For many working mothers having a career, having fun and positively affecting other people’s lives is all in a day’s work. The German-born diarist and writer Anne Frank once said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” The following women in this list have made it a point in their careers where being ‘in contribution’ and touching the lives of others, is very much a part their working day.
1. Lisa Truong
Founder and Executive Director of ‘Help a Mother Out’
Back in 2009, the recession hit home hard for many families. Realizing just how much of an impact the recession had, and with the belief that every baby deserves a clean diaper, Lisa Truong created an organization called ‘Help a Mother Out’, which all began when she started a diaper drive in San Francisco. By spreading the word via social media, Truong was able to find corporate sponsors such as Huggies, a famous company that manufactures baby diapers, and even opened a warehouse that was dedicated to storing the diapers. This incredible mother of two young boys then went on to form other sister chapters of her organization in Washington, Arizona and Southern California.
2. Jessica Jackley
Co-Founder of Kica.org and CEO of Profounder
At 34, Jessica Jackley is a busy lady. She is the founder and CEO of Profounder, a company that helps raise money for small businesses via crowd funding and by building community awareness. She is also the co-founder or Kiva.org, which is an online lender that helps arrange loans for young entrepreneurs around the world. Jackley’s mantra for success is not trying to be perfect, just doing your best, having fun and improving oneself. These two organizations have helped get hundreds of entrepreneurs on their feet, and Jackley doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon.
3. Liz Scott
Vice President of Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Looking for more inspiration? Liz Scott’s daughter Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer, which is a type of cancer that affects the nerve cells. At the age of four, Alex decided that she should do something to help other kids like her. Hence, ‘Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer’ was born. What started out at a grass roots level turned into a tradition which grew with time. After Alex passed away in 2004, her mother continued with the good work – and to date has managed to raise over $30 million dollars for research on neuroblastoma cancer.
4. Julianna Margulies
Co-Founder of Project A.L.S.
There have been several celebrity mothers who have also done a lot for charity. American actress and producer Julianna Margulies, co-founded ‘Project A.L.S’ after her friend died from the disease. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurological disease causing the neurons that control voluntary muscles to degenerate. Since its inception in 1998, Project ALS has raised up to $42 million.
5. Jessica Seinfeld
Founder and President of Baby Buggy
Jessica Seinfeld, wife of famous comedian and TV star Jerry Seinfeld, has also been involved in some great causes. After the birth of her first child, she noticed they had an unusual amount of baby clothing and equipment in the house. Not wanting to throw it all away, she established her own company called ‘Baby Buggy’ in 2001. The organization is responsible for helping those families who are unable to afford the bare essentials. So far, ‘Baby Buggy’ has donated 4.4 million essentials to families and has even launched a layette collection together with Target, a popular clothing store, which donates 10% of profits to charity. On average, the organization donates 40,400 items per every month across 50 cities in the US, with over 19,000 volunteers pitching in to help out. It’s truly incredible how much a simple idea and good intentions can achieve!
6. Amanda Judge
Founder and President of Andean Collection
Andean Collection is a company that deals in accessories. What makes it a special company is that it also helps fight poverty in South America by including the works and unique designs of local artisans. Judge, who had previously worked in an investment firm, also volunteers with micro finance companies to provide small business loans so that poor families can start their own businesses. Judge recalls the inspiration of starting off her own company was while on a trip to Ecuador, where she saw local women selling their creations in the local markets. In two months time, she finished with school and started a company that exported these –usually handmade – goods, enabling local women who didn’t have access to an international market to make more money. The difference Judge has been able to make in the financial needs of Ecuadorean women has been amazing. She recalls the very first woman who she worked with, named Olga, who was married and lived with her family in a one room house with no electricity. Now, there’s a SUV standing in her garage.
7. Saranne Rothberg
Founder and CEO of Comedy Cures
Soon after Saranne Rothberg was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, she turned towards comedy to help her through the ordeal. Realizing the positive impact comedy had on her health, she launched ‘Comedy Cures Foundation’ that offers ‘therapeutic humor’ to those who are going through illness. Today Saranne is cancer free, and hosts comedy events for those people who are living with illness, disabilities and depression throughout the country – proving that laughter is the best medicine!
Saranne’s miracle cancer journey is detailed in ‘Radical Remission’.
8. Holly Pavlika
While working as a Managing Director at an advertising agency, Holly Pavlika had an idea about using social media, especially during the holidays, to encourage people to give to charity. The idea struck her after Pavlika read the stats on how much people spend during the holiday season. Thus, she began by starting her own blog called, Moms4Moms. Pavlika encourages people, especially mothers to donate whatever they can to charities such as ‘Every Mother Counts’. Apart from using social media to spread the word, Pavlika also hosts regular Twitter parties to help raise awareness of their organization as well.