Volunteer in Remembrance of 9-11

Written on August 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm , by

Painting homes, organizing food drives and cleaning up neighborhoods and beaches are just some of the good deeds hundreds of thousands of Americans did to celebrate the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th last year—and the hope is to get even more people involved this year. To help with a project in your area or to organize one, visit

Celia Shatzman is associate editor at Family Circle.

Send Mom a Card that Might Save a Mother’s Life

Written on May 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm , by


If it weren’t for the excellent health care I received when I was pregnant, neither I nor my maddening adorable teenagers would be here today. In some places in the world, that health care is not as readily available as it is here in the US. Actually, for some mothers here in the US, that health care is not so ready and available. Maternal mortality has doubled in the US in the last ten years.

I was lucky. My first pregnancy would not have had a happy outcome if it weren’t for a clean emergency room, skilled doctors, a great deal of modern medicine, and the health insurance that allowed me to avail myself of that care. Many mothers in the world don’t have access to the care I got. In some places there are no hospitals, doctors, medicine or knowledge. In other cases, no insurance or awareness of the dangers. In fact, every day 1,000 mothers die in childbirth. That is one woman every 90 seconds. Those deaths are tragic and leave families, communities, and children bereft. And they are completely avoidable. The medicine exists to prevent almost the conditions that would cause a woman to lose her life while giving life. Some women simply don’t have access to that medicine. Merck has started a 10-year, half-billion-dollar initiative – Merck for Mothers – that hopes to create a world where no woman has to die from preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

As part of this initiative, Merck will give $1 to Join My Village for every Mother’s Day e-card sent from its Merck for Mothers site. The cards are sure to make Mom feel great. They cost you nothing. And they help prevent this unnecessary and tragic loss.

You can still give Mom flowers, too, if you want.

Christina Tynan-Wood writes the Family Tech column forFamily Circle, and is the author of “How to Be a Geek Goddess.” You can find her at, as well as here on

For kids, charity begins at school

Written on June 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm , by


These days, charity no longer begins at home. My daughter, who will graduate from elementary school next year, has been learning all about how to give back since her kindergarten days. It started with buying goodies at school bake sales to raise  money for the homeless. Then came donations of gently used coats for the needy in winter. These days, she’s been making bracelets to raise money, collecting donations for victims of the Japan earthquake/tsunami, even logging steps on her pedometer so Modell’s could donate to the same cause. In other words, it’s second nature to her, almost part of daily life, and I love that. Yes, I could quibble about how charities and fundraising is so in that it becomes a kind of perverse who-can-do-the-most-good competition, but I won’t. I’m just delighted that in age when parents gripe so much about the awful directions kids are heading or the lackluster education of public schools, something is right in the world. Her heart is wide open, she’s compassionate and eager to pay it forward, whether it’s giving money to a subway street musician or donating her old books and toys to neighbors or Goodwill.