A Trip Down Social Good Memory Lane
Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting pieces from our Founding Mission List Members. Every day, these women are using their influence to shape their communities and create positive change at home and abroad. The below post is from Isabel Kallman. Gosh, in a way I feel like an old woman sitting in a rocking chair looking back at how much has transpired in social media over the past seven years. Back then it wasn’t even called social media.
Things really started with Hurricane Katrina. That is when I recognized the power of social good. It was 2005 and I hadn’t heard of Facebook yet and I wouldn’t join Twitter until mid-2007. Nevertheless the lightening speed of online interactions (that were surprisingly personal) through blogs allowed moms to channel their instinctual desire to help others mothers just like them in times of need.
I remember clearly how Emily McKhann and Cooper Munroe of The Motherhood now had a popular mom blog back then called Been There Done That. In the days immediately following Katrina, Emily and Cooper were trying to connect clothing and supplies from their readers, and friends of their readers, and friends of those friends to displaced families. Heather Armstrong wrote about it on Dooce.com and I was in awe of Emily and Cooper. I immediately wanted to help too. From my home in Manhattan, the Labor Day weekend that followed, I felt helpless and wanted so badly to do something. Anything to help. Emily and Cooper gave me that chance.
I started researching online for shelters in Houston where families could be landing. If I remember correctly, I jumped into the comments section of their BTDT blog (where they updated us on progress) myself offering advice on where to let displaced southerners know that there were parents all over the US who wanted to ship them supplies.
Now I can see how far we have come and in a short period of time with the advent of Facebook and Twitter which allow us to connect in real time like never before. But Emily and Cooper opened my eyes to what was revolutionary and innovative: technology connecting us all when it mattered most -- when one of us needed help.
A couple of years later I heard Emily say, “When you become a mother, the children of the world become your children.” So true. As a child, I always knew I could turn to a mom—any mom—for help if mine wasn’t nearby. I’ve always told my son that if lost he should look to another mom for help if an officer is not nearby.
You’ve heard it before, the internet is the virtual backyard where moms share information and with that our opportunity to use it to help other families just keeps on getting better. Given how in the last seven years our ability to do social good has improved so much, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Isabel Kallman is the founder and chief at Alpha Mom, an online parenting website. Isabel and Alpha Mom have been featured by leading national media such as USA Today, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Forbes anointed Alpha Mom one of the Top 10 Mommy Hood Gurus and Parents Magazine named Isabel one of the ten “Power Moms.”
Isabel is currently on the Board of Directors of non-profit organizations Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation and The Dance Theatre of Harlem. She is also a mom ambassador for Healthy Child Healthy World.
Before launching Alpha Mom, Isabel spent a decade at a leading Wall Street firm working in international investment banking and equities where she worked on capital raisings for companies and advised large mutual funds and pension funds on their portfolios. Isabel lives in New York City with her husband and eight-year-old son.