Archive for the ‘
Doing Good ’ Category
Thursday, July 7th, 2011
The sweet girls you see here are Maddie Savoie (left) and Meghan Duffy (right). They met five years ago when they were patients at the Jimmy Fund Clinic, part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and immediately became best friends. Their friendship and upbeat attitude was so inspiring, the doctors at Dana-Farber often asked them to talk to new young patients to help them understand what to expect through the treatment process. Meghan even started her own Kids’ Ride bike-a-thon, a spinoff of the annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) that raises money for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber.
In September 2007, Meghan died; Maddie passed away the following year, in October 2008. In part to help channel their grief, their moms, Kristen Savoie and Colleen Duffy, have carried on their daughters’ generous spirit and participated in the PMC rides. On August 6 and 7 they’ll ride they’ll ride once again, covering more than 150 miles.
To donate to Kristen’s and Colleen’s team, Pedals for Pediatrics, click here. Want to join the PMC yourself? There’s still time to register. If you live in the northeast and you’d like your children to do a Kids’ Ride, check out the schedule of upcoming rides—there are still a few more happening in September.
We wish Kristen and Colleen a wonderful ride.
Monday, June 13th, 2011
Last week I wrote about our story in the July issue called The Hungry Home, which is about the hunger crisis affecting 18 million Americans. In it, we talk about the importance of donating food (and money) to pantries–and not just any food, but the stuff you’d want your own family to eat. In the video we created to accompany the story, a mom named Tangela describes how her pantry is often filled with castoffs such as dented cans and even items simply labeled “FOOD.” (??)
I got an email over the weekend about a program that connects families with something else they need: socks. I’d never thought about socks as a need, and I guess I’m not alone: Socks are among the least-donated items of clothing. In response, the company No Nonsense has created a program called Socks for America. Over the next year, working with K.I.D.S. (Kids In Distressed Situations), they’ll donate 1 million pairs of socks to people in need.
You can get that number higher than 1 million. Become a fan of No Nonsense on Facebook or purchase a pair of specially-marked socks, and another pair of socks will be donated.
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
In honor of National Foster Care Month in May, the Toy Industry Foundation and My Stuff Bags Foundation are hosting the 3rd Annual Do Good Stuff-a-Thon, in which volunteers pull together duffel bags full of toys, toiletries, clothing, and other essentials for needy kids in foster care. If you are interested in helping out, the Virtual Do Good Stuff-a-Thon site is set up to collect donations. Click here to participate or find out more information.
Monday, April 18th, 2011
Are you a mom with a great kid-inspired idea or product solution that you just know is destined for success? If so, April could be your lucky month! For the second year in a row, Huggies is helping moms like you take ideas from your memorable parenting moments and make them a reality with the Huggies MomInspired™ Grant Program. The theory? Nobody does a better job figuring out what parents need than those who are with their little one daily!
Beginning on the 14th of April, 2011 and spanning the course of 11 weeks (until June 30), you will be able to visit the Huggies MomInspired™ site and apply for a grant to begin the start-up business of your dreams. You never know– your creativity might just land you some serious cash!
If you’re in need of a little inspiration, be sure to check out the amazingly unique ideas from last year’s grant recipients. From a spill-proof training cup and a device that relieves the stress and pain of child vaccinations, to an online tool that helps moms balance their busy lives and an organized system for on-the-go parents with children on oxygen, each winner received $15,000. See rules and more important info on the grant program here. Good luck!
For similar stories on Parents.com, visit:
Categories: Doing Good, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, News, Solutions, Your Child, Your Life | Tags: entrepreneur, grant, Huggies, kids, MomInspired, motherhood, win
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011
With 1 in every 110 children diagnosed, chances are high that you do. And though today is World Autism Awareness Day, it’s a good time to remember that these families can use our support and understanding all year long. That can come in many forms: It might mean attending a walk, such as the ones sponsored by Autism Speaks that are taking place all spring. It might mean simply inviting a child with autism over to play, or including him or her in your own child’s birthday party. Or it might mean supporting a company that promotes the cause. Lindt USA, the chocolate makers, is one such company. Among their initiatives: For every free e-card you send from LindtGoldBunny.com, Lindt will donate $1 to Autism Speaks.
Earlier this week, two of us here attended an awards luncheon sponsored by Lindt. Every year Lindt recognizes three Unsung Heroes—people who are making a positive, unique, and lasting impact in the lives of families affected by autism—with a trip to New York City and a $5,000 prize. (They’re pictured above, along with Lindt USA president and CEO Thomas Linemayr.) Deputy Editor Diane Debrovner and I were honored to be on the judging panel, and to meet the winners in person:
Connie Erbert (left), who lives in Wichita, Kansas, has long been a champion for families with autism. She directs the Community of Autism Resources and Education program at Heartspring, she founded a camp for children with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism, and started autism awareness walks that have so far raised more than $120,000.
Kerri Duncan (second from left), of Springfield, Missouri, realized more than a decade ago that her community needed a school to serve children with autism—so she started one herself, opening the Rivendale Center for Autism and Institute for Learning. She recently partnered with Specialized Education Services Inc. and plans to open schools all over the country.
Bonnie Gillman (far right) lives in Tustin, California, and in 2006 started the Grandparent Autism Network after her grandson was diagnosed with autism. GAN’s mission is to help grandparents better interact with and understand their grandchildren, as well as help grandparents support their own children. Bonnie has planned 42 free events for GAN’s 800 members and serves 34 communities in California.
It was so touching to hear how these women have improved the lives of families affected by autism. To learn more about the condition, including signs and treatment, and real parents’ stories, check out our extensive coverage.
Categories: Babies, Doing Good, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Must Read, News, Your Child | Tags: Asperger's Syndrome, autism, autism awareness month, autism speaks, autism spectrum disorder, Grandparent Autism Network
Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
I just learned about a fantastic ice-skating program for children with disabilities. It’s called I-Skate, and it was developed at the wonderful Kennedy Krieger Institute with help from Olympic skating champion Dorothy Hamill. I-Skate teaches children who have all kinds of challenges—some have conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy; others are cancer survivors; others have missing limbs—to feel comfortable on the ice. Throughout the four- to five-month course, the children, who range in age from 5 to 18, reap the health benefits of being active. They get the much-needed psychological boost that comes from mastering a skill. And perhaps most importantly, they form friendships with other children. The latest session wraps up at the end of the month and the children will celebrate with a performance for their family and friends.
We at Parents are big fans of anything that helps kids feel included, especially programs as innovative as this, so I-Skate gets a gold medal in our book. You can find out more or help support its efforts here.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
I wrote about my feelings on how it feels when people say “retard” or “retarded” last year. This time, in honor of Spread the Word to End the Word, I’m asking you to read this incredible post by our friend Ellen over at Love That Max. If you’ve ever wondered why this issue is such a painful one for so many of us, here’s hoping this will make it clear.
Categories: Babies, Doing Good, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, News, Your Child, Your Life | Tags: Love That Max, retard, retarded, Spread the Word to End the Word, The R word
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Jill Cordes, mom to a 14-month old daughter and host of the popular web series My First Baby, shares a personal glimpse at how nothing can quite prepare a woman for the rollercoaster of motherhood:
The telltale red light is blinking on my blackberry. I’m about to go on stage as part of a panel discussion about Moms and the Media. I see a text: it’s from my husband.
Can u call me if ur not in middle of thing yet?
Panic sets in. Something happened to the baby. Oh dear god. I frantically dial home. No answer. I try again. And again. Then I try his cell. 3 times. Then the sitter. No answer. Then I text him, Is everything ok? I am freaking!!! Then I text the sitter. Then call another sitter who I knew was in the building. No answer. I was prepared to ask if there were ambulances outside our building. Oh no, they are all avoiding my phone calls, because no one wants to tell me what happened.
At this point, about 20 seconds have gone by since receiving the initial text, and NOTHING. NOTHING! And they are ushering me in to take the stage.
Here’s where it gets a tad embarrassing. I signal that I’ll be there in one minute, and I call the pediatrician. The receptionist answers.
“Hi, is my daughter Fia there?”
“I don’t know. Did you have an appointment?”
“No, but I thought my husband Phil might have brought her in?”
“For what?” she asks confused.
Oops, red light blinking. Switch screens. Text from Phil: everything fine. Sitter late.
I promptly hang up on receptionist, knowing I will now have to switch doctors.
I take a deep breath and walk into the presentation.
As I wait for my introduction, I ponder these three words: Who am I?
I bragged to people while pregnant, “Yeah, I ran marathons and climbed mountains. I know how to keep my cool under pressure. Motherhood can’t be that hard.”
But truth be told, Motherhood kicked my ass. Especially those first 4 months when Fia was just a blob (a cute one, don’t get me wrong). I felt like I was in a torture chamber—sleep deprived and trapped inside–as winter crushed the city. My bragging words haunted me. I know how to push through. It’s like mile 24.
“Um, no, actually, it’s not!!”’ I’d yell back at my brain. “It’s like mile 10,000 on a never ending journey of monotony. Feed. Change. Get barfed on. Pump. Fall asleep. Baby wails.” (Cue the 2-year old in me, as I’d throw the saturated burp cloth across the room and burst into tears).
But then things got better. She slept through the night and stopped spitting up. Then she smiled. And giggled. And I took neurotic up a notch. Now fully rested, I had time to contemplate the what-ifs and let my imagination run wild.
Which brings me to my current state, in which Fi is a toddling 14-month old, fully capable of getting in harms way. Needless to say, I’m giving my therapist lots of hours.
Here’s where I give myself credit. When she cries, I am saddened. But Frustrated? Never. For a type-A with a short fuse, this has been a shocker. When she falls, I don’t gasp. I clap and tell her she’s such a big girl. That action usually produces smiles, not tears. And the love I was so worried I wouldn’t have? Or that I’d love my cat Wayne Sanchez more? Well, that’s just mind blowing. Not to mention absurd. (No offense Wayne). She has opened my heart into a bottomless canyon where love has no end.
Maybe as a parent there is no end to the worry either. And for that, I apologize in advance to all those people who I will call and text frantically in the next, oh, 5 decades. I can’t promise I’ll stop. Motherhood is a far cry from a marathon. In motherhood I’ll be pushing through that 24th mile for a lifetime without ever reaching the end. But what can I say? I wasn’t sure I’d like being a mom. And now, I can’t get enough of it.
For more on Jill and her parenting adventures, be sure to check out her hilarious and always candid blog!
Plus, check out these helpful parenting articles on Parents.com:
20 ThingsNo One Told You About Motherhood
5 Common New-Mom Challenges
New Parent Mistakes to Avoid
How was motherhood different than what you expected? Share your thoughts!