You can get a little lost in this life journey when all around you people are featured on sites and being published in real books – even publishing books of their own. Perfect families seem to smile at you every day from your screen as touched up shots appear of beaming children, and moms are coiffed and styled while you clutch your third cup of coffee in the pajamas you have been wearing since yesterday.
I find myself falling down rabbit holes of reading as I meander, clicking from one page to another, finding beautiful words and photographs from writers in nearby states or far flung places. Here and there I subscribe to voices that are new to me, writers I have never met whose words and hearts touch mine or educate, amuse and inspire.
Oftentimes I make the terrible mistake of judging the low points in my life by the highlights showcased by others around me. The perfection featured on Facebook pages can unravel you … when in all honesty, you should rather consider them like Pinterest pages … works of art that may not really work out to such perfection in real life.
I wonder where it all fits together.
I think it through some more and realize that too often returning from blog conferences I feel overwhelmed and unaccomplished. Yet when I return from a social good conference, I feel as though I added a little goodness into the world. I feel motivated to be a voice for change – inspired to feel that I can be heard and make a difference.
Every little action begins a ripple … just one small voice.
And that voice can be heard from in my home, where I can share in my two day old pajamas without anyone knowing I should really be emptying my dishwasher or folding laundry – or taking a shower.
Social good has helped me find my way in recent years, because there is much truth in finding perspective while helping those who need it more. Maybe it is not so much finding your voice, but maybe your voice lies in your heart … and all you should do is listen closely. When I listen – my heart smiles.
Hugs and kisses – Nicole.
This is an original Post for World Moms Blog by Post by Nicole of Sisters From Another Mister in Florida, USA. She can also be found on twitter @thesistershood.
Photo credit to the author.
It has been almost two weeks since I attended the AYA Summit in Washington DC at Google’s offices with ONE, and I still feel a flood of emotion each time I think about the experience. As I wrote on my blog last week, the words to explain such a powerful and inspiring event are hard to come by.
The AYA Summit focused on issues facing girls and women in the developing world, with a special emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. The name AYA comes from an African Adinkra Symbol, which means fern and symbolizes endurance, resourcefulness and growth.
I, along with fellow World Moms Blog contributors Jennifer Burden, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Morgan, Nicole Melancon, Kelly Pugliano and Cindy Levin, sat in a room of about 80 bloggers and listened to inspiring panel after inspiring panel. In addition to thought-provoking conversations about human trafficking, the importance of vaccinations, electrifying Africa, making change through economic opportunities and the dire need to end Ebola in West Africa, we witnessed incredible performances by a young poet named Marquesha Babers and actress Danai Gurira.
Tears were shed. We were all moved and left wanting to do more for women and girls around the globe.
Why invite only bloggers to such a powerful event? According to this article from WUSA9 who covered the event, the combined audiences of our blogs exceeds 45 million and 28 states. As it was noted, “that kind of reach is priceless.”
There was a general theme of storytelling throughout the event. As bloggers, we have the ability to tell the stories of girls and women around the globe that the mainstream media simply cannot duplicate. We use our experiences as women, mothers and global citizens to lend our voices to those who don’t have a microphone and help others join in the conversation. We personalize the stories, talk about our concerns, and amplify the issues that media may not even be fully aware of or willing to devote the time to cover.
As Ginny Wolfe, Senior Director, Strategic Relationships at ONE, said at the very start of the AYA Summit, “We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.” If you are reading this post, you can lend your voice too.
Though it is still hard to put into words what the AYA Summit meant to me, I thought I would share the highlights and key takeaways through a series of tweets during the event:
Read what other World Moms are writing about the event:
For more on the AYA Summit and the work that is coming from the event, visit and follow the AYA Summit 2014 Flipboard.
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Jennifer Iacovelli who also writes at www.anotherjennifer.com.
How will you or do you use your voice to stand up for those who are unable to speak up for themselves?
I love this quote … “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
In fact, I like it so much that I made you a pin.
We get so very caught up in the busyness of life, that it is easy to say – oh what can I do? Where will my voice be heard? How could just one person make a difference? And if everyone felt that way, then truly, nothing at all would be done and life would simply stagnate or deteriorate into some awful quagmire of miserable fate … or something equally dramatic.
But if you speak up, even just a little and find a cause that speaks to your heart – you will actually be heard. I know this for sure, and not only has my voice been heard, but my life has been enriched by the relationships forged with those who want to make a difference. Doors have opened and led me down new paths, and it is as though bright windows of light have reached deep into my soul for how very blessed I have been. (more…)
We are so proud that three World Moms have been selected this year to be United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellows and to take part in #Blogust to benefit Shot@Life. Two other World Moms also wrote posts for #Blogust as Shot@Life Champions. #Blogust is a social good relay sponsored by Walgreens to benefit the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign which provides life saving vaccines to children around the world.
World Moms Advocating for Global Health: Nicole Morgan from “Sisters from Another Mister”, Jennifer Burden (World Moms Blog Founder), and Nicole Melancon of “Thirdeyemom” will all be heading to NYC this September as Social Good Fellows with the UN Foundation.
Every child deserves a Shot@Life, and we at World Moms Blog are thrilled to be able to use our voices for social good. Each day for the month of August one writer will share their story of Happy & Healthy Firsts. Every time a post is commented on or shared on social media a vaccine is donated by Walgreens to a child in need. We encourage you to read, comment on, and share our posts, and know that when you do, you are using your voice for social good as well.
United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellows & #Blogust Bloggers:
Nicole Morgan on the Shot@Life Blog: “Honored and humbled to be among 25 Social Good Fellows chosen by the United Nations Foundation and shot@life for Blogust 2014 because social good is dear to my heart and teaches my girls to pay it forward. Accountability and looking out for others is part of day to day parenting.” Read More…
Jennifer Burden on World Moms Blog: “So, tell me now, have you ever experienced any “firsts” growing up that were better than you ever expected or were highly impressionable on who you are today? Many highly anticipated first experiences often come and go forgotten or don’t really mean anything today in retrospect, right? But, here’s a story of one first in my life that made an impact, and I admit to even going back for more! It’s not chocolate, but could have been chocolate, but no, it wasn’t.” Read More…..
Nicole Melancon on the Shot@Life Blog: “We all remember the firsts: those monumental moments that shape your life and those around you. The moments that take your breath away. The first word. The first step. The first “I love you”. The first day of school. The first kiss. The first goodbye. Firsts that impact our journeys down the long and sinuous path of life.”Read More…..
Sarah Hughs on Finnegan and the Hughes: “Today is my birthday! It’s a big day and my last year before I start a new age group, 40 and up! It’s my first time ever turning 39. I think 39 is a milestone. I have heard many that claim to have turned 39 over and over again. It’s funny how they never get to 40. I’m ok with the big 4-0 and have decided I will celebrate and be proud of 40 because that is a huge milestone!” Read More…..
Elizabeth Atalay on Documama: “This is my first time. My first time letting go. My oldest child goes off to school in another state next week, and I have to admit, I’m having a tough time with that. The thought that for the first time in her life she will not be living under our roof. For the first time I have to trust her to the outside world. For the first time I won’t be right there for her for whatever she needs, and let’s face it, I can’t check on her whenever I need for my own piece of mind.” Read More….
Nicole Morgan on Sisters from Another Mister: “Blogging has blessed my life more than I ever could have imagined. It started as a way to kill time while waiting on my younger homeschooler, in lieu of my then obsession with Farmville … (and OMGawsh reading thro the comments from that post reminds me of the great friendships born) altho as for games, now whisper quietly”. Read More…
Nicole Melancon on ThirdeyeMom: “I’m honored that my Shot@Life post “Blogust: Reaching Firsts and Making a Difference” is live today on the United Nations Foundation’s website. Blogust is a month-long digital dialogue, bringing more than 25 of the most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life champions (me!) together to help change the world through their words and imagery throughout the month of August. For every comment and/or social media share, Walgreens will donate one life-saving vaccine to a child in need around the world.” Read More…
AND, WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!
World Mom, Cindy Levin, the Anti-Poverty Mom, has an appointment this week with US Representative Wagner’s Office in Missouri this week to lobby for life-saving vaccines. Way to put things into action, Cindy!!
During Shot@Life’s Blogust 2014—a month-long blog relay—some of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions will come together and share stories about Happy and Healthy Firsts. Every time you comment on this post and other Blogust contributions, or share them via social media on this website, Shot@Life and the United Nations Foundation pages, Walgreens will donate one vaccine (up to 60,000). Blogust is one part an overall commitment of Walgreens donating up to $1 million through its “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.®” campaign. The campaign will help provide millions of vaccines for children in need around the world. Today’s #Blogust post is by our friend and photographer Anne Geddes!
Small acts of kindness, a word or a gesture, making a difference … or simply connecting with others. Do you keep your eyes averted when walking down a street? Or do you smile at the people you pass by? Do you avoid contact with strangers, or do you catch their eye and hand out random compliments? My girls roll their eyes sometimes when I compliment a passerby on their sweater, or a nice hair cut. “That color looks lovely on you” never fails to give someone a smile. A little feel good moment. (more…)
The next twitter party will take place today Tuesday, November 12th
from 1-2pm EST, and later in the day,
another one at 9-10pm EST to accommodate time zones on MDG4!
The hashtag is #Moms4MDGs,
and we encourage all moms around the world to join in the discussion!
This month’s topic is child survival!
There are many bright spots in my life for which I am very thankful and writing for World Moms Blog is definitely a highlight. The lovely Jennifer being a close friend is another. World Moms Blog, a group of writers spread across the globe – are near and dear to me and thanks to Jenn, I was asked to be a Champion for Shot@Life which brought another group of ladies into my life that have blessed me beyond measure.
Hang on a second … here we go … an impromptu gathering on the streets of NYC!
Social Good Summit NYC
I would go anywhere in the world with these ladies!
And just what can all this goodness get together and do?
We can use our voices for change, we can use our voices for good, and together we can make a difference. Thanks to shot@life I step out of my comfort zone from time to time, earlier this year I interviewed a radio personality – on air. Yes – LIVE! For their Get a Shot/Give a shot campaign with Walgreens. Then at the Social Good Summit – I spoke on stage, well, I possibly shook more than I spoke … baby steps indeed compared to the hugeness of acts of others, but I am feeling my way, trying to make a mark in the world, and hoping to teach my children that we have a responsibility to those less fortunate along the way.
November 12th is World Pneumonia Day, I have had pneumonia twice in the last year and a half. It was not pretty. I was told that the lungs are our grief organ, so perhaps while I wanted everyone to believe on the outside that I was doing just fine, my body called my bluff. But here in the US, I had breathing treatments, steroids, medical attention and the option to have the vaccine the minute my body was ready for it. Elsewhere in the world, under different circumstances – my future may have hung in the balance.
Did you know that …
Pneumonia is the #1 killer of children under age 5 worldwide. 99% of all childhood deaths from pneumonia occur in the developing world.
Pneumonia is solvable Pneumonia is one of the most solvable problems in global health. We have the safe, effective and affordable tools necessary to help prevent children from contracting pneumonia and to treat those suffering with this illness. We can win the fight To advance progress, we must continue to scale up interventions that we know will save children’s lives, including continued access to vaccines, proper antibiotic treatment, improved sanitation, as well as the promotion of practices such as breastfeeding, frequent hand washing, care seeking, and the use of clean cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution.
shot@life and The UN Foundation have opened my eyes to the plight of so many worldwide. I hope that you can join us and use your voice … there are children the world over counting on you.
Mark your calendars … make a difference!
P.S. Never been to a twitter party before? Go to www.tweetchat.com and put in the hashtag: “#Moms4MDGs during the party times. From there you can retweet and tweet and the hashtag will automatically be added to your tweets. And, from there you can also view all of the party tweets!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor Nicole M. whose writing can also be found at SistersFromAnotherMister