25Aug

Lessons From ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

als challenge

As someone who’s made many efforts over the years to raise both awareness and money for social causes and issues (i.e. St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Women in Prison, the Mothers of Haiti, Room to Grow and others), I have been fascinated by the extreme success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. At first it was kind of amusing to see the videos pop up by various friends in my Facebook feed and I didn't see what was coming even then, when I had no idea the idea would take off to this extent. But over the last week, as celebrity videos started to appear, Read More

10Mar

Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” Campaign

Ban Bossy

Did you know that between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteems drops 3.5 times more than boys? This profound stat can have a detrimental effect on a young girl's future. That’s what Facebook COO and founder of the Lean In movement Sheryl Sandberg thinks and she wants to do something about it. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez have joined forces with her to launch "Ban Bossy" to ban the word “bossy” as a way to describe young girls, stating that its use leads to negative self esteem and Read More

09Mar

Thoughts on Women, Travel and More

thoughts on women and travel

Yesterday I went to celebrate International Women's Day at a new conference that was held in downtown Manhattan called Women's Travel Fest. It was a day of discussion meant to inspire and prompt women to travel. I went because as an avid traveler and writer, I was excited to hear women talk about my favorite subject and watch others get as empowered about the topic as I already am. I recently hosted a twitter party on this very subject and know that statistics prove that women are anything but afraid to travel in 2014. These are a few of the stats Read More

01Feb

The Poetry of 12 Years a Slave

12 years a slave

Sometimes you see a movie that stays with you for a very, very long time. That movie for me is 12 Years a Slave.  I nipped into a very empty cinema on a weekday afternoon recently on my own and prepared myself for an afternoon at the movies. To say that it was like therapy is an understatement.  From the minute I first set eyes on the eyes of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon, I was smitten. Inside his eyes I felt the weight of the 19th century reality of slavery.  The film starts out as his character, Solomon Northup, a brilliant violinist is living in Read More

29Nov

Giving Tuesday with Mommy Nearest

mommy nearest

I've written about a lot about advocacy and how helping others is an important part of my family life. I once read that it’s important to start teaching how to give back at a very young age, as young as age 3, and that it’s best to treat the act of helping as a family activity. I actually started to encourage the act of volunteering when they were both less than a year old. Every week we would go to an old age home and play on a rug in the middle of a roomful of the elderly.  It filled my heart with pride knowing how much our presence was appreciated Read More

16Oct

Feeding the World on World Food Day

Screen shot 2012-10-16 at 8.07.36 AM

Did you know that one in eight people goes to sleep hungry?  Hunger is not an issue I take lightly. Last year my good friend, Jill Smokler, over at ScaryMommy.com, involved me in media coverage of a campaign that she led on her site to raise money to provide 400 needy families with Thanksgiving dinner.  During this process, I discovered that last year, 17.2 million households in the United States were food insecure, the highest level on record, as the Great Recession continued to wreak havoc on families across the country. Of those 17.2 million Read More

25Sep

Spreading my Social Good Wings

Screen shot 2012-09-25 at 7.30.28 AM

I'm always looking for ways to unlock the potential of new media and technology to make the world a better place, and how to translate that potential into action, and this past weekend's Social Good Summit was no exception to help me think about how to spread my social good wings. With the growth of social media use, it's amazing how people can come together to toot its horn to help people.  The CEO of Ericsson estimated that 80% of the world will have access to 3G mobile by 2017 and there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020. As much as I Read More

06Aug

Comments Can Save Lives

Shot@Life Blogust

For those of you who think blogging is just about people sitting in front of a computer, writing posts, tweeting out random thoughts and waiting to get famous, you're all wrong.  Blogging is about so much more than that.  One year ago, I ran a fundraising campaign right here on The Culture Mom to raise money to provide leading-edge prosthetic limbs to women & mothers who became amputees as a result of the January 12, 2010 earthquake.  A year later, I raised many more thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through an integrated Read More

28Apr

Six Degrees of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

photo-21

Sculpture of Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Ahh, the power of social media/social good.  If you haven't figured out how important it is, and how important the relationships you make online are, you will like this story. My relationship with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital all started with a simple blogger event at Build a Bear in NYC last year. I wrote about an event that inspired me to no end nearly a year ago today. The occasion was for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s  launch of its  Cause for Read More

30Mar

Getting Ready to Spend Passover in London (w/ Matzo Pizza Recipe)

matzo

This year Passover is going have a different meaning than it has over the last few years.  We'll be with in London with  my husband's family on our annual trip over.  My kids will be with their first cousins, grandmother and aunts and uncles, and we'll be in another culture.  Another culture we know very well, no less. But still, the Jewish life in Britain is very unique for me.  First of all, my Jewish UK experience starts as soon as I board the plane tomorrow night.  There will be a lot of black hats and Yiddish speakers, many of whom "daven" or Read More