MOGL: Real-Time Restaurant Rewards Program

Mogl, the leading restaurant rewards program with a mission to end hunger, recently announced that it is the first in its category with direct access to real-time data from Visa, MasterCard and American Express transactions.

Mogl’s relationship with the three major card issuers, combined with its proprietary technology, helps restaurants stay full by offering consumers the right restaurant at the right time. Since Mogl is fully automated, restaurants can increase profits without adding any extra work.

Through its new variable cash-back feature, restaurants can now choose to offer customizable, time-based cash back rewards to Mogl users that can be changed at any time throughout the day. This flexibility enables restaurant owners to increase cash back to fill seats when they need it, or limit the rewards when it’s not necessary.

“Mogl’s one-of-a-kind technology helps restaurant stay full and increase profits without adding any work. It acts as a powerful catalyst to get customers in the door when business is slow – and it also allows you to pull back when you’re already busy and don’t want or need to offer discounts,” said Jon Carder, CEO and Co-Founder of Mogl.  “Further, for consumers Mogl is more exciting as many restaurants are prepared to offer unheard of cash-back amounts such as 15%, 20% and even 30%, in order to win their business.”

Why Restaurants Choose Mogl:

  • It’s Effortless – Restaurant owners don’t have to train their staff or manage the rewards – Mogl is 100% automated and seamless, through secure credit-card tracking.
  • It’s Time-Based – Restaurant owners can customize their cash-back rewards by time of day to keep their restaurants full and limit discounts when they are already busy. The Mogl algorithm automatically determines the best reward to give at exactly the right time, giving restaurants the ability to optimize their program on the fly.
  • It’s Affordable – Restaurant owners can leverage Mogl’s technology to gain unlimited customers for a simple flat monthly fee. No long-term contracts.

Mogl combines the best elements of local search with a rewards program focused on philanthropy, making it a unique opportunity for restaurants. Mogl helps restaurants acquire new customers by promoting them within the app and website, and drives repeat business through its rewards program. Mogl guests spend 44.9% more per month on average and increase restaurant profits by more than $10,000 per year on average.

New Variable Cash-back Feature Enables Restaurant Owners to Help End Hunger in their Community and Increase Profits in Real Time

“We have been loyal to Mogl since they arrived in the Conejo Valley,” said Shawn Berger, director of operations at Bandit’s Bar and Grill (and Mogl member since 2011). “We are excited about the new variable cash program as we can dedicate more focus to non-peak periods and drive even more business.”

What’s in it for Consumers:

Mogl is now an even more powerful tool for consumers to save money and give back to their local food bank when dining out. Instead of a traditional 10% cash back at any participating Mogl restaurant, they can now use the Mogl app to locate restaurants in their area that may be offering 20%, 30% or more throughout the day.

Restaurants with the highest cash-back return (or offer) at any given time will rise to the top of the search list, making it easy to select a venue where they can save the most money – or make the largest impact by donating meals (all cash-back can easily be converted to meal donations via the Mogl app).

The unique combination of cash-back rewards, discreet redemption, jackpot competitions and meal donations keep Mogl members coming back to the app again and again.

How it Works:

  1. Consumers sign up for Mogl for free online or via iPhone or Android apps and link any debit or credit cards of their choice.
  2. Consumers use that link card to pay at any participating Mogl venue. The cash-back amount is determined by the offer that is live when they pay their bill.
  3. Consumers receive a alert on their phone and via email and with a finger swipe, they can choose to keep the cash back or donate any or all of it to their local food bank.

Fighting Hunger
For every 20 cents a consumer donates via Mogl, a meal is provided through a local food bank to someone in need in that city. It’s like Tom’s Shoes for food. To date, Mogl members have donated more than 600,000 meals.

 

Will you check out Mogl? Let us know your thoughts!

Expedia Launches Travel Giveaway Supporting St. Jude

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In response, Expedia.com®, the world’s leading online travel company, introduced a month-long campaign featuring travel giveaways and exclusive travel coupons to raise funds in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. In its 50-plus year history, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 percent to 80 percent. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade.

Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from public contributions, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Expedia has created several ways for the travel community to lend its support. Beginning September 1, 2013, consumers can visit http://stjude.expedia.com/ to enter more than 150 giveaway sweepstakes to win aspirational travel packages. Each entry comes with a suggested donation of $5.00, 100 percent of which goes directly to St. Jude.  Consumers can select as many trip options as they like, with the ability to enter each giveaway once a day for the entire month of September.

Expedia Launches Travel Giveaway Supporting St. Jude

The options include:

  • Bali, Indonesia: Five nights at the stunning Conrad Bali in a Deluxe Garden Room including breakfast, a couples massage and a $500 Visa gift card.
  • Vegas Dream Trip: Three nights at the chic Aria Resort & Casino, two tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana, a $200 F&B credit to any MGM resort restaurant, a Rockstar Club Crawl, 2.5 hour Vegas Sights & Lights Limo Tour, a flight on Maverick’s ECO-Star helicopter and three pairs of tickets to Vegas on Spirit Airlines.
  • Maui, Hawaii:  Four nights at the seaside Fairmont Kea Lani and a sunset catamaran cruise plus snorkel or eco-adventure to Molokini with Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures.
  • Marrakech, Morocco: Four nights in a palatial Pavilion room at the Four Seasons Marrakech, including breakfast and a couples spa experience.
  • Montana Outdoor Adventure: Four nights in a spacious Big Sky, Montana, Moonlight Mountain Homes luxury cabin and a $1000 Expedia gift card towards air fare or car rental.

At the campaign’s conclusion, a winner will be selected at random for each trip. No donation is required to enter the giveaways and an alternate method of entry is available.

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a miracle – a thriving, successful organization that provides pioneering research and treatment at no cost to patients. We’re proud to help channel the collective energy of millions of travelers to support it,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer, Expedia, Inc. “We already know that travelers are passionate people who know how to make every moment count. We’re hoping they’ll make their trips count even more by making a donation to St. Jude that will help save children. We are so grateful for the many generous partner properties, airlines and tourism boards from all around the world that stepped up to join this campaign. So please, join in. And thank you.”

“The support of incredible corporate citizens like Expedia helps fuel our mission of finding cures and saving children,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “This campaign offers travelers a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience, while helping St. Jude provide lifesaving care to children from around the world. We feel fortunate to be associated with this campaign and thank everyone who participates for their support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Beyond the dream trip giveaways, there are several different ways that consumers can join this campaign. For example, they can:

  • Donate directly to St. Jude to get a hotel coupon. Consumers who donate $25 to St. Jude on this site may choose either a 10% off coupon good for select hotels on Expedia.com or a 20% off coupon good for select hotels via the Expedia mobile app. To get the coupon and donate to St. Jude, click here.
  • Donate your rewards. Expedia® Rewards points can be turned into a monetary donation to St. Jude as well. Expedia Rewards points-holders who wish to participate can do so here.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has treated children from all 50 states and countries around the world. It is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. And research findings from St. Jude are shared freely with doctors and scientists worldwide, so the good work that begins in Memphis, Tennessee, ends up helping children and families everywhere.

The Honest Company: “Together We Can Make it Better”

the-honest-companyCo-founded by Jessica Alba, Christopher Gavigan, Sean Kane and Brian Lee, The Honest Company was started by parents that had become increasingly concerned about poorly regulated products made with questionable chemical ingredients. When they sought alternatives, they discovered other options to often be expensive, inaccessible, bland, or ineffective.

In response to this clear need for something better, they created The Honest Company to ensure that parents (or anyone for that matter!) could easily find non-toxic, eco-friendly products that are beautiful, affordable, and effective.

I was given some products to try, including hand sanitizer, body wash and moisturizing balm (similar in texture to Vaseline). Since I have extremely dry skin, especially my fingers and cuticles, I sampled the balm first. If you’re on the hunt for natural skincare products, this is a must-try. It has a very potent “clean” feeling, as I rub it on my hands, different from more “bulky” alternatives.

The most noticeable feature of it, and the other products as well, is the smell; or, rather, the lack there of. While most lotions and similar items have a distinct aroma the second you open them, these products are virtually scentless, from afar. When you sniff them up close, however, you’re able to immediately sense their natural qualities. “Nature” is the only word that comes to mind, when asked to describe the scent. It’s refreshing to know that the moisturizer I’m using isn’t full of who-knows-what kind of chemicals.

the-honest-company-natural-products

The eco-friendly brand is also making their way into hotels, and their first hotel partnership is with the Montage Laguna Beach, a luxury oceanfront resort in Orange County, California. Montage now offers a complete family essential amenity kit for families that request cribs.

In addition to skincare items, the company offers eco-friendly diapers, wipers, household cleaning products, swim diapers and more   – all safe for use for parents and their children. Guests will also receive a $10 code to use off their first order at Honest.com and complimentary diapers and swim diapers are available upon request.

The Honest Company’s ultimate goal is to redefine the “family brand.” They aim to simplify people’s lives and inspire delight in the everyday through exceptional products and services that promote beauty, community, health, and happiness.

They place a large emphasis on family, and their motto is: “Together, we can make it better.”

From diapers and wipes to cleaning and body care products, you can find everything exclusively at Honest.com. A portion of every dollar The Honest Company earns goes to their non-profit partner, Baby2Baby. This worthy non-profit supplies local families in need with essential baby gear and clothing for children up to age 12.

Shop natural for a good cause! Which Honest Company product would you most like to try?

 

Yogurtland: Where Customers Control Their Flavor Experience

yogurtland gift card

In 2006, Yogurtland opened its first location, and quickly popularized the self-serve frozen yogurt concept by offering the industry’s best quality frozen yogurt made from real California milk and served with a wide array of premium, popular toppings.

Today, Yogurtland leads the industry with the finest smooth, creamy real yogurt and superior toppings where customers create and control their own flavor experience, all served in a clean, bright environment.

Presently there are more than 190 locations across the U.S., Guam and Mexico with more than 50 additional locations scheduled to open during the next six months.

They just launched the third annual Yuletide Yumminess Promotion, offering unique holiday flavors. Guests can acquire stamps for each purchase, then once they’ve filled their card, the frozen yogurt brand makes a donation to Save the Children’s “Hurricane Sandy Children in Emergencies Fund.”

These funds will be used to replenish school supplies and rebuild day care centers damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Their Facebook page has acquired nearly 300,000 fans, and maintains a consistent presence with a variety of content.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Yogurtland Shares Holiday Yogurt Joy with Yuletide Yumminess Promotion

Yogurtland just launched its third annual Yuletide Yumminess promotion, a holiday celebration that includes 12 delicious frozen yogurt flavors AND support for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Each week for six weeks, Yogurtland will offer two new distinctly holiday-inspired frozen yogurt flavors, for a total of 12 flavors spanning six weeks.

The 12 flavors of Yuletide Yumminess include Cinnamon Roll, Peanut Butter Cups, Egg Nog, Brownie Batter, Butterscotch, Strawberry Rhubarb Tart, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Amaretto Cookies, Black Forest Cake, Boysenberry Tart, Tiramisu and Gingerbread.

Frozen Soft Serve Yogurt

Guests will receive a Yuletide card to collect a stamp for each cup of yogurt purchased. After six stamps, the card can be redeemed for 12 ounces of free frozen yogurt through December.

For every completed card, Yogurtland will make a donation to Save the Children’s “Hurricane Sandy Children in Emergencies Fund.”  These funds will be used to replenish school supplies and rebuild day care centers damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

“At this time of year, we want to spread some joy by helping those in need and sharing great flavors that remind us of the best of the holiday season,” said Charlotte Lucich, director of marketing at Yogurtland.

Yogurtland aims to raise about $15,000 for Save the Children’s response efforts. Following disasters, Save the Children works to address the needs of children and families in need by providing essential supports such as food, blankets, diapers and hygiene supplies and remains to help communities rebuild through long-term recovery programs.

Known for its smooth and creamy taste, Yogurtland combines authentic flavors with real milk for a delicious treat that’s also good for you.  Naturally occurring calcium and vitamin D make Yogurtland yogurt a healthful, refreshing treat.

Fruit flavors are also fortified with vitamin C. Yogurtland yogurt also has six probiotics and the live and active yogurt cultures your body needs for a healthy balance.

Guests can choose from dozens of toppings including fresh fruit to finish off their frozen yogurt treat. Each day, Yogurtland hand cuts about 500 pineapples and more than 6,000 pounds of strawberries.

Other fruit options include bananas, blackberries, honeydew melon, kiwi, lychee, peaches and watermelon.

Popular toppings range from your favorite childhood breakfast cereals of Cap’n Crunch© and Fruity Pebbles© to grown-up tastes such as granola, carob chips, yogurt chips, and coconut flakes and chocolaty favorites such as Hershey’s Heath Bar© and more.

Why not help a worthy cause when enjoying yogurt this holiday season? Win/win!

National Center for Family Literacy Fundraiser

While this is not hospitality-related, I wanted to share an initiative happening this week through social media.

The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) will host its first-ever Social Media Fundraising Party on November 14, 2012 to celebrate National Family Literacy Month.

For 24 hours, they plan reach as many people as possible via social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and various blogs, the goal being for fans and followers donate to NCFL through an online gift of any amount.

Throughout the day, NCFL will thank donors and share motivating anecdotes that aim to inspire further giving. They’ll also share updates to the amount raised and aim to give each donor a shout-out

Because the intent is for this event to create a groundswell of smaller donations from new supporters, an anonymous donor has offered to match the first $500 given.

The fundraiser will support NCFL programs like Wonderopolis, an online program that nurtures family learning through unique Wonders of the Day that are accompanied by lesson plans and sharing forums.

Literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed, and the family is at the heart.  That is why the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) has dedicated its mission to inspiring and engaging families in the pursuit of education and learning together for over 20 years.

NCFL has developed proven learning models and authored industry publications that are disseminated to the most vulnerable populations across America.

Since 1989, the organization has helped more than 1 million families make educational and economic progress by pioneering – and continuously improving - family literacy programs.

Their emphasis is on family literacy for a simple reason – study after study shows that family, home and community are the true drivers of a child’s education.

Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer is a member of NCFL’s Board of Directors.  In his time working with NCFL, he have become convinced that literacy is the cornerstone to building the future we all long for — one of innovation, technology, peace and prosperity.

“If we don’t build literacy stop-gaps in families and outside of our education system, relying on teachers and schools alone, we’ll fail as a nation and a world. NCFL is the one organization that focused on education in AND out of the classroom.”

I personally completely agree with and support NCFL and its long-term potential for created well-rounded, educated innovators. Please join me in supporting the cause this Wednesday.

Travel for Good with The Good Night Foundation

The Good Night Foundation

The holiday season is the perfect time to think about natural ways to give back. The Good Night Foundation is a non-profit organization that partners with leading hoteliers to raise money to support local and global programs. Since the organization began in 2008, The Good Night Foundation has raised over $367,000.

How it Works

At partner hotels, a $3 charitable donation is added to each guest’s nightly charge. The Good Night Foundation addresses global challenges by funding programs focused on health, education, poverty alleviation and the environment. Furthermore, 50% of The Good Night Foundation’s proceeds remain in the community in which they were collected, supporting an organization selected by the hotel staff, allowing guests to be sure their contributions benefit each community they visit. Guests who do not wish to participate may opt out by contacting their hotel front desk.

Participating Hotels

Stay at these partner hotels to have funds from your stay go toward worthy causes:

If you’re interested in becoming a partner hotel, visit the website for contact information. There is no cost to participate, and it’s a great way to aid worthy cause and create positive  buzz about your property.

Shop for Good on Black Friday

Plano, Texas-based retailer JCPenney is welcoming the holiday season with several new digital initiatives, which it hopes will bolster sales both online and at its 1,100 stores.

First, JCPenney has joined forces with The Salvation Army for an online charitable effort, the Salvation Army Angel Program. This year, they hope to reach more children, teens and seniors in need than ever before. You have the option of adopting as an individual, or, it’s now possible for groups and companies to participate, adopting up multiple angels at once.

“We wanted to make it easier for companies and groups to participate, so now groups can adopt up to 10 or more angels,” a spokesperson says. “Over the past two years, we’ve had more than 100,000 adoptions, and we’re hoping to add even more by expanding the program this way. Supporters now have the means to come together and significantly impact more families in need.”

She says the company will air TV ads from Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as online banners, to support the effort.

On Thanksgiving Day, every person who adopts a Salvation Army Angel at jcp.com generates a $50 donation, up to $400,000. And every person who checks-in via Foursquare at a JCPenney store on Black Friday triggers a $25 donation, up to $100,000.

They’re also supporting the program with a mobile feature, as well as an iPad app, allowing people to adopt an Angel anywhere in the US directly from their mobile devices. To make things even better, gifts purchased through jcp.com get free shipping from UPS.

The company is also introducing QR Santa Tags, which allow shoppers to record a personalized voice message for gift recipients. Shoppers scan the tags, which will be available in its stores beginning Black Friday, record their personal gift message, and then attach the tag to the gift. The recipient then uses the code to retrieve the gift message. The tags are free with purchase.

Will you be shopping at JCPenney on Black Friday?

Bloggers Come Together to Help Worthy Causes

Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5

Thank you to Debbie of Social Hospitality and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.

A hungry child in East Africa can’t wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we’ll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps.

At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren’t so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world’s first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.

The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond–or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity’s baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don’t do anything at all.

When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn’t want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother’s hungry child?

My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya–the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, “I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm.” The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. “We don’t have enough food now…our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues.”

Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.

That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on–in nine generations of 5x5x5…we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!

I’m looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at ask5for5@gmail.com if you’re interested in participating this week.

A hungry child doesn’t wait. She doesn’t wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn’t wait for us to decide if she’s important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on…please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.

Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped–you are saving lives and changing history.

p.s. Please don’t move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you’re life is busy like mine, you probably won’t get back to it later. Let’s not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let’s leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Donate a Flu Shot Via Social Media

Ramon DeLeon, a popular social media figure via his sweet and human approach on behalf of Dominos, checked into Walgreens yesterday.

His checkin included a note and photo relaying that with every Foursquare or Facebook places checkin, a Walgreens flu shot voucher will be donated to someone in need through their Way to Well program.

The Walgreens Way to Well Commitment is focused on improving peoples’ everyday health through the prevention and early detection of today’s leading diseases — heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

They’re working with some of the nation’s top health organizations – - American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Diabetes Association, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — to help reduce the incidences of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

This social media initiative is an awesome way for people to help those in need with very little effort.

It also demonstrates good will from Walgreens, in addition to being a wise marketing tactic — if people are going to get a flu shot (somewhere), they may feel more inclined to go to Walgreens so that they may be able to help someone else get one as well.

Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

SeeYourImpact.org and World Vision Launch #Ask5for5 Campaign

SeeYourImpact.org is partnering with World Vision to provide food, medicine and healthcare to the millions suffering from famine in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia; the worst famine there in decades. One supporter, Sarah Lenssen, created a 5for5 campaign

I’d like to introduce guest blogger Sarah Lenssen.
Photos courtesy of Cate Turton / Dept. for International Development



First, thanks to Debbie of Social Hospitality for allowing me to post on her blog! Today, more than 25 bloggers, including this one, are standing with me to Ask 5 for 5 for Africa. Here’s why….

I began pursuing a BIG dream two weeks ago. After deciding I could no longer avoid the news about the famine in the horn of Africa, I had that gut feeling that I couldn’t sit this one out. I HAD to do something because I could. Something bigger than I could do alone. That’s when #Ask5for5 was born.

A malnourished child in an MSF treatment tent in Dolo Ado

Two of my children, Ashen and Bereket, were adopted and are from the region affected by the drought in Ethiopia. They would be two of the statistics if they still lived there. I see my son’s and daughter’s faces in the photos of those suffering in the refugee camps. It could have been him. It could have been her. The thought haunts me.

And moms just like us are watching their children go hungry day after day. I can’t imagine what it’s like, but I have to –I have to be there to help them, because it could have been my children. These families have lost their livestock, their crops, food prices are inflated at the market if there any food there, and don’t have any more lifelines to tap into. Many are traveling hundreds of miles through parched land in hope of finding help. Many are dying along the way. It is estimated that 29,000 children have died in the last 90 days in the famine in Somalia alone.

Malnourished children, weakened by hunger

But I KNOW we can do something about it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, we can rally ourselves and our friends to respond! I set up a fundraiser through See Your Impact. 100% of your gift will go to the relief and development organization World Vision, where it will be combined with government grants to multiply up to 5 times in impact!

You’ll receive updates on just how your funding is being used to help save lives affected by famine in East Africa. I’m amazed at how much we’ve raised already — over $7,000 in just four days! We blew through our first 3 goals in just 3 days and are well on our way to $10,000 and beyond!

I need you to help me save lives. It’s so so simple; here’s what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter, and join our page to stay updated too!

I’m also looking for 100 bloggers to stand with Ask5for5 to spread the word during Social Media week, September 19th – 23rd. If you’re interested, email me, ask5for5@gmail.com.

Extra food for every child under five

Thanks! Please donate and email your friends right now–don’t wait for a calmer moment, because if you’re like me, other demands inevitably crop up and you won’t get to it. A child’s life hangs in the balance, but you can help save her!