It’s What Mamas Have to Say Monday! Each Monday, our panel of mommy bloggers weighs in on wacky questions that we – or you – think up. Have a question you want our panel to answer? e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll notify you if your question is selected!
Here’s what mamas are saying today!
Question: What is your favorite charity and why?
It’s probably wrong to say Newman’s Own salad dressing…right? Because their profits go to charity…and I buy a lot of their products…
Okay, beyond my food obsession, I really do have charities I love. The one I have supported the longest is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I mean really – they treat kids whether they can pay or not. Does it get any better than that?
I am also a softy for the organizations that support policemen and firemen. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if there is a list out there of people who can’t say “no” to them, I’m on it.
And finally, I support those charities that make it easy for me. If they tell me they will pick up my donated items if I leave them on my porch, I will gather up the acceptable items and leave them on my porch. It’s a great system for all involved, although it does beg the question – on really bad days, if I stuffed myself in a box, would they pick me up and cart me away? Just asking…
*Shannon Hembree is the co-founder of Mamas Against Drama. You can follow her on Twitter @shannon1hembree.
My favorite charity? Oh so hard!! I love Project Cuddle. They are grass roots, real deal support for mothers to be who may be considering abandoning an infant. They work so hard to support young mothers with clothes, food, a place to live, etc. And they work to find loving adoptive homes for the babies these mothers can’t care for. Project Cuddle and its staff are amazing.
*Wendy writes truthfully about life in New York City with twins plus one at Mama One to Three. She includes many references to wine and coffee. Find her using bad judgment and even worse language on Twitter, @mamaonetothree, and Facebook.
I have a couple of favorite charities. Usually we donate to March of Dimes (financially) which has a soft spot in my heart because my boys could have been NICU/preterm babies, and the Humane Society since we are animal lovers here and I think people that are willing to work and help animals are saints. Most recently, however- I have discovered a local domestic violence women’s shelter and we are donating all of our clothing, linens, etc. to them in the moving and purging process. The director approached me regarding an item I had for sale on Craigslist and explained that many times women show up with nothing but the clothing on their backs. It makes me happy knowing that I might be giving something to help a mom in that situation- to try and make it just a little less scary by ensuring that she has some clothes for herself and her children and bath towels of their own. Many people might not realize that these shelters are in your area and they would be happy for donations.
*Farrah finds sporadic moments to jot down her adventures at The Three Under. Her 3.5 year old and 21 month old twins are all boys. Someday she will own nice furniture again. Catch up with what she’s dealing with on Twitter as @momofthreeunder and Facebook.
There are so many amazing charities out there – it’s hard to choose just one! But, the one that’s nearest to my heart is education. When I was teaching there were never enough resources to go around. I constantly had to dip into my own pockets to supplement what we needed to have an effective and fun classroom experience. I was fortunate to be able to afford to do this and also blessed with amazing parents who helped constantly. Not every teacher has this support and students really suffer as a result. Plus, budgets keep getting cut and cut and cut – until there’s nothing left to go but teachers. Classrooms are WAY over capacity and it becomes more challenging to get through to the individual students because the teachers are focused on discipline instead of academics. Therefore I donate every chance I can to help students and teachers. Every teacher needs certain supplies and parents to donate time! Many schools participate in the Box Tops program – I cut and donated them to schools near me even when my daughters were too young to attend. And, when the ridiculous sales happen at Target and Staples after the school year starts, I stock up and donate to the school throughout the year. There are many charities that will come right to your house to pick up donations of clothes, shoes, etc. that they use to raise money for education. It’s easy and affordable to make a difference in the futures of many children.
*Tracy Winslow is one of the top four funniest people at her address. She lives with her husband and two daughters in California. You can read more of their hilarious antics at http://www.momaical.com and follow her @Momaical and http://www.facebook.com/momaicalblog
My favorite charity is by far an organization called ECAN — Esophageal Cancer Action Network. Esophageal cancer is, get this, THE fastest growing cancer diagnosis in the United States. Startling, right? Even more startling is that experts believe the leading cause of this very deadly cancer is heartburn. Yes, heartburn. If you, or someone you love, has long term acid reflux or has had it in the past and it suddenly disappeared, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about getting an endoscopy to check for changes in your esophagus. And after that, demand an annual endoscopy. Doctors are quick to encourage heartburn patients to pop an acid blocker and forget about it, but that can be a deadly mistake. To learn more about esophageal cancer, its link to heartburn and the importance of early detection, visit www.ecan.org. The founder of this incredible non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about EC is a personal friend — she lost her husband and the father of their two young daughters soon after I lost my own 58-year-old father to this silent killer. Please, don’t ignore your long term acid reflux for another day.
*Brooke Bernard is a mother of two and a freelance editor who blogs here at Mamas Against Drama almost every Wednesday. She can be found trying to tweet @BrookeBBlogs.
I’m not sure I could narrow it down to a single favorite, although we do try to target our giving to a few organizations/causes in order to make a greater impact (rather than spread it out, a few pennies at a time, to a hundred different places).
When it comes to choosing charities to support with the kids (as in, with the kids participating in volunteering and raising funds) narrowing it down is a little easier. We enjoy supporting children/family shelters. Kids develop empathy at a really young age; so it isn’t difficult to make the appeal: “Think about how happy it makes you to have dinner in your belly and a bed to sleep in. What if our family didn’t have that? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone helped us out? A shelter is a place that’s safe and warm for kids and parents who don’t have their own safe and warm place to sleep.”
We’ve done lemonade sales, toy/book collections, shopping for groceries, making sandwiches, that kind of thing — all stuff that little hands can do. We need to do it more often, though.
ML has a son and daughter who are both, thankyoujesus, past diaper age. She is a freelance writer and editor, as well as the author of the humor column, I Miss You When I Blink. Follow along on Twitter (@wheniblink) and Facebook.
That’s all the mamas have to say this week. Check back next Monday for another wacky (and yet profound and insightful…) round of answers from the mamas!