Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

 

I have been wracking by brain, trying to remember when Lyss Stern and I first crossed paths. The problem is, this is an long-standing, rich and super- positive relationship that really seems to have no beginning and with luck no end! Let’s just say that one day an amazing force of sunshine, energy, conviction, passion and integrity came into my world. And I would never be the same!  I am sure we met around a plan to do some good and, I will bet my last nickel that together we met and far exceeded expectations. That is just how Lyss does it. So that day, that day I cannot  clearly identify,  the one when Lyss Stern and I met — that was a very lucky day!

Lyss is about a beautiful as they come — deep-seeded grace and care are her calling card and these traits only serve to amplify the outer  beauty (which is impossible to miss). Lyss’ arms are always open wide — her intention is to make a difference and she does so day in and day out. She moves fast, but in a precise manner. Lyss has got her sites clearly focused on what she is out to accomplish. Lyss uses her power and her influence for good — from the most intimate (raising two little boys) to the most public (the amazing world of DivaLysscious Moms) she is impeccable in her execution and deeply committed to the best possible outcomes for all involved.

Lyss has led the way — not only creating communities for Moms but for creating a mandate that these groups give back in real ways. Lyss is loyal, fun-loving and deeply engaged in the world. I am so incredibly proud and lucky to call Lyss my friend, business associate  and with luck one of the ones I will grow old with! Meet the stunning Lyss Stern!

Lyss Stern

 

 

DivaLysscious Moms

 

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

 

I believe I fit the description of a philanthropic mother because I have have always been sure to incorporate the act of giving back into my business. Following the 2004 Tsunami, we held a benefit luncheon with tot-rock star Dan Zanes, raising much-needed money for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief efforts. DivaLysscious Moms has helped raise thousands of dollars for family-oriented charities, including The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, The Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center and Max Cure Foundation just to name a few. I also believe I am a different kind of philanthropic mom and not just surface-level; I have witnessed so many friends and family members suffer through cancer and am determined to help in any and every way possible. I also have a way of putting myself in other people’s shoes, which gives me that extra drive when it comes to charity. I take pride in the empathetic aspect of my persona.

 

What is an early or stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world?

 

A stand-out memory for me happens every summer at the Max Cure Foundation: Roar for a Cure carnival. Thousands of people– including myself and FabULyss DivaMoms members– gather together in the Hamptons to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. Again, putting myself in my own shoes, I would want billions of people supporting my family and families like mine should one of my children ever get sick. This is a way in which an insane number of people all commit themselves to a cause together and it is truly beautiful to watch. Even if the children running around don’t understand why they’re there quite yet, they’re still there, and their parents are doing so much good by involving them.

 

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

 

My biggest philanthropic influence would have to be the beautiful and elegant Audrey Hepburn. My company was founded on the principle that a woman can get messy and be a mom but still be graceful and glamorous, and Audrey Hepburn was a philanthropist and so levelheaded and still managed to be the classiest, most beautiful woman in history. Hepburn said, “I speak for those children who cannot speak for themselves, children who have absolutely nothing but their courage and their smiles, their wits and their dreams.” Being a mother, my heart opens up wildly to those words and encourages me to always do what I can for children and those less fortunate than myself.

 

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

 

I am most proud about being a philanthropic mom because of the example I am setting for my children. They are growing up in a household in where we care about other people as much as we care about ourselves, and that is such a crucial thing to instill in your children at a young age.

 

What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind?

 

I want to know that I have empowered people in any and every way that I could, especially women. Empowerment is key to change and success; an empowered woman can do more good works that anyone, any group, and anything.

 

What would your kids say about all of this?

 

I am proud to say that my children understand what helping others means; I know that they both want to inspire people– Oliver wants to be a theatre artist, and Jackson an athlete– and I know that when they reach these points in their lives they will always make time to do good things for the world and its people. Jackson my nine year old likes to tell me that one day when he’s a Major League player and on the NY Mets making a lot of money he’s going to give money to Breast Cancer Awareness (He is very sensitive to the fact that I have lost several friends to Breast Cancer already).