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Give the Gift of Giving Back #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

 

Every Christmas Eve we have a family tradition that means the more to us then any gifts: cooking for a local homeless shelter. We work as a family to peel, cut and cook our famous sweet potato casserole (with pineapples and cinnamon) in big containers that we take over while still hot. We have a group that works together serving and the others cooking.  It is a family activity that we do together and our sons get the gift of learning to give back to their community. We also make decisions on what charities we give to as another family activity.

 

With all the focus on holiday gift shopping it is important to take a break to think about ways you can give back this holiday season.  Today is Giving Tuesday and many organizations and individuals are sharing how they are giving back. Here are some posts with links highlighting their favorite charities.

 

MommyPoppins is having a virtual food drive.

 

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations discussed the Shot@Life Campaign. The One Campaign also shares information about the Shot@Life and other important initiatives.

 

Estelle Sobel Erasmus shared a list of 54 writer’s charities on the Huffington Post.

 

Cool Mom Picks discussed Family Volunteer Opportunities.

 

MomTrends shared thoughts on putting joy in the season by giving.

 

#TeamBlogalicious shared their favorite picks from Giving Tuesday.

 

Jessica Shyba (@mommasgonecity #theoandbeau) has an adorable book “Naptime With Theo and Beau” and is donating proceeds to the Santa Cruz SPCA.

 

Glennia Campbell shared information about Advocates For Youth.

 

TechSavvyMama discussed Gifts that Give back for the holidays.

 

Jim Higley discussed #‎HelpCampKesem‬ to help youths with Cancer.

 

 

Please share charities that you support during the holidays!

 

 

 

AT&T Wish-a-Day Tech Granted to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

In November I went to a conference called Camp Mighty which was a wonderful weekend event offering inspiration on creating life lists. Part of Camp Mighty’s mission is charity, and more involvement in charity happens to be one of the top items on my life list. Lucky as it was, I had the opportunity to work on my charity life list item by participating in a program Camp Mighty partnered with AT&T on  called Wish-A-Day. AT&T worked with the Make-A-Wish foundation to grant one wish a day for a month to underprivileged children suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. To learn more about how you can make a wish come true, visit this link: Wish-A-Day Sweepstakes from AT&T. But I had the chance to make one local organization’s wish come true.

 

My task was choosing a charity to donate a generous amount of AT&T devices to. I was more then thrilled to pick an organization that is near and dear to my heart: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the pediatric programs at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  I had my three boys at the hospital and received great care. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Child Life team of specialists work with the children throughout the hospital.  They do everything from preparing kids for procedures, helping them understand their disease, to creating play opportunities in the Forever Young Zone playroom. Pictured left to right is Debbie Burkholder,  Assistant Director – Children’s Fund, Colette Case, Director – Child and Family Life Services who met me at the AT&T store to pick up their devices and Beth Blecherman, TechMamas.com.

 

 

 

 

Their wish was for tablets (such as the iPad) to help children staying in the hospital and (pay as you go) AT&T Go Phones to help parents of children.  Here is information on how their tech “wish” devices will be used and the video of the fun event:

 

The Department within Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital that will be using iPads for the Child and Family Life Services Department.  Certified Child Life Specialists use the IPads to prepare children, at their developmental level for procedures and surgeries, using photo albums, sounds (like MRI), miniature medical equipment, dolls, etc.

They explained” An example would be preparing a child for an MRI scan.  We would show them the photo album that explains about  their MRI, let them listen to the sound of the MRI, have them practice staying still and then deciding on a coping mechanism such as watching a movie, or thinking of a favorite place while they have the scan.  If the child understands the procedure and can stay still, we do not have to give them anesthesia which then reduces the risk to the patient and costs less money to do the test.  The child also feels a sense of accomplishment which can carry over to other tests, etc. they may have.  We also use the IPads for distraction, so if a patient was getting stiches in their foot, we might have them play a game on the Ipad with them while the stitches are being put in.”

 

The AT&T Go Phones will be used by the Social Services Department within Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.  They  will let parents who need to stay in touch with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and their doctors but do not have a phones.

 

 

 

 

More information on the Wish-A-Day Sweepstakes (ends Dec. 20)  from AT&T can be found by clicking here.  The Camp Mighty website link is here for those wanting to work on their life list. The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s website is LPCH.org. Philanthropic support to the Lucile Packard Children’s Fund can be found at (www.supportlpch.org). The children’s fund provides care for all children who come to Packard in need of medical treatment regardless of a family’s ability to pay. It also provides services to children and families not covered by insurance, like child life services, the chaplaincy program, and medical interpreters.  Additionally it supports innovation pediatric research to find new discoveries for advanced treatments and cures for pediatric illnesses.

 

Disclosure: This is a volunteer project I did to give back to my community.

 

More Moments, Less Cancer

Holidays can be a special time to connect with loved ones. I have seen another side with 3 family members and friends that are bravely fighting Cancer. My family decided to live for the today, cherish the time together, let things go that don't really matter and make each moment count.

This is a big cyber hug to families dealing with Cancer. You are not alone.

The American Cancer Society's "More Birthday" campaign is an inspiring movement (their motto is "less Cancer – more birthdays"). Cool Mom Picks posted about the artists that are joining the movement.  I hope everyone will check out the "More Birthdays" site and see the many ways to get involved.

One of my favorites listed in the post was a birthday song by Jack Black (especially after I just interviewed Jack Black about his new movie coming out today – Gullivers Travels). 

So I will take the American Cancer Society's "More Birthday" motto and add my spin as my holiday wish "More Moments – Less Cancer".

 

Holiday Gift idea – Giving the Gift of “Goat” And Be Fashionable

So what part of the Oxfam collection is the most stylish? A goat, a tribe of goats, a dozen chickens, an Alpaca, a dozen Chickens, going green, helping Women and Children, Education with rebuilding a primary school?

Seriously, anytime you give to charity it is always in fashion. And what better time then the holidays then to teach your kids social responsibility by giving the gift of charity?

Here is information about Oxfam, the charity behind the video:

"Oxfam is…. an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. We are part of Oxfam International, a confederation of 14 Oxfams working in more than 90 countries. Together with individuals and local groups in these countries, we save lives, help people overcome poverty, and fight for social justice."

Click here to see how Oxfam works.

 

DEMO09 – Social Entrepreneurship Panel

I exchanged emails with Suneet Bhatt of DreamVillage and met Efe Osagle from Lead Now Fellows at DEMO09, but missed the DEMO Social Entrepreneurship panel. Happily, I found the video at the DEMO video library and VIEWED IT. Social Entrepreneurship is a term used to describe "someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change".

As a mother, I think social entrepreneurship can provide great lessons to children/tweens/teens to show that businesses can also help with social issues to make an impact on society. Information on the Dream Village website gave an interesting explanation of their goal: "Our goal is to operate as a for-profit social enterprise, promising a
substantive donation to charitable causes, while also generating a
sound return for interested investors
."

Suneet Bhatt will be emailing me more information about his organization for me to post on TechMamas.com. Moderator was Ami Kassar from Advanta and IdeaBlob.  But for now, here are the links to the speakers organizations:

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