Previous Image
Next Image

info heading

info content

Give the Gift of Giving Back #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,





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 Philanthropic support to the Lucile Packard Children’s Fund can be found at ( 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 Moderator was Ami Kassar from Advanta and IdeaBlob.  But for now, here are the links to the speakers organizations:

Continue reading


Hero Daddy Delivers HP Magic Giveaway Prizes – On Video

Hero Daddy was the wonderful winner of the HP Magic Giveaway I had on I asked if he could provide me an update after he delivered the prizes to the organizations he mentioned he would "share" the magic with. He more then gave me an update, he gave me an update & a video!

I feel honored to know people like Hero Daddy – and thrilled that he shared his story with us. His website is "Project Seahorse" (they have a meaningful mission!).

Here is the email he sent with more details on his delivery:
Dear TechMama, HP and Other Kind People of the World,

Continue reading


HP Magic Giveaway Dad Hero: The Winner, The Story


When I first found out that I had the opportunity to share the HP Magic with this giveaway, I wanted to somehow make a difference during a time that is tough for many. So after watching the CNN Heroes Tribute I set out to find mom and dad heroes!  The tough job of picking winners was finalized – and we got one of each. 

The runner up is a Mom Hero named Shellie, a mom who is trying to start her own business and had to share her computer with the rest of the family.

The first place winner is a true Dad Hero (named Hero Daddy). CLICK HERE to read more about him and how he is going to share the magic:

Continue reading


HP Magic Giveaway- WINNERS!


I am excited to announce that HERO DADDY is the winner of the TechMamas HP Magic Giveaway and will be sharing the prize with THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE ( ) and some other agencies in need!! More details on Dec. 14.

And to show that Hero Daddy is an extra Hero – he agreed to share the HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC with the Mom Hero Shellie – who had the second largest amount of votes. Shellie is a mom that will have her own computer now! So Shellie will be receiving the HP HDX 18 series Premium Notebook PC.

Please click back to the original post and check out all the heroes. I hope that if others have technology to share, they will share it with them. Happy to pass any emails on to them if necessary.


CLICK HERE  (and go to the bottom of this post) TO SEE THE STORY BEHIND THE 20 LISTED ON THE POLL.

Here is a link to the initial post where all the mom and dad heroes entered the HP Magic Giveaway for $6K in hardware and software.  ALL who entered are heroes, just read their incredible stories!

I had the task of randomly chosing 20 to go up for the final vote. Please CLICK HERE to read their stories (at the bottom of this post) and vote for your favorite Mom/Dad Heroes

CLICK HERE to read the CNN Heroes Tribute – that inspired my theme.

Voting starts on Dec. 12 and ends on Dec. 13 (9pm pst 12pm est). Winner will be announced on Dec. 14.

Polls Powered By MicroPoll


Continue reading


TechMamas HP Magic Giveaway – 6K in Tech To A Mom or Dad Hero VOTING STARTS DEC. 12


When I found out that I was part of the 50 bloggers participating in the HP Magic Giveaway, I did not sleep too well for the next few nights. I had the chance to give away (US) $6,000 in amazing hardware, accessories and software that could really make a difference in someone's life (or a group ). I had so many ideas, so many people I want to share some magic with. Schools(teachers), charities, families and especially moms (parents) that all give so much on a daily basis. Then I saw the CNN Heroes show and was inspired. So I decided I wanted to award my prize package to a "MOM or DAD hero".

Here are the 20 picked at random:
   1. Hero Daddy
   2. Patricia Brick
   3. Dee Dee Shaw
   4. Christine
   5. Trisha
   6. Michelle Tjemeland
   7. Dawn Greenfield
   8. Shellie
   9. Jennie Lindstrom
  10. Lora Davison
  11. Darrell Jackson
  12. Linda Pettit
  13. Maria
  14. Matthew
  15. Karen
  16. Jill Caren
  17. Sheila
  18. mbayouvieux
  19. Gwynne
  20. Kristinia


Continue reading


DonorsChoose.Org Challenge – Donate to Help Schools organized a challenge between major blogs – and the Silicon Valley Moms Group is one of them. Here is the mission for

"Our Mission"

" is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. We believe this inequity is rooted in the following factors:

    1. Shortages of learning materials prevent thorough, engaging instruction;
    2. Top-down distribution of materials stifles our best teachers and discourages them from developing targeted solutions for their students; and
    3. Small, directed contributions have gone un-tapped as a source of funding. will improve public education by engaging citizens in an online marketplace where teachers describe and individuals can fund specific student projects. We envision a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn."

This is a meaningful way to match donors with teacher's who really need the help. I donated to a project where a teacher asked to bring technology into her classroom. I hope that bloggers and their readers will logon to and help public schools!

Here are some of the projects on the site:

  • In Silicon Valley a teacher wants to     * needs 60 subscriptions of Weekly Reader to grab our students' interest while building the academic vocabulary.
  • In Chicago a teacher of deaf and hard of hearing kids in kindergarten and 1st grade needs a variety of hands-on science materials.
  • A school in New York City is facing a 1.3 million dollar budget cut and the TEACHER NEEDS ART SUPPLIES! 
  • In DC Metro a techer has ""collected incredible resources such as PBS podcasts, blogs, and You Tube videos that would capture her students’ interest. These resources speak to her tech-savvy students in a way that an article or a book can not. She would love a LCD projector to use these resources to introduce lessons and engage my students".