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Giving Parents a Voice on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD)

Morra Aarons-Mele

The Aspen Institute recently launched an exciting new initiative to explore how schools can fully integrate social, emotional, and academic development to support the whole student. The ultimate goal is to prepare our children for success by complementing academics with the skills they need to thrive in school and beyond, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and managing emotions. 


Parent perspectives are essential to this effort and we are thrilled to be convening a diverse team of parent leaders from across the US to contribute their unique insights. To stay up to date on the AspenSEAD program, sign up for the monthly newsletter and follow @AspenSEAD on Twitter.’s Consent Week

Morra Aarons-Mele

One of's key goals is to help ensure that young people have the information they need about sex and relationships. And understanding the importance of consent is as critical as it gets! Last week they kicked off the first-ever Consent Week on Twitter, featuring an Expert Q&A with Dan Rice, Director of Training at Answer, and a Twitter Town Hall with Ashley Fowler, Staff Writer at Sex, Etc. Check out @amazeorg’s hashtag #IHeartConsent to catch up on the conversation, and check out these Consent Week features via Hello Giggles and Bustle! And for more from AMAZE, follow along at the AMAZE Facebook page!

Where Do Babies Come From?

Morra Aarons-Mele

Ah, the question that so many parents dread. Have no fear! Our fantastic clients AMAZE come to the rescue with this easy to understand yet informative video that takes the awkward out of this tough conversation.

Women's Marches- Your Images

Morra Aarons-Mele

On Saturday, an estimated 2.9 million men, women and children flooded our nation’s cities, streets and small towns in solidarity. While they were there for many different reasons, fighting for many different causes, they were all there together, using one common voice to make it known that they, that we, will not stand for discrimination. 

Here are some amazing examples of people in the Mission List community coming together:

Portland, OR Photo Credit: Judith A. Ross,

Portland, OR
Photo Credit: Judith A. Ross,

Chicago, IL Photo Credit: Jessica Ashley,

Chicago, IL
Photo Credit: Jessica Ashley,

Boston, MA Photo Credit: Christine Koh, 

Boston, MA
Photo Credit: Christine Koh, 

There are two things we must consider as we glow from the marches and also think about what’s next:

First, we must keep in mind the poignant question Devon Maloney asked in Good.

“When decades of social and political history have shown that large-scale resistance often results in the sacrifices of minority causes, often in the name of the greater (mostly whiter, straighter, more cisgendered) good, what does “solidarity” mean?”

These thoughts from Vanessa Toro encapsulate well the need for white women to use their privilege to support Black lives.

And if you have a moment, read this thoughtful post on the intersection of the women’s marches, racism, and the movement. (h/t to Karen Walrond for the link)

Second: We had a great day Saturday. But Donald Trump is still president. What do we do next?

Here are two great ideas:

  1. The organizers of women’s march are kicking off effective actions for the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.
  2. Support Swing Left and help take back the House (h/t Liz Gumbinner



Morra Aarons-Mele

The American Heart Association is on a mission to help people reduce sodium for healthier hearts, and since October, rock star influencers from The Mission List have been sharing their best tips and sources of inspiration to #BreakUpWithSalt on the Sodium blog. Check out the stories from the first half of the campaign here.

And as we embark on the new year and so many are making health resolutions, here are more stories to inform and inspire.

Teaching Kids the Power of Giving

Morra Aarons-Mele

We recently shared about the power of #GoatSquadGoals and today we wanted to share some posts that show how effective Heifer International is in teaching kids the power of giving.

  • Leticia Barr of Tech Savvy Mama shares how to inspire giving at every age on #GIVINGTUESDAY and beyond.
  • Amy Mascott of Teach Mama shares gifts that teach kids the power of giving: Animal gifts.

  • Makeba Giles of Melisa Source shares giving animal gifts is a wonderful way to give empowerment and sustainability throughout  the holiday season.

  • Jessica McFadden of A Parent In America shares Instead of giving someone in your family yet another sweater, you can gift in their honor an animal through Heifer International that will provide a family in need with both food and reliable income.

  • Allison Czarnecki of Petit Elefant is teaching her children that for a few less gifts for themselves, they can help feed and sustain a needy family.

  • Lois Alter Mark of Midlife At The Oasis shares that the idea of gifting animals to families in need to provide sustainability and help their communities is a great idea for animal lovers all over.  

  • ·Ellen Seidman of Love That Max supports teaching her kids to understand what it means to help those in need by supporting Heifer International.   

  • Jessica Ashley of Single Mom Nation taught her son a valuable lesson on saving money and contributing to those less fortunate by donating to Heifer International and investing in others while developing their skills.    

  • Jeannette Kaplun of Hispana Global shares 3 simple ideas to give back as a family by partnering with Heifer International.         

  • Danielle Smith of Extraordinary Mommy believes it’s her responsibility to raise her children to be good citizens of the world by teaching them to beauty of giving.

  • Audrey McClelland of Mom Generations supports #GoatSquadGoals by sharing that it’s better to give than receive and teaching her children firsthand about the importance of giving back.   

  • Whitney Moss of Rookie Moms shares how her children learned about the power of gifting animals via the tradition of the 5th night of Hanukkah, where instead of receiving a gift, a trio of rabbits is given to a family in a developing country in their honor.

  • CC Chapman shares why partnering with Heifer International was a great way to pass along a gift to help others end hunger and poverty for his teenaged kids.  

  • Michelle Villemaire of Homemade Mimi explains how this year she and her children learned more about the project and how the animal program works.

  •  Casey Brown of Life with Roozle shares that sometimes a little is a lot especially when "its a bably goat OMG!" 

Women Online Used its Massive List of Influencers to make #GivingTuesday a Huge Success

Morra Aarons-Mele

How did #GivingTuesday go from good idea to hundreds of millions of dollars raised for good? Susan McPherson offers a view from “inside the room,” and Morra offers her thoughts.

According to Morra Aarons-Mele, founder of WomenOnline and one of #GivingTuesday's original communications and digital advisors, “The incredible thing about #GivingTuesday is that it's the most wonderfully flexible concept: Whether you’re the nation’s largest nonprofit or a local food pantry, whether you’re a 60 year old billionaire or a six year old, #GivingTuesday offers a chance to energize supporters and get your story out there."

Get Inspired to #BreakUpWithSalt with the American Heart Association

Morra Aarons-Mele

The American Heart Association is on a mission to help people reduce sodium for healthier hearts, and since October, rock star influencers from The Mission List have been sharing their best tips and sources of inspiration to #BreakUpWithSalt on the Sodium blog.

Here are stories from the first half of the campaign:

#GoatSquadGoals = Awesome

Morra Aarons-Mele

Everyone's got squad goals, but we helped the amazing Heifer International inspire the sharing of #GoatSquadGoals on #GivingTuesday. Here are some of our favorite images from last week.

A photo posted by Paula Kiger (@biggreenpen) on

A photo posted by Jane Maynard (@janemaynard) on

A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on

Nasty Moms Vote

Morra Aarons-Mele

The day is finally near. Despite all the negativity surrounding this entire election, we at Women Online are channeling the rest of our energy and focusing on one thing: the chance to elect the most powerful woman in history as the first woman president, and, importantly, the first mom president. Yesterday in her Huffington Post blog, Morra wrote about the "Nasty Moms" of this election, tackling the double standard of motherhood and politics:

"we're sainted by politicians in their speeches, much sought after by the media, but expected to stay in our box. Now, brought to light by Trump's candidacy, the hypocrisy of the GOP, and the misogyny Hillary Clinton's gone through, women's lack of systemic power resonates with us all."

You can read the full piece here, which highlights just how serious an impact this election has on our children, specifically our daughters, as we are faced with two drastically different visions of a woman's place in society. 


Giving Tuesday with Heifer

Morra Aarons-Mele

Right now, Heifer International is providing urgent aid to Haiti, where more than 6,500 Heifer project families were affected by Hurricane Matthew. Heifer is deploying 120 aid-workers to the field, from trained veterinary agents to agriculture experts who can assess damage and rebuilding needs. Heifer's immediate goal is to provide food and water treatment tablets to those Heifer Project families affected by the powerful storm.

Heifer International works to empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity via sustainable agriculture and commerce. Each holiday season, Heifer asks it supporters to support its work all over the globe. You may have already gotten the catalog in the mail. There are lots of ways to help, but their animal gifting program is well known as an opportunity to teach kids about the power of giving. Because kids love animals and animals can help families in need become self-sufficient!

This #GivingTuesday, Heifer International is trying something new and you can join in: We have created a limited edition run of adorable “selfie goats” - not only do they make fun goat-o-bombs for family photos, we're asking that you share a quick #GoatSquadGoals photo on #GivingTuesday on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or via your blog. #GoatSquadGoals can be anything you or your family are doing to give back and end hunger and poverty this #GivingTuesday.

If you would like an extremely adorable selfie goat on a stick, fill out this form.

Clean Air Moms Vote!

Morra Aarons-Mele

The upcoming election has been dominated by divisive candidate issues, but there’s one thing that we all should be able to agree on: harmful pollution, climate change, and toxic chemicals are putting our families at risk. But it doesn’t have to be this way! We’re thrilled to be working with Clean Air Moms Action to get out the vote on November 8. Because on election day your vote can elect leaders who care about protecting little lungs from dirty air!

We are working with passionate influencers like Jessica McFadden, Megan McWilliams and Jessica Ashley who are sharing their stories of why clean air matters, and calling on readers to pledge to vote on November 8th. 

See you at the polls!

Hiding in the Bathroom Election Special with Joe Trippi and Margie Omero

Morra Aarons-Mele

Are you suffering from Election Stress Disorder? (Hint: if you refresh more than once a day, you do!)

We are excited to share with you our "Election Special" Hiding in the Bathroom podcast with expert campaign strategist Joe Trippi, and pollster-goddess Margie Omero, which came out today. We discuss polling, the role of the internet in political discourse, and attempt to answer the question "How do we stay engaged in this election without losing our minds?" We felt such a sense of relief after hearing their wise words, and hope this episode provides that same comfort to our listeners.

Please click here to download on iTunes. We promise you it's worth a listen!

AMAZE launch: Helping Us Approach Sex-Ed

Morra Aarons-Mele

Last week we had a fabulous time celebrating the launch of AMAZE, a fun and honest video playlist that helps teens and tweens make sense of sex, relationships and growing up. Parents can trust AMAZE, knowing it's a nonprofit, non-political collaboration between Advocates for Youth, Answer and Youth Tech Health -- recognized leaders in sex education. 

These age-appropriate videos will grab your kids’ attention while providing factual information about the reproductive system, healthy relationships, sexuality and other topics where they likely have loads of questions. Their site – – contains additional resources and tools for youth, parents and educators to foster discussions and to provide more in-depth information.

Check out this great piece they were featured in in The New York Times! We are so excited to be working with AMAZE to help parents and educators open up these conversations. 

Hiding in the Bathroom: Social Anxiety

Morra Aarons-Mele

This week's episode of Hiding in the Bathroom is live! Have you ever done it? Gone to a work event or cocktail party, make sure the host or your boss sees you’re there, put in your time...and then run for the exit? Today, we discuss social anxiety and perfecting your pitch with Silicon Valley executive Arvind Rajan, co-founder and CEO of Cricket Health, a health-care startup in San Francisco.

Therapy Should be Part of Your Toolkit

Morra Aarons-Mele

This weeks episode of Hiding in the Bathroom is live! A frank and funny talk with therapist, entrepreneur and Y Combinator veteran Bea Arthur. Bea and Morra talk about the dangers of "playing entrepreneur," how not to get hosed by your technical team, and how to create a mental health toolkit for the entrepreneurial ride. Called “innovative and inspiring” by the American Counseling Association, licensed therapist and entrepreneur Bea Arthur is a leader in the field of mental health and telemedicine. With the goal of transforming traditional therapy into a more affordable and approachable experience, she created In Your Corner, a platform that provided counseling services through video and journals.

Imposter Syndrome with Sarah Penna

Morra Aarons-Mele

This week we're tackling impostor syndrome with Sarah Penna, Head of Awestruck, a new network and lifestyle brand from AwesomenessTV. Imposter syndrome may seem simple, but it's about a lot more than feeling like a fraud. Do you find yourself feeling like you know your stuff, but you're always looking over your shoulder? Do you worry others are about to catch up to you? Achieving your dreams doesn't always loosen the pressure valve or stave off FOMO. Few people know this better than Sarah, who built and sold her first business all before she turned 30.

Listen to Sarah's Interview here!

Happy #Blogust 2016!

Morra Aarons-Mele

Image credit:

Image credit:

Throughout the month of August, bloggers and other influencers post to their social channels and for every comment, like or retweet they get, a vaccine is donated to a kid in need around the world. In just five years, Shot@Life has donated 30 million vaccines to kids in third world countries.

"The Blogust 2016 digital relay participants will be sharing the story behind #TBT baby photos or videos of themselves, their kid(s) or a side-by-side comparison at important milestones – from first steps or first smile to fifth birthday. Every parent everywhere should be able to experience these milestones, which is why every like, comment and social media share their posts receive (up to 30,000 throughout the month of August 2016) will trigger a donation by MAM to help provide a vaccine for a child in need around the world."

Learn more about the influencers and voices for this years #Blogust 2016 here