods to you, right from the artisans. And we can’t help but loving a lot of their finds, like the Ghanaian Baby Shoes and Dresses, which are handcrafted from batik-printed 100% cotton.   I...

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Mother’s Day gifts that give back from AHA Life

When we first discovered AHA Life a while back, it was a bit like a high end flash sale site with a new, extremely well-curated item popping up every 24 hours. Unfortunately, the prices were a bit in the “well, a girl can dream, right?” category. Now the site has evolved with more items that are available for longer, and many at prices more of us can afford. Of course this makes it more fun to browse around for great gift picks, and I was happy to find quite a few gifts that give back for a caring mama...

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Turning Autism into Art

Parents of children with autism don’t need a special day on the calendar to celebrate all the things that make their kids so unique, and yet so much like every other child. But on this fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day, we like how it gets other people to think a bit more about the kids and adults who are affected. So we’re really happy to find these amazing, expressive prints that a talented mama and past CMP pick has created to do her part to raise awareness about kids like her own. Artist and painter Samantha Cotterill’s Mummysam shop...

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On International Women’s Day, give the gift of education

Today, is International Women’s Day. And hey, we’re women! Which makes it a pretty big deal to us. It’s so easy to take for granted that we can live and work in the land of the free, and hard to imagine how women have it in other countries, where education is discouraged and dreams of careers are nothing but. So I’m so happy to learn about Vittana, an amazing non-profit with a global campaign that we’re happy to help support, especially today. Vittana has raised over $1.5 million for ambitious students from countries like Bolivia, Peru, Vietnam, Paraguay and the Philippines who desperately...

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3 ways you can get off the couch and help fight cancer

It’s crushing to have to write that cancer affects all of us in some way these days. That includes the parenting blog community, who recently lost Susan Niebur recently, an amazing scientist, mother, and friend to everyone at Cool Mom Picks. We were constantly inspired by her outspoken advocacy for organizations that fund research and treatment (in her words: “Aren’t we aware of cancer already?”) So once again, we’re proud to continue our campaign with our sponsor The American Cancer Society to share a few new ways you help,  that you may not not about. RELAY FOR LIFEThis wonderful...

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Shirts for books

I believe in the essential power of reading–my kids have the stuffed bookcases to prove it. But not every kid does. So I love the idea of this website that lets you buy an amazingly cute, supersoft, combed-cotton T-shirt to get more books in the hands of little ones who don’t have access to them. Did I mention amazingly cute? [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] I can’t get over this StoryTee from the website, OffOurChests. I mean, “Not Photoshopped”–how perfect a statement for our naturally adorable kids in this digitally-enhanced age. The best part: for every StoryTee you...

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Protect free speech – say no to SOPA and PIPA

In solidarity with the many websites protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA)–those sites we rely on every day for news, entertainment, information, and community–Cool Mom Picks will not be posting today. We are deeply concerned about these well-intended but wildly misguided acts, which will go to a Senate vote in the coming weeks. They would not only threaten free speech, but the Internet as we know it, including user-generated content sites like Etsy, Wikipedia, Vimeo, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn and Flickr. For more information on the Stop Online Piracy Act, please visit SopaStrike.com, follow #SopaStrike on Twitter, or search the web. The most thorough info about it is on Wikipedia – but they’ll be dark today. Please consider calling your Senators today and letting them know how you feel. -Kristen +...

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Our favorite charities for that very last end-of-year tax deduction

As we come to the end of 2011, we all feel like we have much to be thankful for — good friends and family, incredible colleagues (sniff, we love you CMP’ers!) and amazing readers like you who have supported us for another fantastic year. As in years past, we’ve asked some of our contributors to share with you their favorite charities and the range is pretty amazing. Perhaps one or more of these will resonate with you, or just remind you to give to your own favorite charity, and squeak in one last generous act (and tax deduction) before...

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Buy one baby blanket and get two. The second, for a child who really needs it.

If you’re considering a baby blanket as a gift for the upcoming holidays, or simply for a new baby in your life, I can’t think of a more beautiful gesture than one of these Me Two You baby blankets. Because for every one you buy, one is also donated to a child who can really need it. Made with supersoft, luxuriously minky fabric and trimmed with satin piping, Me Two You’s Plush Blanket is the very definition of what a snuggly blanket should be. And it’s just the slightest bit smaller than a crib mattress–the perfect not-too-big-not-too-little size for little...

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Ways to help on World AIDS Day. Some of them free, and some of them fun.

Last night, I was privileged to attend a taping of the Daily Show, thanks to the wonderful folks at One.org. Yes, I was sitting about 15 feet from Bono. Feel free to be jealous–I was jealous of myself! Bono spoke in such an impassioned way about the real, viable end of AIDS around the world in 2015, thanks to a huge reduction in medicine prices, incredible activism over the years, and the commitment of global leaders from Clinton to Bush to Obama. Today in fact, you can watch a live YouTube broadcast  on the ONE campaign channel at 10AM...

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Shop local, for Small Business Saturday is back. Hooray!

Last year we were overjoyed to learn that Small Business Saturday is now “a thing.” Not that it hasn’t been a thing around Cool Mom Picks for the last five years or so. And not just on Saturdays either. Even so, it’s a great excuse to get out today–or heck, stay home–and support some of the amazing local merchants in your neighborhood who could surely use a boost this holiday season. The Small Business Saturday Facebook Page has a nice little app for finding small businesses in your area. But we’ve got another way…asking our own contributors! Here, just...

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What thanks and giving is all about.

It’s the perfect spirit of the holidays come to life: Give a little, get a little, and well, a collectible holiday keepsake doesn’t hurt either. I just discovered the Heart 2011 Designer Ornament Collection from HSN, a partnership with a ton of celebrities and the ever so spectacular St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Browse a wide selection of ornaments including designs by some favorite celebrities. Big names featured in this year’s selection include Nate Berkus, Mariah Carey, Liz Lange and Martha Stewart. The foodie in me personally loves the selections from Emeril Lagasse and my personal inner goddess, Padma Lakshmi–that’s her design...

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You’ve come a long way, honey.

If you like your bath products indie and laced with nutritive honey, then we’ve found a new line that’ll make you a bee-liever. Heh. Beecology has such a lovely array of bath and beauty products that I wanted to try one of everything. From shampoo and conditioner to soaps, lotions, and lip balm, all Beecology products are as natural and sustainable as accidental beekeeper and company founder David Rzepka can make them. They even let their customers choose which charities receive the 20% of net profits they donate each year through SweetYear.org. Rare as it is for someone who...

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Always Saturday – music for your permanent weekend

Always Saturday makes me happy. While this is technically a “kids” band, the beats are appropriate for big people, too. I’m thinking of their CD as a dance party waiting to happen, and I just want to be a part. After all, any band that evokes the feel of a fun and lazy Saturday has my vote. What’s really cool about Always Saturday is that not only do they rock, but they also have heart. The first song on their new album, Love is Plural, just blows me away; it’s called  A Guy Named Bob, and it’s the greatest...

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Fighting breast cancer with a new color: blue

There’s a lot of pink out there in October, and that’s a great thing. We applaud any effort to fight breast cancer by spreading awareness or raising donations for research and support. Still, if pink’s not your color, we’d like to introduce you to a breast cancer initiative from Lee Jeans that’s really intrigued us because it’s not about what you buy. It’s about what you give. Lee’s National Denim Day has raised over 83 million dollars since its inception in 1996. That’s some number. We’re as skeptical as anyone about pinkwashing, but this isn’t about buying jeans which...

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Animal themed nursery prints with a French accent

As I have mentioned here before, I have a real sweet spot for nursery art prints. While my daughter’s room may be the size of your suburban walk in closet, I will always keep an eye out for another something special to squeeze onto her tiny walls. Especially when it’s accompanied by a cause as nice as this one. Once again temptation presents itself with the discovery of the smart animal series from Tiny Us. We have already declared our love for Virgine Dreyer’s noble charity project and her mission to raise funds for Presence, a special institute for handicapped...

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Thank you, teachers

I have a big, big heart for teachers and all they do. Not just because my own mother is one, but because I can directly point to moments that educators shaped my life in profound ways. Like Linda Taylor who helped me fall in love with history in fifth grade. Dee O’Brien and Duke Schirmer, who I can fully credit for my essential need to become a writer. And in college, my advertising Professor Walter Lubars who gave me the single most essential bit of advice that shaped my career to this date. I hope I have thanked them...

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“Mominate” a do-gooding mama to win $5,000 for her favorite charity

Moms are a busy lot. And when we’re not tending to scrapes, taking kids to library story hour, and finding random tater tots on our person, some of us are doing stuff like– oh, changing the world through charitable initiatives and smart business ideas. You know. No big whoop. Actually, it’s a huge whoop. That’s why Babble is now taking “mominations” to find mothers who are working to make a difference in their communities and around the globe in all kinds of ways. Like Jennifer Ramo, who secured federal funding for before-school breakfast programs for students without enough food to...

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Empowering Ugandan women from the ground up

Designer Elizabeth Bohannan has an inspired mission: to help young women in Uganda achieve their higher learning goals. And she’s doing it through beautiful sandals. Yes, sandals. Sseko Designs (sey-ko) was created to provide women with jobs during the 9-month gap between secondary school and university, that exists so that students can earn their tuition. Many young female students are unable to compete for fair work in this very conflicted and still majorly male dominant society, making Sseko an an amazing success story that helps women beat the odds. The sandals themselves:  fun, flexible and durable. Pick your size,...

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Adorable wall decals that don’t hurt your walls, your kids, or the world

I’d always kind of held the opinion that if I’d seen one wall decal, I’d seen them all. That is, until Pop & Lolli wall decals came my way. And then I pretty much decided that I didn’t need to see any others. Ever again. These gorgeous (and cute and funny and adorable and stylish)  fabric wall decals won me over not because of how great they look (and they do look awesome!), but because of how amazing they are in every other way, too. They’re easy to use — completely re-positionable and reusable — and made from kid-safe...

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Pretty, pretty porcelain

I always love those artist and free thinking types who commit to something like wearing a different dress every day for a year, or cooking a different vegetable every day. And now there’s one more–UK mom and artist Lisa Stevens who’s creating a different beautiful porcelain dish every day for a year as a way to experiment with new techniques. In her day job, Lisa is a model maker with Aardman Animation (of Wallace and Gromit fame) so it’s no surprise that she has a wonderful eye. Her 356 project on Etsy and on Flickr features her collection of...

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Hello, gorgeous

I am always amazed at how quickly bloggers–and especially mom bloggers–rally to support their fellow parents in need. One of those compassionate moms is CMP friend Christine Koh of Boston Mamas and the design firm Posh Peacock. Today, she took time away from her newborn to launch an exquisite set of greeting cards in memory of a friend. The Hello Gorgeous cards are, as I always say of my daughters, beautiful on the outside, but even more beautiful on the “inside” — 100% of the profits support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in memory of fellow blogger and mom...

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Lipstick that makes you pretty. And makes the world a little better looking too.

Lip color makes a big difference — that slight hue of berry or pink can compensate for years of sleep deprivation. Right now, I’m digging a line from PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics (get it?); natural, philanthropic lipsticks and glosses that can truly change the world. PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics Lip Paint comes in 16 shades; each is sheer and easy to wear. I’m not a big lipstick girl (too heavy for me) but PeaceKeeper’s lipstick is lightweight and feels more like lip balm than lipstick. PeaceKeeper also makes lipgloss — I’m head over heels in love with the Fairness gloss, a light gold...

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Bobbi Brown helps you Dress for Success

A scarf is a simple way to change the look of even the most casual shorts-and-tee mom outfit — and if your scarf is also making the world a better place, then you’re really dressing for change. Makeup maven Bobbi Brown — an expert at making women look good — has teamed up with Echo to support Dress for Success with this super pretty, super-wearable ikat scarf. For every scarf sold, $20 ( nearly half the purchase price) goes to Dress for Success Worldwide, a great organization that helps economically disadvantaged women get back in the job market with...

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