website

Same mission | New site

Isn't she beautiful? She's simple, easy to use, and, we hope, clear to understand.

Through the years as our organization has grown we have expanded our programming and narrowed our audience. We have grown our connections and simplified our words. 

Our first site was (and will always be) so incredibly special to me. It was designed by a dear friend, and founding member, Liz Cook. She poured so many hours of love into the original design, nothing will ever replace it in my heart. Without individuals like Liz this organization wouldn't have become what it is today. We will be forever thankful.

This leads me to our new site. Also a labor of love and also a gift so extraordinary. You may remember our hints on Instagram about two months ago. (If you don't follow us on IG, you probably should, some pretty amazing content is shared there!)

Ben Manley, Creative Director of Knapsack Creative Co., believes in his community. He and his team have worked tirelessly to build a business that delivers quality product to each client. On top of this they have committed themselves to giving back to local nonprofit organizations in need of design work. 

As technology and media have advanced, our old site struggled to keep up, and it was time for a new look to convey the heart we have for the women we serve. Learning of Knapsack's desire to serve, we boldly submitted a request for help redesigning and relaunching our site.

We were accepted! Not a week later we were seated in their Daypack office! In one "day" we were able to completely rethink, refine, and redo our site. It was incredible.

We were so impressed by Knapsack's customer service from start to finish. They have a well oiled system for gathering information and treating clients with respect and dedication. Their team of four functions seamlessly. Joy treated us like royalty, Jael refined and culled our content with a keen and observant eye, Jeremy fueled us with never ending coffee, and Ben brought our renewed vision to life.

We highly recommend their work for any creative project you have on the horizon. We can vouch for the passion and joy with which they approach their work.

From L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Lead Developer; Jael Sette, Content Specialist; Benjamin Manley, Creative Director; Lauren Barnes Exec. Dir. TMC; Maria Hayden, Managing Dir. TMC; Janine Coleman, Graphic Designer TMC; Joy Guelzo, Client Relations.

From L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Lead Developer; Jael Sette, Content Specialist; Benjamin Manley, Creative Director; Lauren Barnes Exec. Dir. TMC; Maria Hayden, Managing Dir. TMC; Janine Coleman, Graphic Designer TMC; Joy Guelzo, Client Relations.

Knapsack Creative Co. Team from L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Jael Sette, Benjamin Manley and Joy Guelzo.

Knapsack Creative Co. Team from L to R: Jeremy Marquis, Jael Sette, Benjamin Manley and Joy Guelzo.

We'd love to know your thoughts on the new site! We can't wait to see how it better enables us to serve women and change lives. Thank you, Knapsack. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Together, we are "nurturing the mother to grow the child."

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Children, Photos, and the Internet; Oh My!

10 month chair photo

The internet is like a big room filled with people shouting. Some feel a sense of security in the noise and may reveal more information than they would otherwise in a face to face environment. Others can feel overwhelmed in this giant room and crank their privacy settings to 11. Some days, I'm comforted by the noise as I peruse through the 'web's news, photos, and gossip. On other days I want to shout my own opinions and share photos of my beautiful daughter and hot husband. But some days I second-guess my openness. I don't mind being open about my experiences. I don't mind sharing my personal photographs. But would Joanna mind? The best way to protect your child is to not have any.

The biggest fear circling child safety on the internet is often about pedophiles coming to abduct our children. Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, told the New York Times that, "Research shows that there is virtually no risk of pedophiles coming to get kids because they found them online." [New York Times] Reading this brought a huge sigh of relief.

Then I kept reading. "The real danger is that a photo is appropriated and mistreated." The act of saving a photo to one's computer takes mere seconds. The act of creating a social profile using said photo takes minutes.

Again, my mind jumps to "what about the pedophiles?" Thankfully, Professor Finkelhor addresses my fears: "The possibility always exists that pedophiles are lifting such pictures, but it is not something [I have] encountered... it’s unlikely for a disconcerting reason: actual child pornography is so readily available that pedophiles aren’t likely to waste time cruising social networks looking for less explicit material."

First of all, it is incredibly sad that child pornography is available at the click of a button. It makes me want to adopt all of the kids that are being sexually exploited. It also makes me want to castrate those that are exploiting them. My heart breaks for those girls (and boys) that are lied to and abused for the sake of money and perversion.

Professor Finkelhor's comments about pedophiles reshaped my hesitation in displaying my child's photos. Although I doubt anyone would believe that a 10 month old has their own Facebook profile, it brings a new perspective for parents to consider before posting pictures without appropriate privacy settings. And the concern doesn't just apply to bloggers. Whenever I enter my child into a Cutest Kid contest, I could be giving that company permission to use my image at their discretion. Whenever I share a meme on my Facebook page featuring a kid I've never seen before, I'm furthering the use of a photo that the parents may not know is floating around. Whenever I upload my images to a website, I could be allowing that company to use my photo in their advertising. Although this may excite some stage mothers, I won't get modeling gigs from that image. I won't even get credit for the photo because I checked that little box before hitting 'submit'.

Girl in a chair with a card over her face reading "10 months"

So what's a mommy blogger to do? I'm not going to stop taking photos of my daughter. I'm not going to stop uploading her ridiculous faces. However, I may take more photos that focus on her hands or cankles (not a typo). I may also greatly limit posting photos after her first birthday. Or maybe I'll put a paper bag over her head (with air holes of course.) She'll be running at that point anyway so I doubt I'll even have time to find the camera.

What do you think? Do you post photos of your children in a public forum? Do you have your privacy settings tailored to your preference?