Philanthropic Friday

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

One day in the land of  We Are All Working Like Crazy to Make The World a Better Place,  I came across a woman with boundless energy and a mega- watt smile.  A woman who was as devoted as she was capable  -  and as savvy as she was stunning. Really – it was my lucky day. Because not only was Elissa Freeman the real deal – she shared the same passion for food, fashion, fitness, philanthropy and yes  - plain old fun that I did. She was an avid reader of the Sunday Vows section – and was so damn clever in her weekly commentary on the state of the unions! I suppose you could say ours was love at first sight! To this day,  she continues to wow me with her writing, her long-list of  “in-process” projects and of course her big ideas! Elissa is now involved a a start-up called Eatzclub – Canada’s first reward and loyalty dining club; where you dine out, earn reward dollars and a percentage of the food bill helps fight hunger in the community. It is a brilliant example of how Elissa pours herself into making it so. And one of many reasons you need to meet the one and only, Elissa Freeman.

Elissa Freeman

 

 

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

Altruism is in my genes – I worked in the not-for-profit world for 18 years and have volunteered for many organizations.  The world is a big place – everybody needs a helping hand once in awhile.

 

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?

The first time I participated in a fundraiser called the Ride for Heart, which raised money for heart and stroke research.  I was just one of 10,000+ other cyclists riding a good portion of a major highway located in Toronto (yes, it was shut down for the day). Fifty-two kilometers, to be exact. As I stood in line waiting to go, I was touched by all the people – young, old, survivors, their families – who had chosen to complete this journey so future generations could lead healthier lives.

 

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

Survivors. Whether it’s someone who has survived a traumatic health event in their lives or who have lost a loved one – the ability to come from a place of extreme pain and devote themselves to change never fails to inspire me.

 

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

Engaging my daughter to understand the importance of philanthropy – both in devoting time and money. When she was in Grade 3, we went door-to-door to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Having her join me in the ask and watching people – some neighbours, some strangers – give money was a very powerful moment for both of us.

 

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

To make philanthropy an intrinsic part of everyday business versus an after-thought. Philanthropy needs to be built into the business model from the get-go – not looked upon as something to do because optically it’s the right thing to do.

 

What would your kids say about all of this?

My daughter is now 13 – so, actually I’m afraid to ask.  Although, I did mention to her the other day I was asked if I wanted to rappel 30 stories down Toronto City Hall to create awareness during an upcoming media day for a charitable organization. My daughter’s response? “Mom, if you do that, people will NOT think you’re cool. They’ll think you’re crazy.”

‘Nuff said.

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Monday, April 29th, 2013

 

I met Kristin Swenson through two women with whom I have shared a great deal of history, philanthropy and laughs. When Jill Seiman and Nicole Feliciano made the introduction via their super fashionable Monday Mingle I felt lucky to have met Kristin. She struck me as chic and capable (juggling content creation, parenting and sharing her POV like a pro). But more than that, Kristin was all about the heart of the matter and super committed to all that she valued.  The more I got to know Kristin the more I understood what moved, motivated and had meaning to her  - and the more I knew, the more I adored her. She’s got range but more than that Kristin has integrity that wraps the whole package up with a stunning bow!  I have seen her step up over and again — never holding back when there was a way to contribute. Kristin, a beautiful mother of two is all that and more — philanthropic, fashionable and full of love — meet my friend, Kristin Swenson!

Kristin Swenson

BonBon Rose Girls

 

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

Thanks to my mother, who has been an active volunteer her whole life, I’ve been exposed to community service since I was a child and have volunteered, myself, for various organizations over the years including March of Dimes, the Humane Society and local shelters.


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?

From a very early age, my mother stressed how important it is to give back. I remember joining her at March of Dimes walkathons as a youngster and having so much fun!

 

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

My mother and sister are incredibly inspirational to me. I can’t remember a year in the last couple decades when they weren’t involved with at least one philanthropic effort. They’ve organized many drives including holiday card collections for deployed troops, bedding collections for the Joshua House, a home for abused children, and coat collections for local residents in need. In fact, after having a very difficult pregnancy and now running around after two kiddos, I haven’t volunteered regularly and it’s my family who has inspired me to push past that mama exhaustion of mine and get back out there!


What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

I feel that my most important job is to raise children who will leave the world a better place and exposing them to the joys of philanthropy makes me proud. This past Christmas I took my four year old to pick out toys to donate and seeing him really get how amazing helping others can feel was so special!


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

My children are my legacy and I hope that I’ll be remembered for raising kind and giving people.


What would your kids say about all of this?

They’re still quite small, but I hope that someday they’ll say they’re proud of their mama. I can’t imagine a better complement!

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Friday, April 12th, 2013

As I am writing this, it is a gloomy, rainy day. Still, as I put pen to paper (ok fingers to keys) there feels to be sunshine. Just glancing at the picture below brings a smile to my face.  And that is the Nancy Horn effect. Nancy is one of those highly effervescent souls, a truly bubbly and bright woman who brings enthusiasm and light to all she touches. My history with Nancy is not as long as it is rich. She has brought her amazing bounty to the world of Forty Weeks and to me personally over and again. Lucky, lucky me! She is a most reliable ally, a kind soul and the one whose love for the world leaves a lasting impression. I am so happy to share with you a little sunshine today in the form of my friend, Nancy Horn.

 

Nancy Horn 

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom? 

I try to give what I can, when I can, as much as I can.  It’s just what should be done. If someone needs help, I try my best to provide it, whether it’s financial, goods, or my time….

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?

Definitely through the Girl Scouts. I was a Brownie, starting in first grade and I remember working on service projects with them. Later on, I worked at a jewish camp, Surprise Lake Camp (for years)  that had a lot of scholarship campers (I had also been one). I loved connecting with the Russian Campers, many that were new to this country. In my late twenties to early thirties, I taught in East Harlem for five years, in a school with many children that lived in the surrounding projects. I spent a lot of my own money on supplies and gave my time before and after school to create the best educational and social experience to my students.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

My mother was very active in the local women’s chapter of ORT .

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

While I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past seven years, I try to donate what I can to organizations like Baby Buggy, which is a wonderful source for parents in need. I’ve also walked in 5Ks and have donated the money I earned for charity. I also financially support my former summer camp, Surprise Lake Camp, with donations every year and I’ve volunteered my time to plan alumni events for them.

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

I want my children to know that we should always try always be grateful that we are healthy and have a roof over our heads at night.  That should be the reason to help others less fortunate than ourselves.

How do you involve your children?

Recently, we tried to do a lot for Hurricane Sandy Victims. My oldest child (who had just turned seven at the time) helped me select toiletries, clothes, and goods to pack up for victims. We took them with us to the local donation site and let them help with sorting the items we bought. He also helped me wrap presents for the Hurricane Sandy Christmas Party that one of my friends organized, and pack up the supplies we bought for the party.

 

 

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

 

I heard about Melisa Fluhr long before I met her. And not through the industry loop either, though her husband with whom I had known and cultivated a friendship in my own travel circles. He spoke so glowingly of his wife — literally this man was over the moon for this smart, savvy, beautiful and ambitious woman who was his bride. I remember one conversation so well – we were walking through Union Square and I thought the whole of the experience to be remarkable. What love, pride and complete respect!  Fast forward to that “ah-ha” moment when we are both in Las Vegas at ABC Kids and I suddenly “get” who she is. And of course, it makes perfect sense. Because Melisa is just the woman her husband had described. She is at once easy but also focused in all the best ways. Melisa gets it done (and then some) and brings all the best people along for the ride. Melisa is above all else loving. She bring her beaming smile and near contagious laughter to every room she enters. She finds the humor in almost every situation – adding much needed levity and release from otherwise taxing moments. She is engaging, energized and completely committed to her dreams.  Melisa not only talks the talk but she also walks the walk and where she goes, I will follow!

Melisa Fluhr

Project Nursery

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

What makes me a Philanthropic Mom? I think for me, it’s making the extra effort, as a busy mom, to carve out time for causes that are near and dear to both me and my family. This year my focus was on FACES, “Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures”.

But honestly speaking, I wish I could have been a “Philanthropic Mom” much sooner in my mom career. It’s taken both circumstance and the fact the my kids are finally starting school to truly focus on this area of my life. My younger self had always just assumed that once becoming a mother, I’d have plenty of time for causes (little did I know!) so it’s taken time to get here.

 

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?

I’ve always done community service through school, work, church, etc and I’ve genuinely felt for every single cause I’ve helped whether physically and financially. Our eldest Austin however, has battled with Epilepsy since 9 months of age. That’s when I said to myself, I am going to take this cause and make it mine. When something like Epilepsy hits home—a condition with no real answers—there’s nothing more important than wanting to save your child and all those suffering from it.

 

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

That’s easy, my parents, Dan and Lucy McHale. Growing up, my parents often made helping others a family event. We once went on a trip where the purpose was to drop off warm clothes, toys and supplies to families in need. I remember it being so cold and seeing families with so little. I don’t remember how old I was at the time, but I remember it well. My parents simple, loving actions established the importance of giving back later in life from a very young age. I am proud of the time and work they have committed to “The Daughters of Charity” over the years and then some.

 

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

Seeing my friends and family willing to jump in and help support a cause that’s important to me means the world. The people I have crossed paths with over the years offering their support is a pretty darn awesome. It makes me really proud to call them my friends.

 

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

Ha! No legacy needed. Just that my kids get involved in causes that will help others. And that they grow up to be kind, helpful and giving.

 

What would your kids say about all of this?

They don’t get it just yet. Right now, they just wonder where I take all their toys. I tell them that there are kids in this world with no toys. They respond with, “What! What are you talking about? or How can that be?” each and every time. I just chuckle and then watch them let go of their toys with ease. I think they get it now.

The More Things Change…1990 All Over Again…

Friday, September 28th, 2012

This has been a remarkable week. The launch of the Rebecca Minkoff for Bravado Designs Limited Edition Nursing Tank to Benefit Baby Buggy has captured the hearts, minds and attention of so many. I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished with this ground-breaking initiative. It is not just about breastfeeding or at-risk mothers and children or community or connection –  it is about all of it and more. It is about weaving these parts together to create a new standard for care and a greater whole from the parts. I thought I would share some of what we accomplished – but there is time for that (spoiler alert – it is really impressive!!!).

What I am struck by is how often I have been asked about my philanthropic influences this week. And as I tell the stories – I can help but want to revisit the early days…

Today I want to share the story of one of my significant philanthropic influences, David Bindeman. I need to share this story because he is not here to see what I have accomplished or laugh with me about the way in which he influenced me (any one who knew David knew he neither suggested or asked  - he simply told me what to do) and moved me on my way on this most amazing path.

So here is the scene – it is 1990. I am a recent college graduate (all of you be quiet — and stop doing math on your fingers!!!) and I am sitting in David’s office. David Bindeman’s office. He is of one of Washington’s most influential men. I am there because David’s old friend Dick Simon (a dear family friend from Philadelphia) asked that David keep an eye on me in DC. I am also there because David is married to Carol who was a close childhood friend of my Aunt Susan.  I am in my first “real” job – I make close to nothing and live off of a combination of happy hour food and Tortilla Coast (which is owned by a friend of mine who is  more than happy to feed me in exchange for my bringing in the revolving cast of  characters in my life). I am busy with work, book groups, tennis games and cooking classes. I am dating a former USC football player who calls me Maestro (see nothing changes!!!). I am all about life in DC.  I am so happy – happy to finally be “in the real world” — honestly, I don’t remember too many details. But I do remember being pretty buzzed about my little red MX-6 and my business cards! So now you have the context.

David calls me into his office. He tells me simply – ” I am on the board of JFGH (Jewish Foundation for Group Homes),  they need some help and you are going to help me”.  Well, of course I want to help. I don’t have money  (understatement) and I let him know I would love to help but honestly I cannot afford the ticket to their gala and I don’t see that sort of thing in my near future. He looked at me (big – he was big on so many levels) and said – “you have friends — I want your friends”. He expained that the staff at JFGH were overlooking two key things – they had no plan for the next generation of support for the Foundation and they were not  fully considering the social needs of the residents of the group homes. He said. “you will launch Young Friends of JFGH”. This seems logical enough to me. And, I agree. Pretty simple. We begin by brining in my friends to be spend time hanging with the residents. We have game nights, dinners – we have fun!  Years pass (the football player is replaced by a nice Jewish boy!!!). The residents are engaged and respected. Relationships grow. The word and the mission spreads. It has a viral quality (that is not what we called it then). And we go to the gala (I remember my dress) – I think David may have even paid for a bunch of us. He wanted to prove his hypothesis correct  (and it was) — and we helped him make it so. The group remains in tact today.

Today I ran into Debbie Bindeman Kleinbord. We talk about her father. We talk about the initiative I launched this week. We laugh and we smile, rapt by the memory and how fortuitous it was to see each other on this day — really good stuff. And as I walk away, an amazing sense of “lucky timing” for having run into Debbie washes over me. I started thinking – really how is  this 2012 moment with Influencers, Baby Buggy, Bravado and Rebecca Minkoff any different from what David enlisted me to do so many years ago? There is a formula, a methodology, a familiarity – trademark Julia which had its roots way back when. And really it comes down to this from 1990:

I  was exposed to an issue.

I identified a strategy to do better – I kept it simple and from the heart (and I only agreed because it moved me).

I enlisted my friends and their collective power and voice to incite real change.

I engaged my community – to amplify what was possible.

And made it so.

So from there to here and whatever comes next –nothing feels better than when this works!

Thank you all for being part of this remarkable equation. And to David Bindeman for showing me how powerful what I had really was…

 

 

 

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Friday, September 7th, 2012

 Close your eyes and imagine a fireball of incredible energy, enthusiasm, passion and care — now look below and you will see the real thing – Melissa Chapman is all that and more. I adore her candor, compassion and humor. She can go from zero to 60 in one second flat — she is fast to respond to the call in all the very best ways. I have had the good fortune to have Melissa in my life for a few years. I can honestly say that each encounter – be it serious or silly leaves me feeling more of her incredible light and looking forward to the next time! Introducing my friend, the beautiful Melissa Chapman.

Melissa Chapman

Married My Sugar Daddy

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

I am actually very involved with an animal Rescue Organization based on Staten Island and Ohio called Louie’s Legacy and we are one of their event sponsors for their upcoming Race to Rescue event on September 15th and we are also fundraising for them as well! http://www.crowdrise.com/racetorescue-melissachapman

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?

My parents used to DRAG us kicking and screaming to visit an old age home every weekend. But after a while I started enjoying it and especially loved the ladies fawning all over me and playing Barbies with me and never asking me to stop talking (I was quite the loquacious kid!)

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

That is such a great question-as part of our schooling as kids we were always required to do good deed projects and so, giving back was simply a part of my culture growing up. It was as everyday an occurence as watching TV. But I have to say the people at Louies Legacy have reignited this passion, this desire to leave the world a better place, to take care of those who cant care for themselves and well it is my GOAL to instill these same values in my kids.

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

If you have the time give it. You don’t need to give money– you just need to give your time and talent- you have absolutely no idea how much giving even an hour of your time will impact the life of a less fortunate four legged or two legged creature.

What would your kids say about all of this?

They think I’m a bit of a crazy dog lady who drags them to Louie’s Legacy adoption events on the weekends and who has informed them that once they move out I am turning my home into an animal shelter– but I also see how these experiences have softened their hearts in small and big ways.

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic DADS Honor Roll

Friday, August 17th, 2012

It’s the lazy, crazy days of August. And to show just how wild I can be – I am choosing today to introduce you to one of my all time favorite Dad voices out there. Mike Schaffer is that unique combination of energy, smarts and superpowers (read more on this below) that get the job done with speed and grace. He is broad in his world view and huge in his heart. Mike exhibits an amazing level of competency and care — the kind that hits it out of the park every time.  Mike’s eyes twinkle and his excitement is genuine – never an ounce of affectation, never  a bit of BS – just pure power and determination. It also is worth mentioning that I am not even close to being the founding member of the Mike Schaffer fan club. His equally stellar wife Marissa and sweet baby girl Hava are there – proudly and passionately rooting for the latest of our Philanthropic All-Stars, Mike Schaffer!

Mike Schaffer

 

The Fatherhood Guide

The Buzz by Mike Shaffer 

What makes you a Philanthropic Dad?

My wife and I are teaching our daughter philanthropic values. At just over one year old, we work on the concept of sharing and giving with friends, grown-ups and even our dog! But we also set an example by contributing to causes we believe in.

From donating old clothes to Goodwill, giving books to the library and financially contributing to select non-profits, our daughter will grow up seeing her parents give to their community in several different ways.

 

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?

One of my proudest moments was organizing a Disability Awareness Program at my middle school, providing opportunities for my schoolmates to learn about people who are disabled and what they can achieve.

My mother has been legally blind her entire life, so advocating for equality for people with disabilities is extremely important to me.

I’ve also been honored to work with the Semper Fi Fund, an amazing organization that supports our injured military service members.

In general, I support causes of equality (marriage, and otherwise) and health.

 

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

Don’t laugh, but Superman. I’ve read thousands of Superman stories and the notion of someone making the world a better place every day really resonated with me as a youth, and still does to this day. While it’s a tough billing to live up to a fictional character of mythological proportions, it’s a good goal to have.

In the real world, my good friend Jon Marker has always embodied the phrase, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” His steadfast dedication to community service and worthy causes has always inspired me. I’ve never told him that before.

 

What about being a Philanthropic Dad makes you most proud?

Wow – I don’t think I have an easy answer here. In a way, I’m frustrated that some of the causes I support need the support. Why can’t all people get married in the United States? Why do we have to continually remind people to support our men and women who defend our country? Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?

I don’t see shades of grey in any of those questions.

Hopefully my daughter will take the reigns and speak up about injustices she sees in the world.

 

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

I haven’t really thought of a legacy of change. Hopefully, I’ll be able to contribute more good than bad in the world, and teach my children and grandchildren to do the same. It’s not about recognition or gold stars, it’s about doing the right thing.

 

What would your kids say about all of this?

“How big of a positive impact are we going to have on the world?” “SOOO BIG!” (with a big smile, and arms raised to the sky)

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

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Kimberly Seals Allers is truly one of a kind! There are few people with the level of infectious enthusiasm, passion and legitimate care for the world that Kimberly emanates on a daily basis. Above all, she is a remarkable friend, not just to those with whom she is close, like me (lucky me!!) but to anyone, anywhere who needs her. Kimberly brings her journalistic savvy and smarts to her philanthropy (and all she does, really) on a regular basis. She questions, she asks, she explores. Kimberly remains dedicated to finding the answers to making the world a better place. It is for these and so many other reasons that we focus on Kimberly this Philanthropic Friday.

Kimberly Seals Allers

Kimberly Seals Allers_headshot

Mocha Manual

 

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

Funny, I have never thought of myself as philanthropic. I am simply a part of and connected to my community, and when you are part of a community, you give to the community. And the way that I give is my using my voice to speak out against inequities.

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?

 

My first stand out moment of community service was probably when I was an undergraduate at NYU and I became involved with the movement to advocate for an established Africana Studies Department, which did not exist at NYU at the time. It was the first time, I had been intimately involved with a community effort to create something so large and meaningful that would have a lasting legacy. And it was first discovery that I could use my writing talents in service to causes that I believed in.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

My parents definitely raised me to give back–not necessarily in a monetary way–but in giving of myself, whether it is my time, my commitment to my education, my commitment to being financially solid, to be an inspiration and mentor to others–these were all ways I could give back and strengthen my community. I took my early inspirations from women like Sojourner Truth, and of course, Marian Wright Edelman who said, ” Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” That always resonated with me.

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

It makes me very proud that my children see me using my talents to empower others and they see everyday that that life is possible for them. I am proud of myself for not just doing something with my life but BEING somebody with my life, and that I am blessed to be a voice for those that are often not being heard.

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

It sounds hokey, but be the change you want to see in the world. And then go big or go home.

What would your kids say about all of this?

Lol. My kids usually say, Mooommmm, are you talking about breastfeeding again???? and then just want us all to go bike riding.

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words — take a look at this stunning image of the energetic, epervisent and ever-eager to make the world a better place, Suzanne Chan and you will get her completely. She is at once chic  (really how amazing did she look at the RBF gala?!?!) and grounded. And from the moment I met her I got the message loud and clear – she is  just one of those women who makes even the challenging possible. She impresses me over and again with her willingness to jump in and make it so in very real ways. She has a strong internal compass and has a loving way of keeping all those around her headed in the right direction. And for that reason and a million more, meet Suzanne!

Suzanne Chan

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Mom Confessionals

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

I hardly consider myself a philanthropic mom.  It’s just something that all moms feel innately I think, to do good, to give back.  It’s the need to nurture in us.  When I first started blogging, it was about sharing my path to parenthood with likeminded individuals, sharing my pain and sharing my joy.  It now has evolved into so much more where my words mean something to people and sometimes influences people.  It’s a powerful thing that shouldn’t be wasted.  That’s why, along with 3 amazing women I connected with online, we started Trumpeting Media.  A company which is dedicated to using Social Media for the Social Good.  We aim to help brands spread their message while doing some social good.  Getting involved with organizations like RBaby Foundation and St. Judes are a natural fit for us moms.

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?

I remember each year starting in high school collecting shoe boxes and filling them up for Operation Christmas Child, a program through Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization.  I did this for many years and it was one of my favorite projects to do.  I would stock up on random small items through out the year in preparation.  When Target started their $1 section, I was like a kid in a candy store.  Tons of perfect items to fill the many shoe boxes I wanted to fill.  The idea of personalizing a box for a girl or boy, selecting the age group you wanted to work with and bringing a smile to a child who needed it so much just touched me in so many ways.  Even when times were tough, I always aimed to fill at least 5 boxes each Christmas because as tough as I had it, I was still a lucky gal.  I actually can’t wait to engage in this project this year with my little girl who turns 5 this Saturday. I am always in awe of the overwhelming amount of gifts she gets, it would be a great lesson to teach her at an early age to give to those less fortunate.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

My biggest philanthropic influence has to be my Auntie Martina.  She was just so generous in general.  She was not a champion for one cause. Yes, she did the March of Dimes, ran for Cancer, donated to charities.  She was just generous with everyone who crossed her path.  Not just with money, but with time and with love.

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

What makes me most proud is when I see the fruit of my labor lighting the fire in someone else.  Whenever someone else catches the fever.  I’m proud when someone learns something new and decides they want to make an impact too.

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

Just like my Aunt, I want to be generous to others.  I want my children to aspire for the same thing.  I would love to hear my children say that they want to be generous like their mother.

What would your kids say about all of this?

Well my kids are a little young, but I imagine my daughter, who’s favorite word seems to be “Why?” to be asking me Why do you do this? Why should I do this? Why? Why? Why?  Some day I hope she says to me, “What can I do?”

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Friday, June 15th, 2012

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Oh the irony…here is one of the most quality people I know,  generous and genuine without bounds, sensitive to the highest degree and committed to the core, that’s right – this one is a gem… a priceless (and pretty) one called SELFISH MOM. Try not and let the snark and sass fool you – my beloved friend Amy is about as quality as they come. And I could not be more grateful for having her  in the inner-circle of my world. Her POV keeps me laughing and her super-ethic keeps me charged. I can’t really imagine up a better partner for keeping Gotham City free of crime and celebrating the good guys (though the image below is Amy undercover). Meet the super hero Mama that keeps us all on the up and up:

Amy Oztan

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Selfish Mom

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

Since I have a voice online I try to use it occasionally for good – it can’t all be about me.

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?

Every year when I was in elementary school my friends and I would do a 20-mile March of Dimes walk-a-thon. We were probably more interested in the attention than in raising money, but we did raise money, and it felt good.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

At this point it has to be Julia Beck – I’m constantly amazed by how much she does for others!

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

I like that I’m setting a good example for my kids, and also giving others a way to contribute if they don’t have a lot of money to give – they can bake cookies, or write a post, or do something else to help if they can’t write the check themselves.

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

That if everyone did a little, the burden wouldn’t fall on the few.

What would your kids say about all of this?

They’d say I wasn’t being very selfish, and that I should change the name of my blog.