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Using Social Networking to Support Moms Worldwide

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The Huffington Post's Living section joins Mothers Day Every Day, a joint campaign of the White Ribbon Alliance and CARE, in a daily countdown to Mothers Day with special voices working to help save the lives of mothers and newborns around the world. Mothers Day Every Day is advocating for more progress and investments toward safe pregnancy and healthy babies because when women survive childbirth, they give birth to healthier families, communities and nations.

I am proud to be working for a company that has a long history of commitment to women's and children's health issues. One of the things we grapple with at MySpace is how we can help people connect their online worlds to their offline realities. For example, how we can make philanthropy tangible and accessible? How can people best use their online profiles to bring awareness to the causes they care about, and to raise funds for those causes?

Thankfully, what we have seen is people taking the initiative and harnessing the power of the Internet to become powerful individual warriors in the philanthropic race. They realize it doesn't take armies of people or reams of paper work to make a difference. It takes knowledge, drive, and a passion for your cause.

I can think of no cause more important than saving the lives of moms and babies around the world. Healthy mothers build healthy families and stable societies. At 37, I am a step-mom to a beautiful three-year-old and am getting ready to embark on a pregnancy of my own. Yet as I celebrate my own family, I cannot help but think of all the millions of women around the world who are not so fortunate. I am encouraged by the progress being made to save the lives of women and babies in countries like Egypt, Honduras, Sri Lanka and parts of Bangladesh. Still every minute somewhere in the world, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth. For every woman who dies, 30 more are living with debilitating injuries sustained during pregnancy or childbirth.

Government assistance and support from international and local organizations like the White Ribbon Alliance and CARE are integral to accelerating progress to save women's lives. Yet, there are many ways we as everyday citizens can help, too. We can support doctors and hospitals in developing countries, volunteer or become activists in our communities and in our companies. And now, thanks to technology and social networking, we can raise awareness (and funds) online in mere minutes -- galvanizing hundreds of people we know (relatives, friends, and friends of friends) and asking them to get involved and vow to make a difference in the lives of mothers around the world.

Improving ourselves and our community is an important part of our current zeitgeist. Everywhere you look people are interested in becoming better parents, better partners or spouses, better friends, employees or citizens. What is remarkable is that today we can create on-line communities for people that share the same desires and experiences and want to share their information and stories. Just think how easy it is to stay informed of your sister's, friend's or daughter's pregnancy through social networks. The Internet, and social media in particular, allows us to bridge time and space and connect with people to answer questions, allay concerns, share stories, and yes, even change a statistic.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entitled her book It Takes a Village after an old African proverb. Nothing can be more true. Except that today, it doesn't have to be a physical village - it can be an online one. The Internet can help us do so much - from small things such as sharing stories and photos of a child or pregnancy to powerful, life-changing initiatives such as donating to, or helping to establish, an international charity or foundation. I hope that in my lifetime we will see people using the Internet to ensure that every woman has access to the information and care she needs for a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth.

Check out the rest of our Countdown to Mothers Day series:

www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-veneman/mothers-day-invest-smart_b_556915.html

www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-von-furstenberg/mothers-day-a-tribute-to_b_561583.html

www.huffingtonpost.com/amb-mark-dybul/mothers-day-mothers-have_b_557219.html

www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-matalin/mothers-day-sisterhood-of_b_557317.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-rajiv-shah/healthy-mothers-nurture-h_b_561068.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-mccurry/on-mothers-day-lets-be-un_b_563271.html

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