Friday, January 8, 2010

Living Your Five presents... Positive Traditions with Meg Cox

We have a special guest joining us this week for the Friday FiveSpot! Last Thanksgiving, I mentioned a book that I adore called The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Cox.

As luck would have it, Meg happened to see the post and chimed in about Living Your Five. So for a special treat, I'm delighted to welcome Meg to Living Your Five for a guest feature... and a special giveaway. Read on for all the details!

I asked Meg what she was planning to do in 2010 to make the world a better place. Here's what she had to say:

I always love to support the work of friends, but especially the efforts of my dear friend Lucy Steinitz, an American social worker who has lived with her family in Namibia for more than a decade. She helped build a national network of local caregivers for people all over Namibia suffering from AIDS (for the nonprofit Catholic AIDS Action - Namibia) and then got interested in the plight of those orphaned by the disease. She began a program in Windhoek, Namibia's capitol, called the Saving Remnant Program, which has helped put hundreds of AIDS orphans through high school.

Lucy is now devoted to putting some gifted high school graduates through college locally, so they can grow up to become the future leaders of this beautiful country. Lucy and her colleagues personally choose the recipients and they are supported through monthly meetings and regular dinners at Lucy's house: indeed, one of the orphaned scholars currently lives with her family. For me, it is so much more personal to give in this way, rather than to a big, faceless organization.

I have made a promise to raise additional funds for the Saving Remnant program this year and have made many copies of a DVD about the program produced by a Dutch journalist several years ago. It runs about 20 minutes, and if any of your readers would like a copy, just have them contact me, I used to write a monthly newsletter on family traditions (now it's just quarterly), and some of my readers were inspired to have birthday parties where they showed this video and guests brought money for this cause rather than presents. You can learn more about Lucy through her blog, even though she hasn't posted lately: go to

For anyone who wants to understand the world's needs better, a great way is to get together a small group of passionate girlfriends and form a "Heal the World" circle (call yours whatever you want). You meet weekly or monthly and work your way through a well-researched book: I heartily recommend "50 Facts That Should Change The World." This is succinct and well-reported and the group could cover more than one at each meeting. Different members could be assigned to do added research and report to the circle. Once you have digested and discussed the book, you may choose to become a "giving circle" of sorts and donate money collectively, or individually, to organizations that help solve some of these massive problems.

Great stuff, Meg! In honor of Living Your Five's commitment to making positive changes, Meg has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of The Book of New Family Traditions. (Sweet, right?) For your chance to win, simply comment below with one thing you'll be doing in 2010 to help make the world a better place. (US/Canada residents only this time.) The winner will be announced in next week's Friday FiveSpot.

Good luck and cheers to you!


  1. I love your blog ladies!! I decided to totally change a lot of things this year. As my husband and I are planning on starting our family this year I have been thinking a lot about the world I want them to group up in. Also on the things I want them to see me doing. So this year starts a new life of sorts for me. I will start small and hopefully by the end of year it will end BIG! To start no more grocery bags, only reuseable bags and no more normal lightbulbs only the engery efficent kind that use less ower. Thanks for your awesome blog to keep me motivated to make the world we live in better and more peacefull!!

  2. I have been giving a lot of thought to Living My Five ever since ti came to my attention months ago. I feel like such a procrastinator but I have my list - just need to blog it! :)

    One of those things is I really have a heard for the homeless. In our area of Minnesota I recently took over the host coordinator spot to take the homeless off the street. This is something that really speaks to my heart.

    journey through books @ gmail dot com

  3. I work for a non-profit science center as the scout coordinator, so in order to help the center make a larger impact on our young people, I'm vowing to help get more kids involoved in scouting and make sure they always have a safe and fun place to learn and have fun.
    I also vow to donate baked goods (Since I'm learning to be a pastry chef) to local charities or fund raisers whenever the opprotunity arrises.