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Blog

4 Mission List Members Win Iris Awards!

Kris-Ann Race

Remember last year, when along with Asha Dornfest, our very own Christine Koh won best podcast at Mom 2.0 for Edit Your Life? That was super fun! But this year? Beyond awesome, because FOUR members of The Mission List won coveted Iris Awards!

 Photo Credit: Amanda Magee

Photo Credit: Amanda Magee

Amanda Magee followed up last year's Best Writing award by winning Best Sponsored Content for her Mission List campaign post with Planned Parenthood

 Photo Credit: Leticia Barr

Photo Credit: Leticia Barr

Leticia Barr, from Tech Savvy Mama, won Philanthropic Work of the Year for her important humanitarian piece on why Haiti is NOT a shithole

 Photo Credit: Summer Len Davis

Photo Credit: Summer Len Davis

Summer Len Davis was 2018's winner of the Best Writing Iris Award for her site Essays From The Dirty Floor.

 Photo Credit: LaShawn Wiltz

Photo Credit: LaShawn Wiltz

LaShawn Wiltz was the deserving winner of Best Photography for the visuals on her very aptly named site Everyday Eye Candy

We are so honored that these women choose to work with us and congratulate them on their very well earned recognition.

Busting Myths on Teen Motivations and Attitudes with CHOP

Kris-Ann Race

In Episode 122 of Edit Your Life, Women Online's Creative Director Christine Koh interviews Dr. Ken Ginsburg, co-director of the newly formed Center for Parent and Teen Communication at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

During their chat, they flip the script on parenting teens and focus on the beauty and satisfaction of this intense time. Myths are busted and misconceptions about teen motivations and attitudes are smashed. 

This episode isn't just for parents of teens, though. Dr. Ken and Christine talk about how you can start this process now, so you're ready once your kids are teens.

Heifer International: Creating Savvy Business Owners One Woman at a Time

Kris-Ann Race

It's hard to imagine that anyone doesn't know about Heifer International's amazing animal gifting work, but do you know that they are deeply committed to women's empowerment and social capital? It's truly remarkable how they have helped women become independent, savvy business owners who can then use their resources to grow and support their families and communities.

That’s why we were so delighted to have worked with them on their Women’s Empowerment Community Leader Series. Check out these Q&A’s with some of the internet’s most powerful women.

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  Ana Flores, Founder and CEO of We All Grow

Smashing The Patriarchy, One Lllama At A Time 

Morra Aarons-Mele

It's hard to imagine that anyone doesn't know about Heifer International's amazing animal gifting work, but do you know that they are deeply committed to women's empowerment and social capital? It's truly remarkable how they have helped women become independent, savvy business owners who can then use their resources to grow and support their families and communities.

And we're so delighted that our very own Morra Aarons-Mele was featured this week in their Women’s Empowerment Community Leader Series. In the Q&A Morra shares about the inspiration for founding The Mission List, women and community building, why you need a kitchen cabinet, her personal heroines Caroline Gravino and Gina Glantz, and more! Hop over and learn more!

And if you're looking to make a charitable donation, Heifer offers a range of wonderful women's empowerment gift options (Launch A Small Business is Morra's favorite!) 

April 24th is World Meningitis Day

Morra Aarons-Mele

Some of you met the amazing Jamie Schanbaum (and her mom Patsy!) at Mom 2.0 Summit last year. If not we can't recommend enough that you learn more about their story through this clip. And in honor of World Meningitis Day, Jamie shares 10 Things You Don't Know About Meningitis below; this information is especially crucial for parents of adolescents and young adults.

Please share this far and wide with your parent friends! 


10 Things You Don’t Know About Meningitis

By Jamie Schanbaum, GSK spokesperson, U.S. Para-athlete and meningitis survivor  

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Before I contracted bacterial meningitis in 2008, I had never heard of it. I didn’t know how it was transmitted, what the symptoms were or how to help prevent it. After spending seven months in the hospital and losing all my fingers and both legs below the knee, I learned as much as I could about meningococcal disease. Now I want others to know what I didn’t.  


1. Meningococcal meningitis, often referred to as meningitis, is an inflammation of the protective membranes, or meninges, covering the brain and spinal cord. [1] 
 
2. About one in 10 people carry the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis, that can cause meningitis. These bacteria live in the back of the nose and throat. People who have the bacteria without any signs or symptoms of the disease are called “carriers”. [2]  
 
3. Meningitis is uncommon but can be fatal. About one in 10 people infected with meningococcal disease will die. [3] 
 
4. About one in five meningitis survivors will suffer long-term disability, such as loss of limbs (like me), brain damage, deafness and nervous system problems.[4]  
 
5. Young adults, including college students and those living in close quarters, are at increased risk for meningitis due to close contact with each other, sharing drinks or eating utensils, kissing or even just coughing.[5,6]  I was 20 years old and in my first semester at the University of Texas when I contracted meningitis. I didn’t know about this increased risk. 
 
6. Early symptoms may be similar to those of a cold or the flu, but can progress quickly and can be fatal, or cause disability within 24 hours. [7,8] Symptoms can include fever, headache, and stiff neck as well as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and confusion. [9]  Everyone’s symptoms can be slightly different, however. For example, I had nausea and vomiting, but also felt exhausted. My hands and feet were extremely sensitive to touching cold objects, like the sink faucet and tile floors. In just 14 hours, I went from thinking I had the flu to being admitted to the hospital. My experience may not be the same as others, so it’s important to know all the possible signs and symptoms and to seek medical help quickly.
 
7. There are five different vaccine-preventable serogroups of meningitis – A, B, C, W and Y. Groups B, C and Y are the most common groups of meningitis in the U.S. [10]  
 
8. There are two different types of vaccines needed to help protect against the five vaccine-preventable serogroups of meningitis. [11]  It’s important to know that even if you’ve had a vaccine for serogroups A, C, W, and Y, you need a different vaccine to help protect against serogroup B. [12]  
 
9. Despite the availability of serogroup B meningococcal vaccination since 2014, less than 10 percent of teens and young adults have been vaccinated, even though serogroup B accounts for 30 percent of all meningitis cases in the U.S. [13,14] 
 
10. The CDC says all 11 to 12 year olds should be vaccinated against meningitis A, C, W and Y and recommends a booster at age 16. Additionally, the CDC says teens and young adults (ages 16 through 23) also may be vaccinated against meningitis B, preferably at 16 through 18 years of age. Though vaccination may not protect all recipients, it’s the best way to help prevent the disease. [15,16]   


Footnotes:
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningitis. March 28, 2018. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html. Page 1, Paragraph 1.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease. Causes and Spread to Others. March 28, 2018. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/causes-transmission.html/, Page 1, Paragraph 1.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease: Technical and Clinical Information. June 2016. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/clinical-info.html. Page 1, Paragraph 4, Lines 1-3.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease: Technical and Clinical Information. June 2016. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/clinical-info.html. Page 1, Paragraph 4, Lines 1-3.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease. March 28, 2017. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/causes-transmission.html. Page 1, Paragraph 3.
6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Chapter 8: Meningococcal Disease. April 2014. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.html. Page 1, Paragraphs 10-12.
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Chapter 8: Meningococcal Disease. April 2014. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.html. Page 1, Paragraphs 10-12. 
8 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease: Signs & Symptoms. July 2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html. Page 1, Paragraphs 1- 2.
9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease: Signs & Symptoms. July 2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/symptoms.html. Page 1, Paragraphs 1- 2.
10 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Disease. Causes and Spread to Others. March 28, 2018. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/causes-transmission.html/, Page 1, Paragraph 1
11 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine Information Statements (VISs): Meningococcal ACWY Vaccines (MenACWY and MPSV4) VIS. March 2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.html. Page 1, Paragraph 6.
12 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine Information Statements (VISs): Meningococcal ACWY Vaccines (MenACWY and MPSV4) VIS. March 2016. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/mening.html. Page 1, Paragraph 6.
13 GSK, data on file.
14 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Chapter 8: Meningococcal Disease. April 2014. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt08-mening.html. Page 1, Paragraph 3, Line 2.
15 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Vaccination. March 2018. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/index.html. Page 1, Paragraph 2.
16 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meningococcal Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know. March 2018. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/public/index.html. Page 1, Paragraph 4.


 

Your flu questions -- answered

Morra Aarons-Mele

If you didn’t catch Christine Koh's flu Facebook Live with Dr. Len Friedland, please go WATCH IT NOW. Dr. Friedland shares critical information to help you protect your family through the remainder of the flu season.

Also, if you missed Christine’s interview with Dr. Friedland and Families Fighting Flu
spokesperson Jennifer Miller (the mom who shared a harrowing story about the year the flu vaccine fell off her radar amidst holiday preparations) we also recommend watching that – the broadcast includes so much helpful information.

Are you freaking out about the flu?

Morra Aarons-Mele

Yeah, we are too. As parents, it’s been so scary to see what is happening this flu season and we
know that people are looking for answers. Join us for a Facebook Live tomorrow (Thursday, February 15) at 12:30pm ET over at the Boston Mamas Facebook page. Christine Koh is welcoming back Dr. Len Friedland (pediatrician; VP and director of Scientific Affairs and Public Health, GSK Vaccines) to talk about how to help protect your family through the remainder of the flu season. Bring your questions!

 Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Mission Listers Taking Action For Kids

Morra Aarons-Mele

We rely on our government to ensure so much is safe: The food we eat. The air we breathe. The toys our children play with—and so much more. But right now, two pieces of legislation are moving through Congress that will gut the crucial federal safety protections we rely on to ensure that what surrounds us isn't putting us in danger or making us sick.

Together with Clean Air Moms Action, members of The Mission List took to their keyboards to encourage members of their community to #TakeActionForKids.

Get Vaccinated to Help Prevent Whooping Cough

Morra Aarons-Mele

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whooping cough (also called pertussis) is a serious respiratory infection that spreads easily from person to person. The infection causes coughing spells so severe that it can be hard to breathe, eat, or sleep. Whooping
cough can lead to cracked ribs, pneumonia, hospitalization, or even death and can affect individuals of all ages. Babies less than a year old are at greatest risk.

Cases of whooping cough have been increasing in the United States. Four out of five babies with whooping cough catch it at home from loved ones. Nearly half of all infants with whooping cough are hospitalized and some may die.

This year, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur, is running a public service campaign Get Vaccinated to Help Prevent Whooping Cough to raise awareness of the risk of whooping cough and to urge individuals – particularly those who are in close contact with infants – to get immunized with the whooping cough (also known as the Tdap) vaccine.

Vaccination is the best way to help prevent the spread of whooping
cough. We'd love for you to share this public service announcement (:30 in English and in Spanish) with your followers and encourage them to talk to a healthcare professional about Tdap
vaccination.

Hooray For #LlamaLove!

Morra Aarons-Mele

Wow, was #GivingTuesday just last week? It already feels like a long time ago, yet we're still feeling the warm fuzzies from #LlamaLove! There were so many amazing photos shared but here are a handful to enjoy!

We're Parents got a llama dance party going:

Llamas need holiday flare too (thanks Thriller Mom!)

Leticia Barr's llama crashed her family photo:

A post shared by Leticia Barr (@techsavvymama) on

Amanda Magee's cat approves of #LlamaLove:

A post shared by Amanda (@amandamagee) on

Lois Alter Mark is a longtime champion of Heifer:

Peek-a-llama is apparently a thing (thanks, The Mom Hour!):

A post shared by The Mom Hour (@themomhour) on

Blanket scarves pair beautifully with llamas (thanks Hannah!):

Chel Bell Guild met her llama under the mistletoe!

A post shared by Chel (@chelbellguild) on

Love. Joy. Llama. (thanks Little Mama Jama!)

Who Thought a Flu Live Stream Would be a Must-Watch?

Morra Aarons-Mele

Wow. If you did not catch Christine Koh's flu season Facebook Live with Dr. Len Friedland and Jennifer Miller this week, GO WATCH IT NOW. Dr. Friedland drops incredibly informative facts related to the flu vaccine (including a response to people who say, "Eh, it wasn't effective last year. I'll just roll the dice.") and Jennifer Miller shares a harrowing story about the year the flu vaccine fell off her radar amidst holiday preparations. Trust us, watch this broadcast, get yourself and your kids vaccinated, and perhaps -- if you'd like to go Christine's cheerfully bossy route -- take a loved one to a flu clinic soon!

Something new and AMAZE-ing: Having The Talks

Morra Aarons-Mele

As many of you likely know, we have been working with the awesome sex ed nonprofit AMAZE since it’s Fall 2016 launch. We love that they’re passionate about creating educational videos to spark conversations between kids and parents, with the ultimate goal of empowering parents to be the primary sexuality educators of their kids. (Because hello, talking about porn + masturbation can be awkward)

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And we are thrilled to announce something new and AMAZE-ing! Since their launch last fall, parents have repeatedly asked AMAZE: “Please tell me exactly what to say! Give me a script!” So this week, in tandem with #GivingTuesday, AMAZE is “gifting” parents with a new series on their website called Having The Talks—because it’s not just one talk, it’s a lifetime of talks. This series includes introductory videos from sex education experts, beautifully designed downloadable conversation starters and script language—covering the topics puberty, porn, relationships, bullying and masturbation—as well as related books, videos and online resources.

Get ready to embrace—and get past!—the awkward, parents! 

YES to Simplifying the Holidays

Morra Aarons-Mele

Generally speaking there’s a lot of YAY when it comes to the holidays—time off, tasty treats, fun festivities. But it’s also a time that quickly gets jammed with more stuff. More stuff to buy, more stuff on the to-do list, more stuff to stress about.

One thing we love about our friends at New Dream is that in addition to their year-round commitment to helping people create a life focused on more of what matters, their Simplify the Holidays guide offers amazing resources designed to help people escape the shopping, spending, and frenzied preparations that have become synonymous with the winter holidays.

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New Dream’s Simplify the Holidays resources include a (beautifully designed!) 30-day plan to help you take immediate action, a printable coupon book for alternative gifting (we would like a million “I will make you dinner!” coupons, please), a catalog including hundreds of fun, low- or no- cost gift ideas, and lots of other inspiration and tips. New Dream is also the brains behind SoKind, an easy-to-use online registry that will encourage your family and friends to give gifts of time, handmade goods, charitable donations, or useful items that you actually need. So maybe that’s a new direction you’d like to head this winter!

We hope these resources are helpful to you as you plan your holidays. If you want to send New Dream a high five on social you can do so via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.

Help Us Gift Milk!

Morra Aarons-Mele

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Today is School Milk Day and we have been working with a wonderful influencer team to spread the word about the Heifer School Milk Feeding Program that launched in July 2017. In a nutshell, Heifer has been working on a full-circle “cow to classroom” program to connect milk from Heifer farmers to students in Tanzania. This summer, the first phase of the program onboarded 1,742 pupils  to receive fresh milk every day this school year; the ultimate goal is to reach 9,000 pupils. So fantastic, right?

Will you help us reach that goal? Here are 2 easy ways to help!

  1. Make a donation. A gift of any size is wonderful and just $75 can provide one student with fresh milk for a school year (that's just 40 cents a day).

  2. Amplify the posts of our influencer team! Women Online is so proud to be committing to this program and will donate $1 (up to $2,000) for every retweet or Facebook share of these posts!

Aliah Davis

Amanda Magee

AnnMarie John

Bren Herrera

Carissa Godbott

Christine Koh

Cristie Ritz-King

Darcy Zalewski

Eileen Carter-Campos

Elizabeth Atalay

Jessica Turner

Kristin Novotny

Larisha Campbell

Laura O'Neill

Leah Campbell

Lori Popkewitz Alper

Nicole Etolen

Paula Kiger

Stephanie Huston

Tandra Wilkerson

Tiffany Merritt

Wendi Aarons

Whitney Cornelison

Communicating About Sex From a Dad's Perspective

Morra Aarons-Mele

Our client AMAZE recently asked a group of men to share stories about communication and sex from a dad's perspective, and we're so happy they did. Check out these fantastic posts from some dads who are breathing a sigh of relief that AMAZE was there to help.

  • As a dad-squared family, with a son and daughter, having a resource [like AMAZE] readily available to help with these discussions and other topics is essential. -Joël Lëoj  
     
  • "Talking to kids about the wide world of sexuality, weird as it may seem at the time, is important. It normalizes normal things and provides the information that will become the cornerstone of later decisions." YES. Thanks to Whit Honea for sharing these thoughts.
     
  • 3 key ways to help the transgender community generally + 6 organizations to support, via our friend Brent at @DesignerDaddy.
     
  • Yes to being proactive not reactive when it comes to sex ed/health conversations with kids! Thanks to Joël Lëoj for sharing his thoughts about AMAZE via this live broadcast.    
     
  • Dad of 4 Jason Greene (of @OneGoodDad) reframes the "running the bases" sex analogy to how to think of each of the bases as by-age landmarks for talking to kids about sex. Thanks, Jason!  
     
  • Thom Hofman of Daddy, Medium-Well says, "What I want to convey, when it’s time, when they’re ready, is that great sex begins with self-knowledge. It’s about trust. It’s about intimacy — physical, sure, but more importantly, emotional intimacy. I want them to know that, and I want to be able to leave no doubt that we are here to help them understand anything they might need help understanding.
     
  • This is where AMAZE.org will be of tremendous assistance in the next few years." - Carter Gaddis    
     
  • "I’m in no rush for my daughters to become sexually active. But burying my head in the cushions of our couch is not going to stop them from falling in love and acting on the emotions that will someday be stirred inside them both. The same is true in reverse: having an open dialogue about sex, love, relationships, and the symmetry of those things, will not push them to become sexually active ahead of schedule." Thanks to Jeff Bogle of City Dads Group for sharing his story!    
     
  • "Amaze continues to surprise me, and I love how the videos and resources are made in a non-threatening way that will really encourage kids to explore, laugh, learn and have fun while doing it." HOORAY! We're so glad that the videos are proving helpful with your daughters Dad of Divas!    
     
  • It's not everyday that a presidential library serves as a catalyst for a sex ed conversation. High fives to Michael Moebes of Dadcation for embracing the teachable moments!  
     
  • "My sons can flip through [AMAZE] videos at their own pace, I can watch them on my own as well, and we can meet in the middle to talk deeper about any issues that come up." -Buzz Bishop of DadCAMP. YES! And did you know that you can set up custom playlists for your kids at AMAZE. Check it out here.  
     

Parents Talk Relationships

Morra Aarons-Mele

Following the awesomeness of our AMAZE babies and birth control blog series, we were thrilled to coordinate a group of writers to share about how they talk to their kids about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Read on to learn...

  • Why Amanda Magee isn’t letting awkwardness be an excuse for giving up on the essential conversations about sex ed and relationships
  • How Lisa Collins is handling sex ed with her 11-year-old son
  • Why Tandra Wilkerson equates AMAZE to taco Tuesday
  • How Jessica Ashley is wading into the toughest of conversations with her tween son
  • How Leah Campbell is using AMAZE to aid her communication journey with her daughter
  • 5 great tips for talking about healthy relationships with tweens and teens, via Leticia Barr
  • How Cristie Ritz-King leverages teachable moments to talk about the tough stuff

And here are a couple of great AMAZE.org videos you should check out!