Join Scary Mommy Nation to Help Support Families in Need This Thanksgiving

scary mom thanksgiving project

The Thanksgiving Project started as a simple blog post from Jill Smokler (aka Scary Mommy) back in 2011. This post talked about how some people in the Scary Mommy community had a rough year and simply couldn’t provide a Thanksgiving dinner for their families. Some could barely afford a loaf of bread.

Jill had the idea of asking her large community of followers for help. Would they be willing to donate some money, even a small amount, to make sure everyone would be able to celebrate Thanksgiving?

The answer was a resounding Yes. Jill was overwhelmed with people who wanted to donate. She also heard from many others who needed help. The story received a ton of media attention, including on Good Morning AmericaNightline and the homepages of Yahoo and Huffington Post.

An average Thanksgiving dinner costs $50. In that first year of the Thanksgiving Project, the Scary Mommy community raised more than $20,000 and provided meals for more than 400 families.

After the success of the first impromptu Thanksgiving Project, Scary Mommy Nation quickly became a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization powered by mothers helping other mothers. As Jill told me in an email, “Once I saw the impact the site could have, I couldn’t not want to do more. I realized that people really want to help, they just need to be shown how to do it. Being official helped give me the structure I needed as well as a legitimacy that’s needed when collecting money.”

In addition to the Thanksgiving Project, there is also a Birthday Project. Jill hopes to expand the impact beyond Thanksgiving, possibly adding other landmark days such as Mother’s Day and Christmas.

As of Monday morning, Jill still had 235 people on a waiting list for the Thanksgiving Project, and the applications for help close on Friday. While Jill says donations come in as quickly as money, it takes several donations of $5, $10, $20 etc. to cover each gift card.

Scary Mommy Nation

For my November Giving Pledge donation, I gave to Scary Mommy Nation along with fellow co-authors of The Mother of All Meltdowns. Together we hope to help several families in need this holiday season. If you’d like to join us, you can donate through the MOAM website or directly on the Scary Mommy website.

If you can’t afford to donate at this time, I hope you will take a moment to share this post.

If you need help, you can apply at Scary Mommy’s website up until November 15th.

Will you support #ScaryMommyThanksgiving?

Are you willing to take the giving pledge and donate every month to a nonprofit? Grab the badge below and tell the world.
another jennifer giving pledge

The Power of a Voice

When I attended the Social Good Summit in New York for three days last week, I had the opportunity to watch several presentations and panels on global issues that impact us all. Speaker after speaker talked about things like access to clean water, climate change, hunger, preventable diseases, philanthropy and more.

In addition to the rich summit agenda, I was also invited to off-site events. I heard about upcoming campaigns that support The Global Fund from (Red) over breakfast. I learned more about the humanitarian efforts in Syria from Save the Children, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and at a luncheon. I had a nightcap with Wateraid to meet the lovely ladies I’ve only talked to through email. I was even escorted through several layers of security to listen to a panel on Factivism at the United Nations Headquarters.

A gentleman from Time Magazine asked a question at one of these events. My fellow social good bloggers and I laughed that we were even at the same table as someone from such a large and esteemed news outlet. We were quickly told that our voices are just as valued and needed because of the strong, personal connection we have with our audience. Moms, in particular, can relate to our blogs because we’re sharing our own relatable perspectives as mothers.

The overall theme of Social Good Summit was how we’re using digital to pave the way for a brighter future by 2030. (Check out the hashtag #2030NOW on Twitter for lots of discussion.) By the time I left New York on late Tuesday night, my mind was spinning and I had several pages of notes. I felt a renewed dedication to my work in the social good world and a desire to dig in deeper to what it means to empower others to give back in the simplest of ways.

And then I saw this picture come across my Facebook feed.


If you don’t recognize this face, it’s Alexa of the No Holding Back blog. She is a friend of mine and an advocate for those affected by a too little known disease called TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome). As I was leaving New York armed with information and ideas, Alexa was in the trenches in Washington, DC representing the March of Dimes and moms everywhere. She met with representatives and was making change.

When Alexa came home, she buried her beloved Kathryn, the twin she lost to TTTS at only two days old. The next day, a bench was dedicated in Kathryn’s Butterfly Garden.

This month (September actually) I donated to the Historic Columbia Foundation to support Kathryn’s Butterfly Garden, a spot in a Children’s Garden that Alexa and her husband adopted in honor of Kathryn, as part of my Giving Pledge. I can’t think of a more fitting way to end my week.

Alexa is a prime example of someone who is taking an issue and tackling it head on. She is a strong woman and mother and I have no doubt that she is saving lives through her blog and advocacy work. She is doing what we discussed for three days in New York. If you have a moment, I encourage you to take a look at her new website dedicated to Fighting TTTS.

How did you give back in September?

Are you willing to take the giving pledge and donate every month to a nonprofit? Grab the badge below and tell the world.
another jennifer giving pledge

My Giving Pledge: October Donation

It’s hard to believe I’m in the tenth month of my giving pledge. I am so glad that I decided to make a pledge to donate to at least one nonprofit each month. It truly has made me think more about my own giving habits.

This month, I donated to SenseAbility Gym. You may remember Alysia’s guest post for Philanthropy Friday at the end of September.

I love what Alysia is doing. I love that it’s in my hometown of Hopedale, MA. I love that it will benefit both kids and parents who deserve a comfortable place to gather for play and support. I’m proud that I can help a bit to get it opened.

Have I mentioned yet how easy it is to make these donations?

Bonus: Thanks to a number of new followers on Facebook, I also made another donation to my local library. (I pledge $1 for every Facebook page like I get for another jennifer. So, if you haven’t “liked” me yet, please do so!)

Did you give this month?

Are you willing to take the giving pledge and donate every month to a nonprofit? Grab the badge below and tell the world.

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