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Women can influence and play significant roles in the development of their communities through the decisions they make in their families, jobs and businesses.  There is evidence to suggest that women have the capacity to make contributions to society and their communities, but these are underutilized.  As a mom entrepreneur and business owner, you can make a difference through giving your money and time to various charitable causes – this can bring benefits not only to the community, but to your business by contributing to its growth and success.

You may be looking for ways to get your business off the ground, or you may already have an established business and are looking for ways to expand. It is worth noting that your business operates within a community; and with the right approach to community support and engagement, your business can benefit immensely.  Whether you operate an online site, or a business serving a single or multiple locations, you can be involved in various causes that will bring benefits to your community and contribute to your business success.

Charitable benefits for your community

As a mom, you influence your family’s involvement in various causes in health, education and other social issues.  Similarly, through your business, you can help to improve lives by being involved in a range of social and cultural charitable causes that develop and enhance the community, such as working with schools, hospitals, sports, film and theater. Take Jason A. Sugarman, a finance expert and a successful businessman –  he has been donating to charity and been involved in several causes for a number of years, including health as well as cultural and sports causes. As a mom, there are several ways you can offer help without expecting a reward from your community. It could be as simple as counseling families and guiding them as they go about helping their loved one free from addiction.

Charitable benefits for your business

Being involved in charity work can provide you with opportunities to grow your customer base, resulting in increased business and revenues.  A study by Cone Communications revealed that about 90% of millennials would rather purchase from a business that was involved in a charitable cause – and overall, 85% of Americans will do the same.  The study also found that 62% would happily take a reduced salary to work for a business involved in a social cause, thereby saving wage cost to the business.  Charitable and community engagement will also provide you with marketing, publicity, and networking benefits, saving you the cost of having to source these services separately.   

Engaging in charity work can result in both increased revenues and some cost savings, and can make your business profitable and contribute to its success.  These collaborations with charitable partners can also lead to growth and development opportunities for you as an entrepreneur.

With the many, many toys and books on the market today it is refreshing to find some that help teach life lessons to our kids. Inspired by her daughter, Britt Menzies has created 10 StinkyKids characters that are unique and fun.

The name “StinkyKids” comes from the phrase “little stinKers”, which Menzies used to describe the innocent behavior of her two kids when they were little. The StinkyKids characters learn to make good decisions through their mistakes.

I received a t-shirt in the mail to review as well as Menzies’ new book, “StinkyKids and the Runaway Scissors.”  In addition to the t-shirts which feature the StinkyKids characters, there are also plush dolls available.

My kids loved the book and listened intently as I read them the story about Britt’s dilemma that involved some gum, some hair and a pair of runaway scissors. The book had a great message and helped kids to realize that sometimes their parents help is needed to solve problems.

Throughout the StinkyKids books and other products, the message to “always be a leader of good” is repeated. I was encouraged by the book and happy that companies are working to produce such products for our children.

In addition to the great message within the book, the illustrations were also amazing. The bright and colorful pictures kept my children’s attention and made the book that much more enjoyable. Overall, I was very impressed.

After taking a look at the StinkyKids’ website, I realized that the company also donates a portion of all profits to Books, Bears, Bonnets, Inc., a charity founded in honor of Menzies’ aunt who died from uterine cancer. The organization delivers gift boxes to both children and adults who are suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses.

To meet the StinkyKids and learn more about their adventures, visit their website or find them on Facebook. There is also a section to print coloring sheets, share your own story of “being a leader of good” and much more.

Like all of you, we at Market Mommy are saddened as we remember the events of September 11, 2001. Our hearts go out to everyone who lost loved ones on that tragic day. Ten years have passed but we will never forget!

In honor of all of the first responders, charity workers, military personnel and countless others who stood up for their fellow Americans that day, and in all the years since, we are making a donation to the American Red Cross.

For every new Facebook ‘like’ we get today and every new newsletter sign-up, we are donating $.10 to the Red Cross. In addition, we are also donating 10 percent of every order received today, Sept. 11, 2011.

So, if for some reason you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet, do it now! http://www.facebook.com/MarketMommy

And, if you aren’t on our newsletter distribution list, sign up here: http://www.marketmommy.com/free-e-newsletter/

Every new sign up and like will earn another $.10 for the Red Cross, so forward this e-mail to everyone on your contact list, and suggest Market Mommy to every one of your Facebook friends!

If you haven’t reserved your spot in our Holiday Gift Guide, today would be the perfect time to do so! Order some advertising, or stock up on some marketing materials and we’ll donate 10% of every order!

As the memories come flooding back today, I hope you are able to be with friends and family and feel a sense of pride and patriotism! God Bless the USA! 

*We will make one donation to the American Red Cross combining the totals mentioned above, not to exceed $200 USD. Calculations will begin at 12:00 am EST on Sept. 11, 2011 and end at 3 am EST on Sept 12, 2011.

You may have noticed the button that was recently added to the sidebar of my blog. I’m proud to say that I’m a media sponsor for the upcoming MomPreneurs Against Human Trafficking Benefit forSCT being held in New York next week.

I’m thrilled to say that many of the mom entrepreneurs that I work with will be attending the event, and some of them are being featured. Notably, Ros Guerrero of Ficklets and Corporate Mom Dropout, Lucinda Cross.

The event is being hosted by Mahogany Communications and all proceeds will go to benefit the organization, SCTNow.

The event is being held next Tuesday evening from 6 – 9 p.m. If you would like to support this worthwhile cause, tickets are just $25 or two for $35. If you would like to offer support, but can’t attend, it’s easy to make a donation.

Learn more about the event, the featured mom entrepreneurs, the host and get ticket information here.

Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities.

Whether its a two-week trip to the country to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities.

  • Just $10 will send one child on a bus ride to his or her Friendly Town host family.
  • $24 provides a child with a week of swimming lessons.
  • $42 provides a day of Career Awareness classes.
  • A gift of $50 can fund a camp counselor for a day.
  • If you can give as much as $91, you provide a child at camp with meals for a week.

They are a not-for-profit agency and depend on tax-deductible donations from people like you to keep their vital programs flourishing. For more information, visit their website.

Heather Barnard officially started her business, Chickadee Prints, in 2009. The shop offers personalization and customization of their stationery, either online or one-on-one with them. They also offer self-inking stamps, mommy calling cards and Chick IDs.

Barnard said that it’s very hard to balance family and business. “I can’t express enough the importance of finding balance so that one is not left behind.  I still haven’t found the perfect balance as I feel guilt when not with the other,” she said.

She also emphasized the importance of establishing official business hours. “Setting business hours is the number one priority. You must stop the work at a certain hour, and then be mom.”

According to Barnard, the entrepreneurship road is often bumpy, but she encourages others to keep with it. “There are lots of ups and downs emotionally.  If you love what you do, it will all be worth it though.” She added that if you don’t love and enjoy what you are doing, it may not be the right business or avenue for you.    

Chickadee Prints can be found online and at their blog. In addition, they have designed some cards for the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation. Each purchase will help benefit this wonderful foundation aimed to immediately and effectively heighten awareness on the importance of expanded newborn screening and its availability and necessity for every newborn. See the cards here.

Saturday, May 1 has the potential to be a record breaking day for moms in Canada!

The first annual Mom 2 Mom Sale benefiting Unity for Autism is being held Saturday, May 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at various locations around the country. The goal is two-fold! They hope to break a Guinness World Record for the largest jumble sale, while raising money and awareness for autisum!

One of our Market Mommy Premium Partners, The Lower Mainland Children’s Directory, is hosting a site at the Cloverdale fairgrounds. For more information, you can contact Jennifer.

If you’re in Canada and would like more information on locations and other details, contact Laurie at Just Playdates.

Jessica, founder of Mom Fuse, has been working diligently to help a friend of hers who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a mother of 6 and has already undergone multiple treatments.

On May 2, there will be a benefit to help raise money for her medical expenses. By visiting this site, you can donate products or cash for the event or directly to the family.

To read about Stacy’s story go here.
Jessica has also done a blog post to update on Stacy’s story. They are currently accepting any type of donations for door prizes, gift baskets, etc. You can also donate cash there.

Thanks!!

Every little bit helps!

Obviously the devastation in Haiti is immense. And, there are millions of efforts to help. This includes many efforts by small mom business owners just like yourself! If you aren’t already doing something, I encourage you to jump in and help. Market Mommy, for example, will be donating 25 percent of our January sales to the Red Cross. {You can see our list of services here, and our list of advertising options here}

Show us and the world what you are doing to help by signing Mr. Linky below!

Who:: Heather Patterson @ Braelyn Bounty Bug
Business Established:: December 2006

What they do:: Braelyn Bounty Bug is an innovative maternity and baby essentials design company. In touch with the needs of today’s mother, the Company’s award-winning Prego Planner is a fun and fashionably functional pregnancy organizer. The only one of it’s kind, the Prego Planner gives moms-to-be the ability to arrange and rearrange their own pregnancy planner. The expectant mother can take out pages she doesn’t need and move pages where she wants them to go. A three-ring binder comes beautifully decorated with pre-printed pages for all the planning pregnancy requires. Among many other unique features, the mom-to-be can also purchase refill pages if she has the need for them.

Another innovative product by Braelyn Bounty Bug is the Tot Tag. Also known as the “ultimate diaper bag tag”, the Tot Tag is available in three great designs complete with a diaper bag checklist on the back and a concealed identification area. The purpose of the concealed identification area is so the family’s contact information is no visible during everyday use for all to see, but if the bag were lost of misplaced, the contact information could easily be found.
How she finds balance:: Though finding balance is a constant struggle (especially with my youngest home with me at all times), I have found it to be much easier balancing family life with work when I take the following steps:

  • Follow the same consistent routine each day so my children know what to expect \
  • Get up before my children and exercise
  • Get showered and dressed before my children wake up
  • Coffee, coffee and more coffee
  • Only volunteer at my child’s pre-school when it is feasible and not when I feel pressured to do so
  • If my children are at home, I give them a full 1 – 2 hours of “mommy time” in the morning before I dig into my work.
  • ALWAYS say “yes” to snuggling when I am asked to
  • Designate every Tuesday night as my “at home date night” with my husband. Work is off limits and we turn the television off, have a good glass of wine, talk about our day and the dreams that we still have.
  • Give up what is not essential
  • Enlist the help of my husband – I am an extremely blessed woman with an amazing husband that supports me beyond words. He desires to see me and my company succeed and he goes out of his way to help. If my workload is unusually heavy, he will go to work early so he can take off early to come home and watch our children while I work. If the need be, he will make their dinners, give them play time and tuck them safely in bed.
    Summary: I always put my family first. That may mean that I’m working until 1:00 am, but putting my family first is something I will never regret.

Her best advice:: Networking, networking and networking! Networking and relationships are vital to you and your business. Also, create your “big picture” to-do list in an Excel sheet and put a deadline date next to each task. Open the to-do list daily. Setting actual deadlines for yourself will encourage you to get the task completed instead of procrastinating.
Save Now:: Receive a FREE Tot Tag with the purchase of any Prego Planner by using the code “MARKETMOMMY” in the Gift Message area of the order form. Please be sure to note the preferred style of Tag. Offer valid through December 31, 2009.
What they are giving away:: Prego Planner
Play and win:: What charity is Braelyn Bounty Bug raising money for during the Month of November? (Note: Donate and get registered to win amazing products such as a BabyLegs gift certificate, an all-weather WooBee Blanket, a $200 photo session and more.)

Don’t forget to visit the official party post here to register for the party and read all the rules and details!! You can earn extra credit by answering the play and win question above in a comment on THIS post!