Serve Side By Side With Your Children Saturday, March 28!

Want to teach your children the value of service and giving? We have just the opportunity for you! Take advantage of this amazing service project, hosted by Mom It Forward and sponsored by Make and Takes and Provo Craft, where you can serve side by side with your children all for a great cause.

  • What: We'll be making spring crafts and ornaments to decorate the "April Tree" for the Christmas Box House.

  • When: Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m to 12 p.m.

  • Where: The Christmas Box House—3660 S. West Temple

  • RSVP: Please click here to RSVP by 3/26 so we can purchase the right amount of materials and food. In your RSVP, be sure to mention how many people will be coming in your party.

  • For More Information: Please contact marie [at] makeandtakes [dot] com or momitforward [at] gmail [dot] with "Christmas Box House" in the subject line.
(Photo used with permission from

What Is the Christmas Box House?

Christmas Box House Children's Shelter

In 1997,
The Christmas Box Foundation, with support from the community, agreed to fund and build a new shelter intake/ assessment and residential facility. This facility has greatly enhanced services to abused and neglected children and reflects a statewide model for delivery of best practice assessment and treatment services to victims of child abuse.

The Christmas Box House provides:

  • Emergency residential services, 24 hours a day, 7 days-a-week, to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or a foster care placement failure.
  • Emergency intake and assessment services, based on a multi-disciplinary treatment approach, are available around-the-clock for youth to address their emotional, physical, educational and placement needs.
  • The Residential Unit provides specialized care for a maximum of 34 children, ages 0-11. It provides state-of-the-art comprehensive services, which reflect best practice and innovative breakthroughs in childcare.
  • Over 45 licensed Resource Homes within the community provide nurturing care to children for up to 28 days. Last year Resource families provided care within their homes for 619 children.
  • For current volunteer and donation needs, please contact Tammy Champo at 801-269-7506,, or Elisbeth Williams at 284-3301,
(Information and picture taken directly from

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Mamas Afternoon Out With Mom It Forward

Add a Little Extraordinary to Your Life

As a mom, do you ever feel like you are pulled in a million directions? Struggle to balance the many roles you play? Wish you had a parent's guidebook tailored to each of your children's needs and personalities? Want to give back and make a difference, but don't feel like you have the time or ways to do it?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you are not alone! As women and mothers, we are all walking on, what sometimes feels like an unsteady tight rope, trying to find that perfect balance and reach our many expectations.

The good news? The tasks we perform—you know, the ones we feel are merely ordinary—are more times than not, extraordinary. Or, with a little help and inspiration, can be!

What's on the Lineup?

Click here to RSVP and join Mom It Forward, other Salt Lake City moms, and these speakers Thursday, March 12 at The Melting Pot for savory bites, motivating bits of information, bunches of inspiration, bounteous networking opportunities, and incredible prizes to help you put the extraordinary in, what sometimes feels like, just an ordinary life:

  • Changing the World One Mom at a Time: The Mom It Forward Mission—Carissa Rogers, mom of 3, owner of Apricot a Lot, and co-founder of Mom It Forward; Jyl Johnson Pattee, mom of 2 and co-founder of Mom It Forward

  • The Balancing Act of Motherhood: Setting Realistic Expectations—Rachael Herrscher, mom of 3, author of the Utah Mama's Handbook, and CEO of Today's Mama

  • Raising Happy and Successful Children: Taking It Up a Notch by Taking It Down a NotchMuffy Mead Ferro, mom of 2, author of the best-seller Confessions of a Slacker Mom and Confessions of a Slacker Wife, which have been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, and in The New York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post, and on NPR's Talk of the Nation in addition to other media outlets. She has recently finished a third book, One Foot in Wyoming, and writes a monthly column for the website Today's Mama.

  • The Difference One Mom Can Make: Empowering Women in Kenya—Rainee Baldwin, mom of 2, production manager at US Synthetic, and volunteer extraordinaire at The Pope Foundation

What's In It for Me?

We recognize taking two hours of of your busy schedules is a serious time investment. Here's the return we can promise on that investment:

  • A delicious lunch from The Melting Pot
  • Networking with other amazing moms
  • Motivational content from our guest speakers
  • The chance to win one of many prizes

Be sure to share this with your friends! Also, if you own a business and would like to sponsor a table, please contact us at momitforward [at] gmail [dot] com.

This event is sponsored by Today's Mama and The Melting Pot!

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On Tuesday, January 27, Mom It Forward launched a giveaway. The requirement? To plan and carry out a service project or random act of kindness and vlog, blog, or submit a photo of it. And who says service doesn't pay off? Not only for the recipients of these kind acts, but for those that thoughtfully planned and carried out the service.

Thanks to all those that participated and in your own way, helped change the world one mom at a time. Drum roll please as we announce the winners! Be sure to click on their links, check out their entries, and be inspired (you'll want to break out the tissue for this first video)!

Giveaway 1
HP Mini 1535NR Laptop Specs
Winner: Jenna Hatfield from Stop, Drop, and Blog

Giveaway 3
Muvee Reveal Movie Editing Software Package
Winners: Kia Brandy, Holly, Military Moms, Gwynne, Therese, Amy, and Barb.

Thanks to Sugar Jones from Sugar Jones in the Raw for awarding Mom It Forward winners of the HP Magic Giveaway. These prizes are part of that package and this giveaway is an effort to spread the HP Magic and the spirit of service and giving even further.

For our next giveaway, we are partnering with the Park City Mountain Resort. Check out the amazing prize and rules for entry here or here. This time the tables are turned and you get to do the giving. Simply nominate a person that has made a big difference in your life or who, you feel, is the definition of a Mom It Forward mom, and she could win a family vacation in Park City, UT!

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Win a Free Park City Mountain Resort Summer Vacation Package!

The Giveaway Prize
Think of a person who has made a big difference in your life. Someone that embraces the Mom It Forward mission. Someone that lifts others, has overcome challenges with a smile, is a positive force for good, or just makes your world a better place. This person can be an on or offline friend. Perhaps a blogger who has inspired you. Or someone who is always tweeting the nicest things to people. Or a person that makes your day through their posts on your Facebook wall. It could be an IRL friend—someone in your community, a family member, a neighbor, or anyone that deserves a reward and some recognition for being a wonderful person.

Now think of this person enjoying a free summer vacation—on you!—with his or her family in the mountains of Utah at the Park City Mountain Resort. We're not just talking any vacation, we're talking an all-expenses-paid vacation, including the following for a family of 6:

  • Lodging for 6 (3 nights, 4 days) in a 2-bedroom, 5-star condo

  • Dinner vouchers for 3 nights for the entire family

  • Resort Passes good for 3 days, including a wide range of family activities such as a climbing wall, an Alpine Slide, a Human Maze, miniature golfing, a Zip Rider, mountain biking and hiking, and more
Now think of how good you'll feel when you win this giveaway FOR this person and get to Mom It Forward to him or her! The giveaway that is meant to be given away.

The Giveaway Entry Requirements

Please follow these rules to enter the giveaway.
    1. Leave a comment with your name and an e-mail address where we can reach you.

    2. In your comment, write a short description of the person you feel deserves this free summer vacation and how he or she embraces the Mom It Forward mission. (Click here for more information on Mom It Forward.)

    3. Submit your entry by midnight on Tuesday, March 17.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 24 on the SnowMamas blog, the Mom It Forward blog, and during #gno on twitter.

The Fine Print

  • You may only enter once. People that enter more than once will be disqualified.
  • You may only enter for one person.
  • You may not enter for yourself. The purpose of this giveaway is to Mom It Forward!
  • Transportation to Utah, to the resort, or at the resort is not included.
  • Breakfast and lunch are not included.
  • Dinner vouchers and resort passes are good for a family of 6, including children.
  • Vacation giveaway must be used between June 1 to September 30, 2009.
  • Vacation giveaway is transferable, but may not be sold.
  • All information will be verified and judged by a panel.
  • The panel makes the final decision regarding the giveaway's winner.
  • Relatives of the panel will not be considered in this giveaway.

For more information regarding this giveaway, please e-mail us at momitforward [at] gmail [dot] com.

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What a Difference a Day Can Make!

What Have #GNO Gals Done Lately to Mom It Forward?
This past weekend Carissa and I headed out to Nashville for our first blog conference—Blissdom, hosted by the sweet and funny Alli Worthington from Mrs. Fussypants and the hip and abundant Barbara Jones from One2OneNetwork.

You can see our summary posts here and here where we recap the valuable information we gained, the tremendous contacts we made, and the fabulous friendships we built and/or strengthened.

The most amazing part of the Blissdom experience for me was seeing the old addage "all's well that ends well" taken to new heights with "all's extraordinary that ends extraordinarily." I am referring to the Mom It Forward service project at the Nashville Rescue Mission sponsored by Scanpan (who donated 5 sets of high-end cookware to the Mission, nearly making me wish that was my kitchen—the pots and pans were AMAZING).

Five Fabulous Things About Momming It Forward Nashville Style

What was so extraordinary about this experience you may be asking yourself? Let me touch on five highlights:

  1. Influence and reach is more important than numbers! We learned at the conference that blogging traffic is not as important as reach and influence. We experienced the same concept in a different way at the Nashville Rescue Mission. Our team was small in numbers—7 to be exact (Carissa, Kim, Josh and Rebecca, Ghennipher, Marie, and moi). But we helped prepare lunch for upwards of 1500 people.

    (Photo courtesy of Ghennipher Weeks, featuring Josh and Rebecca Unfried of MomFaves.)

    Now that is reach! Here is a quick note we just received from the volunteer director at the Nashville Rescue Mission:

    Dear Carissa and Jyl,
    My name is Billy Eldridge and I am the Director of Operations at The Nashville Rescue Mission. I want to thank you and your group, Mom It Forward, for Scanpan's donation and the time you spent volunteering here this past Sunday. Clay (the Kitchen Manager) said you were a big help. Several of the men were in awe of the fact that members of your group were in town for only a few days and you decided to spend your Sunday with us. The pot and pans that you donated are great. One of our recent graduates of the recovery program is getting married later this month and she received a set and is very grateful. We appreciate all that you have done and would enjoy having you back any time. Thank you again for your giving spirit.

    Billy Eldridge, Nashville Rescue Mission

  2. Shared meaninful experiences builds community. As we Mommed It Forward, our team experienced one of the most vital parts of building community: shared meaningful experiences. We may have been chopping vegetables or mixing in dressing on salads—ordinary tasks done daily for a mommy. But these ordinary tasks became extraordinary when we performed them while working together for a common goal and great cause—to help those who truly were not able to help themselves. It was an amazingly humble experience!

  3. Stepping forward and out of your comfort zone is key to Momming It Forward. We got out of our comfort zones. Not only did we Mom It Forward in terms of serving, but we took a step forward from an area in which we may not have been entirely comfortable—from our comfort zones, helping us all to embrace a very important step to Mom It Forward—taking action!

  4. Partnering makes Mom It Forward possible. This entire experience would not have been possible without a lot of creative connections. Specifically... the wonderful people behind the Blissdom Conference, who brought all of us together; the amazing Nashville Rescue Mission organization; our small, but influential team of Mom It Forward moms and dad who sacrificed sleep or fought headaches/sickness to participate; Nancy Martira, the lovely and brilliant PR professional and now friend, who introduced us to Scanpan; Scanpan for their generous donation and sponsorship (you've got to check out their cookware... as Alli says, "It's Lickable!"; Jessica Smith for introducing us to Nancy Martira; Abdul (I wish he had a blog I could link you to) for being our amazing taxi cab driver (no! he's no relation to Paula. I asked! LOL!); and most importantly, the people at the Nashville Rescue Mission—for their strength and goodness, however limited or ill understood.

  5. The Mom It Forward mission is alive and kickin'. We have heard a few times that the Mom It Forward mission to "change the world one mom at a time" is lofty. What the Nashville Rescue Mission experience taught me is that it is possible. Mom It Forward can accomplish this mission one day at a time, one person at a time, one location at a time. We already are, including the partner that sponsored the opportunity, the organization that made it possible, the team members that provided the service, and the amazing people who received it.

    (Photo of Ghennipher and Marie of Make and Takes.)

    If you'd like to learn more about Mom It Forward, please visit our Mom It Forward blog. If you have questions or partnering ideas, please e-mail us at momitforward [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Mom It Forward Serves Nashville

Mom It Forward is coordinating a terrific service project in Nashville, Tennessee. If you're planning to be in the Nashville area the weekend of February 6, please plan to Mom It Forward with us.

DATE: Sunday, February 8

TIME: 9-11 a.m.

PLACE: Nashville Rescue Mission

Service project

RSVP: Email your first/last name to momitforward AT gmail DOT com.

DEADLINE: You must RSVP no later than Friday, January 23 to participate.

Note: Unfortunately, due to the nature of the service project, the Nashville Rescue Mission does not allow children under the age of 17 to participate.

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Mom It Forward—Past, Present, and Future Events for Giving

How Is Mom It Forward Changing the World One Mom at a Time?

Past Giving Activities

  • Virtual Food Drive. Mom It Forward asked for cash donations and had a live auction (through twitter) to raise money for The outcome? With less than 2 weeks of planning, with a community only 6 weeks "young," and in one night, we raised $1400 to help provide families with Thanksgiving dinners.

  • "Happiness Headlines" Challenge. Mom It Forward encouraged #GNO Gals to perform random acts of kindness and write blog posts about them during the month of December to spread holiday cheer. You can read the original post here and the amazing submissions starting with this one (they were all posted Christmas week.)

  • Christmas Caroling. Part of our Mom It Forward plans for 2009 are to start a Mom It Forward organization with local chapters. In December, we beta tested the local chapter idea. We got together with several moms—either those we had met during #GNO or those in the Utah blogging scene—and planned a service activity to give back to our local community. Our goal was to plan an activity we could do before Christmas and involve our families. We ended up going Christmas Caroling to an assisted living facility. Visit our Facebook Group (called Mom It Forward) to see pictures from our first meeting and the service project (in the photo gallery).
Scheduled Service-Related Events
  • The Magic Wand. In December, Mom It Forward won one of the HP Magic Giveaway contests, including $6,000 worth of HP products. You can see our entry post here and our acceptance post here. The contest we won was run by @sugarjones from and we were announced the winners on her blog post entitled "How Many Times Can I Say "Amazing" in Five Minutes?".

    We are taking our turn with the Magic wand to spread the HP Magic, starting Tuesday, January 27 when we launch the new Mom It Forward community site. We are sharing the bounty with four women from the #GNO we have identified as in need. We have fun ways planned to get the gifts to them and will be announcing them in video format once a week for four weeks.

  • Mom It Forward Nashville. In February, Mom It Forward's #GNO will be in the house at the Blissdom Conference. After the conference ends, we will have two events: 1) a Tweet Up Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. (more of a mix and mingle) and 2) a service project in true Mom It Forward style Sunday morning from 9-11 a.m. at the Nashville Rescue Mission.
Plans for 09
  • Website Launch. We're launching a social networking site so our group has more of an online community to participate in. We will still have our #GNO Tuesday Twitter parties, but #GNO will be one piece of the Mom It Forward movement. All aspects of that movement will share a common goal to strengthen families and communities by first strenthening moms.

  • Team Mom It Forward: We want the Mom It Forward community to be shaped and grow based on community member involvement and feedback. We have a survey up on our homepage (top left in red) that asks for group member's ideas, direction, feedback, and help in shaping our website. We are basing a lot of our website development decisions on community input and can't wait until we have our Team Mom It Forward in place to get even more input and help.

  • Mom It Forward Organization: In February, we will form the national organzation of Mom It Forward and allow community members to join and start their own local chapters.

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