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Crowdfunding for Maternal Health and Safe Births with Kangu

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central and Kangu. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Many of us have the luxury of great prenatal care. We give birth in nice clean hospitals and postpartum care sometimes doesn’t feel like a necessity, but rather just a reassurance because we know we’ve taken our vitamins, eaten healthy, read every baby book cover to cover and made sure to pick out the best obgyn in our city.

Mothers in other countries do not always get those luxuries. In fact, each day, 800 women and 8,000 newborns die because they lack access to basic healthcare services like a trained professional and a clean facility. They often die from easily preventable and treatable complications. That means 300,000 women per year are dying too soon- often leaving their children behind.

Because I am the mother to two children adopted from a “third-world country,” I felt a necessity to examine the issues that lead to children living in orphanages and consider my role and advocacy for family preservation. The root issue of the majority of children becoming parentless is poverty. One of the off-shoot issues of that is lack of maternal care.

In the adoption world, many of us crowd-fund to afford adoption. We gladly help those in our communities to be able to afford the high price tag of domestic or international adoption. I am a firm believer that while we should be supporting those in our adoptive communities, we also need to tackle the front end of the issue to help reduce the numbers of children living in orphanages in the first place.

Kangu - Help Fund Safe Births

Kangu is a non-profit organization with a dream for every woman to have a safe birth. Kangu is a crowdfunding platform that allows us moms, from our little corner of the world, to directly help put an end to preventable maternal and newborn deaths by contributing to life-saving health services to other moms just like us.

Anyone, anywhere can search Kangu and read the real life profiles of pregnant women in need and contribute to help her and her baby survive and thrive. These contributions allow services, provided by local medical partners, to be received by women before, during and after childbirth.

560 safe births have been funded so far. Be part of the solution. Find a mama to fund and give her access to a safe birth.

Enter below to win one of five $100 donations Influence Central will make to a Kangu mom on your behalf.

rel=”nofollow”>Kangu – One Mama at a Time

Hy-Vee’s One Step Grocery Products Donate Portion of Proceeds To Worthy Causes

Hy-vee is a local grocery store here in Iowa that I’ve gone to for many years. Not only do they operate in Iowa, but there are over 230 grocery stores located in the Midwest including Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

I’m a firm believer that your average busy mom can make small changes in their everyday life that affect the world in a positive way. We all know that the largest group of consumers are moms and if we start changing where we spend our money, it can make difference.

Hy-Vee’s One Step program is a collection of everyday grocery items that donate a portion of proceeds to worthy causes. You don’t need to spend more money or go out of your way to buy something you wouldn’t normally buy. These are everyday items: potatoes, cereal, paper towels and bottled water.

Hy-Vee One Step Grocery Products

One Step russet potatoes help fund community gardens that teach those in need the importance of nutritious food and the process of planting, tending and harvesting their own fruits and vegetables. Proceeds helped fund 240 community gardens in 2014.

One Step paper towels are made from recyclable materials and have funded the planting of 14,000 trees in a flood-damaged area in Iowa. Hy-vee will continue to work with the Arbor Day foundation to plant trees in neighborhoods and other public places.

Proceeds from One Step Shredded Wheat, which is packaged in a 100% recycled cardboard box, will go to help those struggling with food insecurities in the United States. More than $36,000 has been donated to Meals from the Heartland which amounts to 183,000 meals that have reached children and families across the Midwest.

Hy-Vee's One Step Shredded Wheat

My favorite One Step product is the lemon-flavored bottled water. These big 1 quart water bottles are 4/$5 and come in regular water, lemon, berry and cucumber. Hy-Vee partners with Rotary International to dig water wells for those who do not have safe drinking water. To date, 11 clean water projects have been completed from the proceeds of One Step water in South Africa, South Sudan, Lebanon, Tanzania, Nigeria, Haiti, Kenya and Chad.

So go support worthy causes by shopping at your local Hy-Vee

One small step to make lives easier, healthier, happier…
One garden at a time.
One meal at a time.
One tree at a time.
One well at a time.

Hy-Vee's One Step Bottled Water

Alaffia: So Much More Than Fair Trade Skincare

I first discovered Alaffia when I was doing research for my article 150+ Social good Companies. Since then, I’ve learned that Alaffia is so much more than a Fair Trade skincare line. Here’s why:

Fair trade isn’t just a cool name for fancy products that you see in stores like Whole Foods. Many of our western products are produced in sweatshops overseas and even made with forced labor and child slavery all because of our demand for the cheapest products. Yes, it’s true. Fair trade is a group of individuals and brands ensuring that their products that are produced in poor countries are made in safe working conditions and their employees are paid at a fair wage.

Alaffia was created to help West African communities become sustainable using their local resources. A successful fair trade company in a poor country has a tremendous trickle effect: women are empowered, they can send their children to school, have access to medical care and other opportunities that can affect generations.

Fair trade companies often not only want to produce products made that are made fairly, but to enhance the communities that they are in. Alaffia is doing just that in Togo:

  • Bicycles for Education – Since 2006, Alaffia have collected and sent over 6,300 used bicycles to disadvantaged students in Togo so they can get to and from school.
  • Maternal Health – Since 2004, Alaffia has provided pre & post natal care for 3,237 women in central Togo to help reduce high maternal death rates in West Africa.
  • School Supplies & Repairs – Alaffia donates metal roofs, seats and school supplies to schools in rural Togo to help communities educate their youth.
  • Reforestation & Environment – To combat effects of climate change and deforestation by planting trees and building home biogas units.

Alaffia Skincare Line. Change your skincare regime to fair trade items.

Now on to the skincare!

There’s bubble bath, kid’s shampoos, toners, soaps, serums and so much more. No Alaffia products contain parabens. Unrefined shea butter (known to have many healing and moisturizing properties) is the main ingredient in many of Alaffia’s products, but each ingredient is handcrafted in Togo under fair trade, organic and traditional guidelines.

I am very grateful that Alaffia sent me these products and I will continue to buy them, but my all-time favorite Alaffia item so far is the Neem and Shea Skin Recovery Facial Toner spray formulated for problem skin. It removes impurities, provides moisture, fights blemishes and calms irritation and redness.

Alaffia Fair Trade Skincare. Change WHERE you spend your money.

I challenge you to switch out your family’s skincare products with Alaffia. I bet you will find that you will buy less and care more. As moms, changing where we spend our money is an easy step that can make a difference in the lives of other moms around the world.