Join PGH Momtourage’s #FosterLoveProject this holiday season!

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The holidays are a great time to give back to your community, and we are honored to share the news of an amazing charity called the Foster Love Project in Pittsburgh, where The Motherhood’s headquarters is located.

The Foster Love Project was started by Kelly Hughes of PGH Momtourage to raise awareness about helping foster children in the community. Kelly has been a foster parent seven times and knows firsthand how few resources foster children have when they are placed in a home, sometimes arriving with only the clothes on their backs and a couple of items in a garbage bag.

Kelly and the Foster Love Project are collecting donations to make “placement bags” so that case workers can easily give these children a bag of their very own to take to their foster homes. Kelly says, “It will instantly be something new and clean that they can call their own. A new blanket, a stuffed animal, some pajamas, a book of their own.” Each bag will be distributed by the Pittsburgh Bair Foundation and other local foster agencies.

Donations are being accepted at six drop-off locations in Pittsburgh between now and Dec. 21. Here are a list of items you can donate that will go toward a placement bag, or you can donate all of these to complete an entire placement bag!

  • Small duffel bags (backpacks also accepted)
  • Blankets
  • Stuffed animals
  • Pajamas (any size)
  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste (fluoride-free or Toms of Maine brand preferred)
  • Kid’s bath soap
  • Books
  • Diapers (any size)

If you can’t fill a placement bag, you can also purchase gift cards to local restaurants like burger or pizza chains. This can tremendously help foster families who often have short notice of a child arriving – a gift card can really come in handy at mealtimes! Gift cards to Walmart or Target are also helpful for foster families during times of transition.

Any gift cards can be mailed to:

Foster Love Project
c/o Three Rivers Grace Church
1028 Chartiers Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

For more information about drop-off locations, please visit the Foster Love Project Facebook page!

Melinda Gates: “It’s time we move from talk to action.”

Barbara Bush, Melinda Gates, Katie Couric

Photo Credit: UN Women

Melinda Gates, Barbara Bush and Katie Couric led a fast-paced, fascinating conversation on global health, called #BetterByHalf, in NYC yesterday.  A few highlights:

Melinda: I didn’t think I would get involved in this work. I was a political science major in college and worked at Microsoft.  I went to Africa on safari. 

Barbara Bush: I wanted to be architect, but then I traveled to Africa for PEPFAR in 2003, when HIV/AIDS was a death sentence.  On street people looked like skeletons – they were just born at wrong time in wrong place.  Mothers brought their kids to health clinics, asking for anything that could help them to survive.

Melinda Gates: When you talk to the women and girls around the world – they are so poignant in telling you about their lives and their dreams for their families and children.  Their aspirations are just like ours.

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Barbara: My twin sister and I were raised to believe we could do anything if we worked like crazy … I became obsessed with global health and started Global Health Corps.

Melinda:  Global Health Corps is like Teach for America – creating talent in developing world.

Barbara: 300,000 women die in childbirth.  These deaths are preventable.  In the last fifteen years, maternal mortality has dropped by half.

Melinda:  The Foundation is figuring out what works. We are looking at what keeps women subjugated:

  1. Health – How do you lift up girls’ health?
  2. Decision Making – Does she have the capability in her house to make some decisions for herself.  If she marries off early, decision-making is nil.
  3. Economic opportunities – Give a girl some education and a mobile phone.  If girls and women have mobile phones they’re ability to get income rises enormously

Education for girls is fundamental.  If a girl stays in school, the way she works with health system is completely differently.  She will feel comfortable with authority, will know more about what she should ask for, will talk to her daughter, and will contribute much more economically.

Fifteen million girls marry before age 18 and are expected to have child within year.  One thing that we’ve seen work to delay marriage is to give an economic incentive – if you offer the family a goat or school supplies, they are far more likely to wait to marry off their daughters.

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Melinda:  Eight million more women got access to contraception last year.  Our goal is for 120 million more women to have access by 2020.

Katie Couric: What does the Catholic Church think of this?

Melinda:  I am Catholic and I use contraception.  Ninety-four percent of Catholic women use contraception.  The church is against it, but isn’t particularly active on the topic.  They didn’t block funding on condoms for PEPFAR, which they could have.

Katie:  I’ve been to countries where some organizations are saying it’s good for women to have more children.

Melinda:  If we target the 200 million women who know about contraception and want it, we will make a huge difference.

It’s time we move from talk to action on all these issues. We need to bring a business focus – to take concrete actions and not just talk about things.

Barbara:  These issues exist in the US as well. You don’t have to travel outside your own town or city to engage in this inequity.

Katie: Men need to be involved.  We need a new word for feminism.  The economic rights of women.  This is a human rights issue.

Barbara:  Often men are drawn to issue because of their mothers or sisters. They wish that their mothers had the same opportunities.

Melinda: Pick the issue you’re interested in and do what you can to start working on it.  Bring your voice and talents and share your stories.  If you decide to buy a cow for a family during the holidays through Heifer International, that makes a huge difference.  The family gets more nutrition and more income, and they are told to give the calf to another family. Share your giving story with your friends so they’ll be inspired to do something too.

Katie: I would love for someone to give me ten ideas for ways to contribute for Christmas.  Give me ten organizations that my family can choose to support – to take some of the guesswork out of it.

Melinda: We just launched Better By Half because women make up half the entire population, and when women and girls are empowered, we’re not just better by half, we’re twice as good.

Thank you Melinda, Barbara and Katie for an incredible gathering and discussion. My family will follow your lead and choose organizations to support this Giving Tuesday (December 2nd) and for the holidays – and will share our stories with family and friends!

As a side note, both Better By Half and the One Campaign recommend organizations to support with your families.

Don’t Miss the #40WeeksMovie & #BeMyNeighbor Twitter Parties this Week!

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We are hosting two exciting Twitter parties this week, and we hope you can join us! Here’s all the info you’ll need to be a part of the conversation in this week’s Twitter Party Round-Up:

#40WeeksMovie

Tuesday, Nov. 18 @ 2 p.m. ET
Have you heard about Big Belli’s 40 Weeks movie? This first-of-its-kind film follows the entire journey of the pregnancy experience through the eyes of expectant mothers. Join the Twitter chat to see how 40 Weeks helps women educate themselves and feel empowered, supported and connected to each other. Throughout the chat, we encourage you to share your own pregnancy experiences with other moms as we learn more about Big Belli’s movie 40 Weeks, including where to find a screening and how to host your own screenings around the country.
Prizes! We will be giving away five prizes to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Each prize includes a $50 gift card and some special products that moms will love! Prizes are limited to U.S. participants only.
Wednesday, Nov. 19 @ 2 p.m. ET
We’re partnering with The Fred Rogers Company for a #BeMyNeighbor Twitter party as they launch the new Won’t You Be My Neighbor website – an amazing online destination that celebrates neighborliness!
During the chat, learn about ways you can do good in your neighborhood and share your own ideas with others. We will be giving away five prizes throughout the party for correct answers to trivia questions. Each prize pack includes a Mister Rogers quote book & t-shirt and a Daniel Tiger mini plush, book & DVD. Prizes are limited to U.S. participants only.

Get ready for America Recycles Day at the #CareToRecycle Twitter Party!

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Did you know that only 1 in 5 Americans recycle in the bathroom? Its important to remember the small things we can do to help our planet each and every day! With America Recycles Day happening this Saturday, The Motherhood is so excited to be partnering with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies for a #CareToRecycle Twitter party on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 1 pm EST!

America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to recycling. Care To Recycle® encourages you to join in on the bathroom recycling conversation using #CareToRecycle during the party and share your own tips for recycling or tell us how you plan to recognize America Recycles Day!

You can also visit the Care to Recycle® website to find helpful information such as where to recycle, what to recycle and ideas for bathroom recycling projects!

Don’t forget to RSVP here, and encourage others to make a difference by recycling!

Prizes! We will be giving away five $25 gift cards throughout the party for correct answers to trivia questions. Prizes are U.S. only, age 18 and up. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.

Become a #GivingTuesday Social Media Ambassador

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You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Even better is #GivingTuesday – a global rally for great giving on December 2, 2014.

We’re looking for volunteer #GivingTuesday social media ambassadors – people to join us to share easy social media actions and spread the word to build the #GivingTuesday movement.

#GivingTuesday encourages people to share their own giving stories and favorite giving moments or organizations. No one charity is supported — you choose who to support and how, whether it’s a tweet or a donation or much more.

#GivingTuesday works: participating helps the non-profits you love raise more money!

We need YOU to help share and grow the conversation that benefits more than 12,000 nonprofit partners and projects.

Learn more at www.givingtuesday.org and click on JOIN. Scroll down to the Social Media Ambassador button and we’ll take it from there! (We promise not to bombard you with tons of emails — two a week between now and Dec 2 and then just a few in the year following).

We would thrilled to add your voices to the chorus of #UNselfie social media conversation. Join www.givingtuesday.org and help us get out the give by sharing great content on your social networks.

THANK YOU!

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Happy Halloween from The Motherhood Pets!

Fall is our favorite season for many reasons, but we aren’t the only ones who love sweater weather, Halloween and the changing colors of the leaves! See how our pets are getting festive this fall!

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Brittnee’s dog Bauer can’t decide which costume to wear! What do you think?

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Kayla’s Zuckuss & Dak are bundled up in their sweaters on the way to Grandma’s house!

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Brittney’s “nephew,” Cooper, is the new sheriff in town!

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Maggie, Sarah’s dog, loves playing in the fall leaves!

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And finally, what’s Halloween without pumpkins and black cats? Erin’s cat, Scrabble, is in her element at this time of year. BOO and a happy, safe, spooky Halloween to all of you!

Where Many of Us Forget to Recycle

In the kitchen, you probably recycle empty cans, milk jugs and glass containers. At the office, used notepaper and empty envelopes go in the blue bin. But in the bathroom, all too often, everything from cardboard toilet paper rolls to shampoo bottles is put straight into the garbage.

One year ago this month, after learning that many of us forget to recycle in the bathroom – where most of their products are used – Johnson & Johnson launched a wonderful resource on Tumblr called Care To Recycle®, where you can find helpful information about where, what and how to recycle.

Now through November 6, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the site launch, you can participate in a scavenger hunt on the Care to Recycle® page to claim rewards such as gift cards, electronics, household products and eco-friendly gifts. Here’s how it works!

  • Visit the Tumblr page and look for “Hunt Hint” posts.
  • Posted throughout the page, you’ll find posts that answer the “Hunt Hints.” Each answer post includes a 1-Year Anniversary badge in the upper left-hand corner (shaped like a “1″ candle).
  • When you’ve found an answer post, click the “Earn Points” button to claim 10 points from Care To Recycle® partner Recyclebank. Points will go toward earning prizes.

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And while you’re at it, set yourself up for success when it comes to recycling in the bathroom with these tips, compiled from just a few of the many that can be found on the Care To Recycle® page!

  • Put an extra basket in the bathroom so you can easily separate trash and recycling on the spot. 
  • Give empty bottles just a quick rinse before they go in the recycling bin. You don’t need to remove every drop of the contents or peel off the label – what could be easier?
  • Remember that paperboard is mostly recyclable. That includes toilet paper rolls and many cartons for over-the-counter soaps, Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages and more.

What are your tips for recycling?

#PoweringSafety with a Simple, Life-Saving Household Update

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How many of you are looking forward to enjoying an extra hour of sleep this weekend, thanks to “falling back” when Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov. 2?

As you’re changing your clocks back this weekend, you can also make a critical update to your home: changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

We might take these detectors for granted as we go about our daily lives, but did you know that you are twice as likely to survive a fire in a home with working smoke detectors*? That’s why it is so important to make sure to test them and change the batteries regularly!

This month, The Motherhood has been working with Energizer® and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) on a wonderful initiative called Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® to remind us all to get into this life-saving habit.

Through our work together, we learned about some eye-opening fire safety statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Home fires take the lives of more than 2,500 people each year in the United States alone.
  • On average, seven people are killed in home fires every day.
  • Today, one of the foremost issues with fire safety isn’t installing smoke alarms, but rather, keeping smoke alarms working. Households with non‐working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms at all.
  • And finally, 71 percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries.

The good news is that there is so much we can do to prevent these disasters. Join us in changing and testing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend, and take the time to make a fire safety plan with your family! You can find more resources here.

 

*Source: National Fire Protection Association

#AYASummit on CBS News

Emily McKhann on CBS News

Nikki Burdine of CBS News featured the #AYASummit and the ONE Girls and Women Campaign in a fabulous news segment today.  I was interviewed for the story and thought I’d share a few highlights:

Technology makes us all neighbors, and these women are making it their mission to use their power for good. “That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? People coming together, empowering working together. You can’t do it all on your own, can you?” Says Patricia Amira(Patricia Amira MC’ed the summit.  She is a TV personality known as “Africa’s Own Oprah.”)

We are learning about issues that affect girls and women around the world so we can all get into action and see how we can make connections one to one,” said Emily McKhann 

They’re all here brainstorming, talking and getting inspired to ignite change. Many of them are mothers, like Emily McKhann of TheMotherhood.com. “I care because I have two girls of my own, and I want them to grow up to be global citizens,” says McKhann. “But if we can make things better for girls growing up, if they can wait a little longer before they have babies and grow up and get an education, that their communities will be better off.”

Karen Walrond is another blogger for the site, Chookooloonks. “We all started blogging because we love the story and we loved sharing our stories, stories connect no matter who we are no matter where we are,” says Walrond. “I’m so passionate about the ONE Campaign. It’s the only organization I’ve worked with that seems to get better every year.”

“Most of us in this room are parents ourselves, we’ve got kids, we understand what it’s like to be a parent … So we just want to make sure we are using our audiences for something more than just ourselves, said C.C. Chapman.

Watch the CBS news story and read the article here.

Congratulations to the ONE Campaign and ONE Girls and Women on the fabulous news coverage!

Make it a Fashionable Fall: J.Jill’s Fabulous Savings

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Scarves, check…boots, check…sweater dresses, check. We’re ready to brave the rapidly cooling temperatures now that our fall wardrobe is complete – and this year, it’s more versatile, comfortable and stylish than ever!

That’s because we recently wrapped up a campaign with J.Jill, spotlighting their inspired-by-nature pure jill fall collection. The line features flattering silhouettes, plush fabrics and the perfect pieces for layering and creating that classic fall look.

For inspiration, check out some of the styled outfits that our bloggers (or should we call them models?) put together in the catalog-worthy photos below. Feeling like your wardrobe needs some of these cozy, chic staples? Use code MOPJ30 and receive 30% off any item from the Pure Jill collection between now and Nov. 30, 2014!

Happy shopping!

Andrea, Momma in Flip Flops

pure jill Crinkle V-Neck Tunic Top and pure jill Crinkle Infinity Scarf, both shown in Grey Heather

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Erin, A Parenting Production

pure jill Crinkle Infinity Scarf in English Moss Heather2

Natasha, Schue Love

pure jill Minimalist Coat in Dark Charcoal Heather

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Candace, Luxe…With Kids

pure jill Plush Infinity Scarf in Cocoa Heather
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