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Global Problems Can be Solved

“Global Mom Relay” Connects Moms Everywhere through the Power of Social Media to Help Women and Children

Arianna Huffington, Elizabeth Gore, Jennifer Lopez, Lynda Lopez and other leading voices join global “virtual relay” to help improve the health and well-being of mothers and children worldwide

Washington, D.C. —   March 7, 2013

Mothers around the globe are mobilizing their voices and their social networks as one of the most powerful forces for positive change for women and children in today’s world.  Starting tomorrow, on International Women’s Day, moms and their friends will come together as part of a groundbreaking series of online conversations to share advice, stories, and inspiration about motherhood as part of the Global Mom Relay, a first-of-its-kind virtual relay with a goal of improving the lives of women and children around the globe.

 
Created by the United Nations Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenter, The Huffington Post, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Mom Relay combines the power of moms with the power of social media to raise awareness and raise funds to improve the health and well-being of mothers and children worldwide. This “virtual relay” brings together 60 days of online conversations, rallying networks of people around the world to join in the relay by commenting, sharing stories, making donations and taking action.  It  represents a movement of people who refuse to sit by in the face of startling statistics about women’s and children’s health: nearly 7 million children under the age of 5 will die from preventable diseases each year and every two minutes, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy. The Global Mom Relay will connect people to take action and change these statistics.

According to BabyCenter.com, 75 percent of moms say they have used social media to promote a charitable cause, and 82 percent would be more likely to do so if they knew their contribution could result in a donation to support families in need.

The Global Mom Relay will take place from March 8 to May 8, 2013.  Here is how it works:

  • Each day, a mother, expert, celebrity, or advocate will use a blog post, video, or online interview to discuss motherhood and inspirational moms and to highlight important issues and causes. Readers and viewers will be asked to share that day’s post and to donate to the featured cause. That day’s Global Mom Relay contributor will then “pass the baton” to the next day’s relay participant. Participants lending their voice include:  Lisa Belkin, Barbara Bush, Randi Zuckerberg, Dr. Harvey Karp, Reema Nanavaty, Rocky Dawuni, Ann Geddes, and Bobbie Thomas.

  • Each time a person shares a relay post on Twitter, Facebook or Email, or donates $5 or more as part of the relay, a $5 donation (up to $8,000 per day or $500,000 total) will be donated by Johnson & Johnson and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to one of four innovative efforts that are helping women and children lead healthy and happy lives – Girl Up, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), and the Shot@Life campaign.
     
  • The global discussion will culminate on May 8 in honor of Mother’s Day with Mom+Social, a one-day global summit held at the 92YTriBeCa in New York City.  The summit will connect mothers to each other, worldwide experts, and leaders to inspire action that leverages the unique power of social media to improve the lives of families, of communities, and our world.


The Global Mom Relay will include perspectives from its co-chairs, Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group; Elizabeth Gore, the United Nations Foundation’s Resident Entrepreneur; Jennifer Lopez, Actress, Singer, and Co-Founder of the Lopez Family Foundation; Lynda Lopez, Journalist and Co-Founder of the Lopez Family Foundation; and Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship for Johnson & Johnson.  

“Moms are often the glue that holds humanity together. At home, in their neighborhoods, at work, and online, moms are working hard to support each other and our communities,” said Elizabeth Gore. “The Global Mom Relay will unleash this passion and help moms pay it forward to change lives around the world.”

"My sister Lynda and I had children around the same time and both feel strongly about helping other mothers who are in need so that they have the chance to experience a healthy start as a new mom,” said Jennifer Lopez.  “It is an honor to be part of this important global conversation and I hope others will join us."

“As a journalist, I know the power of the voice to inspire others and create change,” said Lynda Lopez.  “As a mother, I also know the unique power of a mom and her voice to help her children, family, and community.  The beauty of the Global Mom Relay is that a mother anywhere can use her voice to share these stories of motherhood to help improve the lives of women and children everywhere.”  

“A mother’s love is the most powerful force on Earth and wherever she lives, a mom wants nothing more than the health and safety of her children,” said Sharon D’Agostino.  “During this celebration of millions of moms around the world, we are excited to help unite and empower them to improve the lives of other women and their children.”  

The Global Mom Relay is in support of Every Woman Every Child, a movement launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. Healthy families promote healthy communities and a healthier world.  By learning and taking action online through the Global Mom Relay, moms and other participants will help mothers like them around the world.   

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The United Nations Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenter, a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, The Huffington Post, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation created the Global Mom Relay, a global conversation among mothers and their friends to create change.  From March 8, International Women’s Day, to May 8, in honor of Mother’s Day, today’s leading global and local voices will discuss the importance of strengthening the health of mothers and children around the world.  Each time a person shares a relay post on Facebook, Twitter or Email, or donates $5 or more as part of the relay, a $5 donation (up to $8,000 per day or $500,000 total) will be donated by Johnson & Johnson and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to one of four initiatives that are helping women and children lead healthy and happy lives – Girl Up, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), and the Shot@Life campaign. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org/globalmomrelay.

Media Contacts:  
United Nations Foundation:
Eric Porterfield, P +1 202-496-6381; M +1 202-352-6087; eporterfield@unfoundation.org

Johnson & Johnson:
Carol Goodrich, P + 1 732-524-6678; M +1 973-615-4057; cgood2@its.jnj.com

 
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