There is a project going on in this little blogging world that I belong to that is spearheaded by a very wonderful lady. It also happens to be for a very good cause. MaryAnne from MamaSmiles.com is the lady behind the project. I really wanted to find a way to share it all with you and introduce you to MaryAnne. So I interviewed her. See what she has to say about her blog, life, and the project that is near and dear to her heart. Small Hands Creating Hope. I hope you will read through the interview, consider donating to Small Hands Creating Hope, check out some of the projects and perhaps in the process even find a few new favorite blogs. All of the wonderful bloggers that have contributed to Small Hands Creating Hope are part of an outstanding network of women that I greatly respect and admire. I’m sure there’s not one of us whose lives cancer hasn’t touched in some way. Mine included, which is why I wanted to do what I can to help out by sharing this with you.
Tell me a little bit about you and why you started blogging….
(MaryAnne): I’m a stay-at-home mother to three (soon-to-be four) kids! I live in Massachusetts, and before having kids I spent a lot of time in academia –
I have a Masters in Education, and a Ph.D. in Medicine. I taught high school French and Spanish, and then when I went back to grad school I taught non-clinical med school classes and social science research courses. I love being a mom, and I’m thrilled to be able to stay home with my kids! Besides having extra time to watch them grow up, I see it as a great way to enjoy the creativity and imagination of childhood all over again.
I started blogging for a few reasons. Sometimes as a mom it feels like you spend all your time cleaning the house, and still get nothing done. I wanted a record of the fun aspects of being a mom! I also saw it as a way to explain to friends and family why I found being a stay-at-home mom rewarding. Then, once I started blogging, I gained a deep appreciation for the relationships I’ve built with fellow bloggers. I get so much inspiration and encouragement from other blogs, and hope readers find that in my blog as well.
Tell us about your blog, MamaSmiles?
(MaryAnne): Mama Smiles is my space to celebrate things I love about being a mother – watching my children grow and learn through education, creativity, and play. I hope it’s something my kids enjoy reading as they grow older. My six-year-old often reads it already, and she has a lot of input as to what I write about. My two younger kids have input as well, but they aren’t as aware as their older sister just because of their ages!
What is the Small Hands Creating Hope Project?
(MaryAnne): I was diagnosed with cancer thirty years ago, and wanted to something special to mark this milestone. I am so grateful for the researchers and doctors who saved my life! I came up with the Small Hands Creating Hope project as a way to encourage people to donate to the American Cancer Society, an organization that has funded some incredible research in cancer treatments (including some of the research that led to the treatment I was given) and that does a great deal to promote awareness and provide support to cancer patients, survivors, and their families.
A group of over forty incredibly talented bloggers joined forces with me to create a beautiful book full of crafts that children (or adults!) can make to promote hope. I love the range of projects, and the stories accompanying projects are incredible.
How can I and my readers help with Small Hands Creating Hope?
(MaryAnne): There is a widget to donate on this page: http://mamasmiles.com/small-hands-creating-hope-page/, as well as in my sidebar and on the pages of the blog hop participants. Anyone who donates at least $15 will receive a link to download the Small Hands Creating Hope ebook, as well as a link to purchase a physical copy of the book if you would like. Please note that money from the physical copy sales goes straight to Amazon/Createspace, and not to the American Cancer Society or anyone associated with this project.
I will leave you with a (very) small sampling of the contributions to this project and links to their blogs. There are so many more! If you would like to see and read more about this project you can find the complete list of contributing bloggers and and their links on MaryAnne’s blog. I just donated and downloaded my copy of Small Hands Creating Hope. I hope that you will consider doing the same 🙂
Left to right:
- Butterfly Sun Catchers from Dirt and Boogers
- Sunny Potted Flowers from Learn With Play at Home
- Handprint Butterflies from Crayon Freckles