Posts Tagged ‘Leticia Barr’

Philanthropic Moms: A Year in Review

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Philanthropic Moms Logo

Another year — off it goes. And ahead of us lies amazing and endless possibilities for using our power for good.

Before we begin 2015 it seems an ideal time to stop an take a look at some of our past Philanthropic Moms. The honor roll from 2014 is made up of amazing, awe-inspiring women who fill our hearts and our spirits with the way in which they bring energy, enthusiasm and care to all they do.

One of the most fortunate aspects of Forty Weeks is working with such admirable women who balance their roles as mothers and their careers with a passion for giving back to their communities. Philanthropy comes in many shapes and forms — and is directed in as many directions as there are women committed to making difference. And, as 2014 comes to a close, I’ve looked back through this list with awe and excitement and wanted to share the buzz and the love.

Well worth noting, Leticia Barr has brought to life a remarkable way to keep all of us focused and mindful as 2015 begins. The idea of a deed a day, not only of the big but especially the small, meaningful gestures — the kindness that we extend to each other — makes all the difference. Join all of us as we step up and bring life to this remarkable concept. For me — I will be buying a bracelet for my kids and my staffers — hoping that that together we will make a real difference in real time!

Here are the fantastic women Forty Weeks highlighted as Philanthropic Moms for 2014:

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Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Friday, April 4th, 2014

When I think of Leticia Barr the first world that comes to mind is ease. It is not to say that anything she does is easy, to the contrary. Leticia undertakes highly complex, challenging issues. And when she jumps in, Leticia takes her role quite seriously. All she does, she does with such incredible grace and agility that anyone watching would be moved by how instinctively she accomplishes the most remarkable things. She is a natural! And we are not talking about just a few things either. Leticia’s social responsibility resume reads like a roadmap for a life well lived. Her list of accomplishments brims over with passion and conviction. Her deep connection to what she has done (and will do) shows – Leticia is positively radiant especially when she shares with those around her.  Leticia is a true “doer” – one who enters into any given scenario, quickly assesses, rolls up her sleeves, engages others and changes the course of history.  And this is not simple, yet it is done with ease. And better still, it is done with laughter and levity. Not bad!

It is a thrill to be in her sphere and even better to call her a friend (then there is cheese, chocolate and other treats involved!).  I love following Leticia on social media – she is busy in all the best ways. And frankly, as quickly as you think she has given as much of herself as there is to give, she shares more brilliance (today she inspired me with her volunteer work at her local school’s book fair). Please enjoy getting to know this week’s Philanthropic Mom, the ebullient and extraordinary Leticia Barr.

Leticia Barr

 Tech Savvy Mama

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

I like to consider myself a Philanthropic Mom because enjoy teaching my kids about giving back to promote the welfare of others while inspiring them to champion their own causes through the work that I do. Over the past two years I’ve worked to leverage my background as an educator with technology leadership experience and online influence to create technology professional development opportunities for artists in Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and while there was a lot of news immediately after the devastating quake in January 2010, it has faded from view even though there’s still so much work that needs to be done to help Haitians create sustainable income.

What is an stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world? 

I first traveled to Haiti in 2012 with a group of fellow bloggers organized by Willa ShalitDanica Kombol, and the Everywhere team to meet with artisan communities around the country. Calling ourselves #Bloggers4Haiti, we were struck by the Haitian’s determined spirit to use their knowledge and skills in creating sustainable income through art that could be sold to help put food on the table and send their children to school. They also had incredible stories that needed to be shared through blogging and social media.

Even though I first went to Haiti to learn about the culture and people, the moment that women comprising the paper mache cooperative of Dam Dam asked about computers and the internet, I knew that I had to return to teach Haitians about technology that could help them advance their businesses and aid them in sharing their stories.

Over the next year I worked to secure grant funding from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund scholarships from Everywhere to help defray travel expenses for more bloggers and social influencers, and computer hardware to come to Haiti to lead training sessions. Through my work with Microsoft as an #OfficeChamp and #WindowsChampion, I was also able to secure a donation of six laptops, software, and accessories that were used in the training and given to artists who came from around the country to learn about photography, blogging, and social media.

This past fall I launched the Bloggers4Haiti website in conjunction with an IndieGogo fundraising campaign to raise $5000 for OFEDA, women’s artist cooperative in need of business development training. I’m always looking forward to my next trip to help raise awareness about the continued work that needs to be done in Haiti, figure out how I can use my expertise might assist Haitians towards sustainable income, purchase handcrafted items directly from artists since the income helps support their families, and provide inspiration through the stories I share on my blog and through social media for others to get involved.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The old Chinese Proverb has always resonated with me because teachers exemplify philanthropy through their dedication to teaching a new generation about benevolence, humanity, kindness, compassion, charity, and unselfishness through daily classroom lessons. My mom was a classroom teacher and while I was growing up, I watched her integrate philanthropic lessons into her teaching that were also conveyed at home.

But the act of teaching isn’t just reserved for classrooms. Every single one of us has skills that we can share to make a difference in the lives of others. The act of teaching demonstrates that there doesn’t always have to be a monetary component to philanthropy. Not only can we share our skills but we can also take time to impart philanthropic lessons that inspire others to take action.

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud? 

I’m always inspired by what others are doing. Willa Shalit inspires me because she’s dedicated to social entrepreneurship. I secretly want to be her when I grow up- traveling the world with a mission of seeking out unique products that can be brought to market in the United States while creating sustainable wages for the Third World artisans who create them.

My good friend and fellow blogger, Elena Sonnino of LiveDoGrow.com, is also a constant source of inspiration and a shining example of a Philanthropic Mom. Besides accompanying me on my first trip to Haiti and co-authoring the grant written to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, she is passionate about fostering self sufficiency in others and teaching children to be global citizens and agents of change. This past fall she organized the first ever Moms+Tweens+SocialGood event in Washington, D.C. where the agenda featured panels with parents and tweens, community leaders and role models who led discussions about topics like what it means to be a change agent, ways to use your voice for good, how to advocate for a cause, and finding causes or campaigns. It was an inspirational half day event full of age appropriate activities designed to Grow Global Citizens as we look towards inspiring a new generation of change agents.

What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind?  

I want to inspire my own kids to create change about causes they’re passionate about in any way they can whether through teaching, fundraising, grant writing, or just sharing what they’re doing with friends. I’d like to make people realize that there really isn’t such a thing as a small act of kindness. Like Scott Adams said, “Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

What would your children say about all of this?

I think they would say that I work really hard, but I love my job and the things that it has allowed me to do. It’s important that they see how my work can benefit others outside of our family and to provide them with opportunities to get involved.

My daughter would also ask if she gets to come on our next trip to Haiti! I’d love to take her to meet the wonderful Haitians I’ve gotten to know but at the moment, my parental concerns about safety still win out since the U.S. State Department still considers it a high risk country to visit.