A former magazine editor, market editor and stylist I worked for the likes of InStyle, House and Garden and Oprah Magazine for well over a decade. Friends of mine said that when I retired my stylist kit I was leaving behind the best job in NYC. They weren't wrong. There was so much fun to be had and so many beautiful things to see shopping the home and accessories markets in Milan, Paris, London, New York, Chicago and LA and on set at studio shoots and in people's homes, but I knew I wanted to change course. Not long after my second daughter Crosby was born in 2006, I decided to turn my interests full time to parenting and that led to me having more freedom to delve into the world of volunteering and philanthropy. There are myriad ways, big and small, to give back to the world we inhabit. Whether it's volunteering to chaperone your kids on a field trip or coordinating and hosting an event on behalf of an organization like Every Mother Counts, every minute you spend in service to others is a gift towards making the world a more hopeful and magical place.
First and foremost, visit us at https://everymothercounts.org/what-can-i-do/ to see all of the different avenues to get involved. We offer easy ways to Take Action, attend events, run in one of the races we support and so much more. People can shop Mother’s Day gifts from EMC partners, including Marfa Stance that make a meaningful difference in the lives of mothers everywhere!
Aside from shopping opportunities, this year’s Mother’s Day campaign offers a number of ways to reach and support the mothers in your life. I just sent a note of encouragement through our Hang in There, Mama campaign to one of our former babysitters who has recently become a new mom. And, I also signed up for our EMC’s Global Fitness Challenge where I committed to running 100 miles over the course of the month of May. Through the challenge I am able to personally raise awareness and funds within my own community of friends and family. Make sure to follow us on our socials to learn about all of our Mother’s Day plans.
It’s difficult to choose just one moment as there have been so many truly rewarding experiences to date, but one that really stands out in my mind was an off-the-official-calendar trip to Cabestor, Haiti in 2015. Board member, Christiane Lemieux, and I travelled to Haiti to outfit and open the Carrie Wortham Birth Center in partnership with Midwives for Haiti, one of our grantees. Cabestor, a lengthy drive from Port au Prince, is hours away from any paved roads or medical facilities. In some ways it feels like a place where time stands still. People bring their goods to the weekly market by horseback and the homes are built atop dirt floors with cheerily painted wood. It’s a simple and proud life. Working a week or so in advance of a team of EMC supporters visiting for the center’s Grand Opening, we were charged with unpacking scores of boxes and assembling all of the furniture and supplies needed to get the birth center off the ground.
Prior to the opening of the center recent data showed that this remote area had twice the maternal mortality rates of the entire country. Haiti already has the highest maternal mortality rates in the Western Hemisphere, so this particular region in the Central Plateau could be the most dangerous area to be pregnant on this island nation.
It was super rewarding to see the center come to life knowing how its future impact would shape the lives of the community. The midwives have been busy ever since the opening in Fall 2015. Hundreds of prenatal and postnatal visits have occurred, beautiful babies have been born and cared for, several emergency transports have been facilitated and many classes of traditional birth attendants (Matwons) have been educated in safe birth techniques and identifying complications.
I was sad to learn, just recently, that the center closed as a result of how dangerous the area had become. Our work with Midwives for Haiti continues however, as we maintain our commitment to funding the training of skilled midwives who fan out across the nation and provide comprehensive maternity care services in Haiti’s most vulnerable areas.
Looking back, I now realize I learned the value of giving back from my mother. Musically gifted, my mom loved to sing and play the piano and guitar. I remember when I was a young girl she would travel around Phoenix, Arizona (where I was raised) with her sheet music and guitar visiting nursing homes and singing with the residents. This was something she did once a week and I remember her feeling especially bouncy and happy on those days. As I followed in her footsteps, I volunteered on a US Congressman's campaign in Arizona, read to the blind as a young 20-something here in Manhattan and have always offered my time and expertise at my girls' schools whenever needed. I now see in my 17-year-old daughter Piper, the same sense of volunteerism rising up. She and some friends have been spending time at a farmers' market in Brooklyn delivering fresh produce to residents in a neighborhood where food insecurity is a big issue. Looks like we have instituted a family tradition of giving back that my own mother would be proud of!
I could not love my EMC Reversible Quilt more, it was so great to see our hallmark orange come to life on such a special jacket. It’s the perfect weight! Personally, I like to wear my jacket on the roomy side so I can layer a sweater or a vest underneath. I can’t wait to get some mix and match collars and a knit hood to expand my options. The new Convertible Rib Crew looks pretty fantastic too!
And we are so happy to partner with Marfa Stance again this Mother’s Day. I’m looking forward to seeing the new Reversible Cropped Quilt in both the Burnt Orange and White and Pale Pink and Pale Sage color ways. We are thankful for Georgia’s interest and commitment to EMC and the work we do to make the world a safer and healthier place for mothers and babies everywhere.
Shop our limited-edition quilts in partnership with Every Mother Counts HERE, in which 10% of proceeds will be proudly donated throughout April & May.