Global Team of 200

Simple Giving

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Meet Jennifer Iacovelli, a fellow Global Team of 200 member, and writer of Simple Giving Lab and Philanthropy Friday’s. Jennifer encourages readers to give back by featuring organizations that make a difference and practical ways for readers to get involved. I appreciate the spirit of giving that she enfolds in her writing and all she does.

Her new book comes out this week, Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day


In her book, Jennifer outlines six models for giving from everyday acts of kindness to giving as a business model. She shows that we don’t have to put giving in a box of solely giving time or giving money. There are countless ways to shape our lives around generosity. Each chapter offers action steps and resources to encourage readers to grow in giving. She also shares the stories of many organizations and individuals.

My favorite story in the book shares Jennifer’s experience traveling with Mom Bloggers for Social Good to Nicaragua with WaterAid America. She didn’t let her experience end when she returned. An avid athlete, Jennifer trains with WolfPack Fitness. On the following World Water Day, she planned a fitness event where the workout revolved around water (pumping water, carrying water). Her group was able to raise money and awareness to support the program she visited in Nicaragua.

Take what you love and find a way to intertwine it with giving.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are at- Teddy Roosevelt


I have a copy of Simple Giving to give away! Comment for a chance to win.

What is your favorite and most simple way of giving back? 


Jennifer is a writer, speaker and consultant. She helps entrepreneurs, bloggers, and nonprofits tell their story. Her website is Another Jennifer Writing Lab. You can follow her at facebook and twitter. You can follow Simple Giving Lab at facebook and twitter. She is based in Brunswick, Maine.

100 Under $100

100 Under $100

As a member of Mom Bloggers for Social good and the Global Team of 200, I had the opportunity to review an advanced copy of 100 Under $100. Betsy Teutsch compiles a wonderful guide to one hundred tools for empowering global women.

I absolutely loved reading about the cutting edge solutions happening around the world that contribute to alleviating poverty from maternal health to finance to global health. Within each tool she includes ways to deepen our education and ways we can contribute to the work of the organizations that bring these tools to life. I loved seeing them in action through the photographs as well.

After reading the guide, I felt great hope. People all around the globe are combining talent with compassion to make the world a better place.

That is hope. That is proximity.


The book releases March 6, in the meantime check out the 100 Under $100 websiteblog, Pinterest boards, twitter, and facebook page.

I made a twitter list with all the organizations featured in the book.


I can’t wait to continue sharing the work of these organizations and how we can help.

I mean keyhole gardens, kangaroo care, solar ear, eco-briquettes, bottle bricks, microloans, infant warmers, and school lunch. There is so much to be excited about.

Betsy dedicates the book to all who engage in Tikkun Olam- Repairing the World.


That is all of you!

Thank you for your compassion and willingness to place yourself in proximity to need.



Gray Fades


Friday evening, I felt depleted. Oh the gray that builds sometimes, especially this time of year. Laying on the couch, I hit play on A Path Appears. 

The three-part documentary film based on the book of the same name by Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, shows on PBS. Episode One talked about sex trafficking in the United States. Episode Two covered Breaking the Cycle of Poverty. You can watch Episode 1 and Episode 2 on-line until February 14. The last part will show this evening and takes place at the Kiberia School for Girls.

It was midnight when I finished, and the gray had receded.

Proximity does that to you. You remember who you want to be.


Earlier in the month, Nicolas Kristof wrote an article about a high school friend, stuck in a cycle of poverty called Where’s the EmpathyOh, how we need and long for understanding that leads to empathy, that moves us to act.


I’m excited about A Path Appears.

The IF Gathering where so many women gathered and dreamed this past weekend.

Voices like Amy Sullivan, who remind us that serving is hard, but glorious.

and progress like the Millennium Development Goals.


{Mother and their children at a Mother’s group in South Delhi, India}

The Global Team of 200 is reporting this month with Save the Children and MDG4, reducing childhood morality. The number of children dying from preventable causes decreased from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. Progress… but still 

  • Each day an estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children die from largely preventable causes.
  • More than 1 million babies die on their first and only day of life across the world, and 2.9 million in their first month.

Newborn mortality rates can only be reduced through

  • fairer distribution of essential health services
  • universal healthcare access; this means making these more available to the poorest and most marginalized families, as well as to communities living in rural areas.

The world produces enough food to feed every man, woman and child yet 1 in 8 go to bed hungry every night. 

???????????????????????????????{Mother and son in a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia}


Let’s rise up to meet those suffering with empathy and action.

It is our calling, why we breathe.

and gray fades.


Invisible to Visible.

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Tonight at 10:00 pm on PBS the three- part series of A Path Appears premieres. The film is based on the book by Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The book was wonderful, I have no doubt the documentary will be the same.

Another married duo changing the world through their advocacy is Bill and Melinda Gates. They released their annual letter last week. As a member of the Global Team of 200, I have the privilege of sharing it with you through images.










We live in an unprecedented time. What will our role be? Can we be global citizens that shift to place ourselves in proximity, so the invisible are visible?


The Long Night

The Long Night

As part of my 36 Hope Expands Series, I am practicing proximity by sharing the film The Long Night by Tim Matsui with other members of The Global Team of 200. The film is free to watch through this weekend.

The film follows lives effected by domestic sex trafficking in the Seattle area.

Seattle. The United States. Human trafficking happens here too.


The Parents.

The Runaway

The Addict

The Police


The film is difficult to watch. Being exposed to such profound pain is not fun. I almost deleted this whole post, when I realized that part of proximity is hard.

Lisa-mcdsI would like to share two parts of the film with you.

Lisa, a heroin addict and prostitute, arrived at Genesis (a program implemented by the police to help trafficked minors into a new life.) A police officer gave her a bathrobe. She wept at the simple act of care.

Here you can see a photo essay of Lisa’s journey.

The runaway returned home, yet felt she would never be able to win her parents forgiveness. ‘I didn’t need to. They loved me unconditionally.’


Tim Matsui has not stopped with just making the film. He worked with The Fourth Act, an organization that brings storytellers and images together to create change and The Fledgling Fund doing the same through filmmaking.


There are hard things out there that shouldn’t be. It is so easy to look away.

Our challenge is to look and shrink the distance between us and those in need and respond. 

It’s about proximity. 

Start by viewing this photograph. It is cause to pause. 

Get Ready- Get Safe

DisasterReport2013.jpgGet Ready- Get Safe is a Save the Children Campaign.

Despite a record disaster year and high-profile school tragedies, most states still fail to meet basic child-safety measures endorsed by a national commission after Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children reported.

There have been many high-profile natural disasters in recent years like Hurricane Sandy and Isaac, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Colorado fires. Not only that, but the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite these wake-up calls, significant progress has only been made in four states. {wondering what four? New Jersey, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Utah.}

What are the four critical standards?

  1. an evacuation plan,
  2. a family reunification plan
  3. a plan for children with special needs
  4. that states require all schools to have disaster plans that account for multiple types of hazards.


Save the Children is launching a new campaign called Get Ready- Get Safe. Click here to learn more. You can take action here as well, by writing to your governor to urge them to help your state meet requirements. You can also look at the report card for your state.

See their Disaster Preparedness Printable, it is incredibly helpful!


This was so eye-opening to me. I’m the Mom who is searching through cabinets for batteries when the power goes out, hoping to find a working flashlight. We could do much better in our family to be prepared.

I think I like to pretend nothing will happen. It’s nice to think sunny days, but the reality is a disaster can happen anywhere. Being prepared helps ensure families, schools, and childcare centers will emerge with best case scenarios.

Superstorm Sandy: Journey of HopeThis is my state of Michigan.

michiganWhat preparedness actions have you taken with your family? How do you think your area does? 

{This post was done through Global Team of 200 and all photo credit goes to Save the Children.}

Invest in One Child

photo-13{Photo Credit: Opportunity International.}


130 million children around the world do not attend school- 70% are girls.

In Sub-Saharan Africa education is not free. Families are required to pay for fees, uniform, books, food, shoes, and extra teacher payment

photo-1Through Opportunity International you can send one child to school for $1.00 a day.

As we enter a new school year, all donations are matched by donor partners. So your impact is doubled.


A Case Study of Hope: The Ridgeway School, Uganda. The story of Evans Ssenabulya and his wife, Roy with their three daughters.

Evans decided to do something…

It is really that simple, deciding to do something.

Something that makes a difference.

Something that offers hope.

photo-17Education is a pathway out of poverty. Every child should have a chance.

Read more about Opportunity International and follow their social media here.

Taps and Toilets


and toilets.

Two things most of us take for granted.


Imagine attending a school with no taps or toilets.

Imagine teaching at a school with no taps or toilets.


Through WaterAid we have the opportunity to be a part of a campaign called #buildfutures.

12,000 children.

31 schools.

150 taps.

100 toilets.



Meet Perlette:

I am 13 years old. I love school, as it is the only way to be clever. When I am older I want to be a doctor and treat sick children. I have missed school because of drinking dirty water. It may stop me from being a doctor.


Head over to WaterAid to meet another student Zafera, head teacher Ms. Adeline, and Ernest for WaterAid Madagascar. 

Here Ernest shows the Plan View of Tsimahavaobe primary school and what the new facilities will look like. 


When our kids go back to school taps and toilets will not be a need. They are in Madagascar. 

You can make a difference. 

To dig deeper: Involve your whole family with WaterAid Kids Activities.

Super Power Nutrition!

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About Proximity is earning a Super Cape in the kitchen today!

Global Team of 200 is bringing awareness to Save the Children’s Food for Thought Report. When you place yourself in the proximity of your own children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I can’t imagine them suffering from chronic malnutrition. This is a topic no one would want a parent to suffer through.



World Leaders will meet June 8th for the Nutrition for Growth Summit in London.

Lacking basic nutrition not only stunts children’s growth but also severely impairs the ability for children to learn.


Ways to help world leaders know malnutrition is important to us and support the work of Save the Children:

  • Do you tweet? Here’s a sample:  @whitehouse let’s make sure all kids get healthy food in their #next1000days so they can reach their full potential. #Nutrition4Growth
  • Follow Save the Children on Facebook.
  • Follow Save the Children on Pinterest.
  • Make healthy nutrition a priority in your family and schools!


How is About Proximity earning our super power cape? A Gr8 Recipe!

This is a simple, healthy, inexpensive recipe we have used in our family since Kris and I were married. (I’m sharing a recipe… for those of you who witness my cooking skills this is a little humorous.) Our kids like this recipe because they get to choose their own toppings.


For a special addition I would love to give this book away! Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Food in Kids’ Favorite Meals.

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Leave a comment to win! 

What’s your favorite healthy recipe? 

That First Moment

That first moment:

ellie 012

Dear Ellie and Josiah,

We hoped for you. We prayed for you. Then you were there with us.  All amazing hope and grace flooded our hearts. You looked up at us like we had known one another forever. A new life and suddenly our lives had the most amazing purpose. All you were and would become was wrapped up in that single moment. Our hearts cracked open because we knew we could never love anything like we loved you. 

Love,  Mom and Dad. 


I remember feeling so scared. The weight of the responsibility of bringing a life into the world did not fall short on me. But, the moment I looked at my daughter and then my son all my fear faded away. They looked at me like they knew I was their Mom. All my insecurities and inadequacies seemed small in that moment.

I am so thankful we had good health care to guide us in those first moments. I was completely awkward that first day (and honestly, the awkward parenting moments keep coming.) Neither birth was without its challenges, but I knew we had the assurance of amazing health care to guide us through.


We received a chance to make it into the world together.

That was a blessing I don’t take for granted.

It is a blessing many Mom’s in this world do not receive. 


The Global Team of 200 is working with Save the Children to bring awareness to maternal and newborn health care.

  • Watch this touching video about celebrity Moms and their love at first sight moments and our global needs. Video
  • The State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report is Save the Children’s signature annual publication, which compiles global statistics on the health of mothers and children. Here is the infographic for the report. I’ll be pinning it on my Pinterest Causes board.


Maternal and Newborn Health is a cause we can get behind. We have all been mothers, or daughters, or aunts. 

How can you be involved:

Beautiful Images from Save the Children: 


Liberia: Newborns

Newborn daughter of Wilma Francis, in the Mvolo Primary Health

What was your first moment like? How do you support maternal and newborn health?