+
More

When tornadoes ravaged North Texas, a group of moms found a way to keep babies fed.

True
Dignity Health old

One minute, families in North Texas were celebrating the holidays. The next, they were wondering what in the heck just happened.

It was Christmas, a time when many people are glued to the couch in full relaxation mode. But on Dec. 26, 2015, in North Texas, tornadoes were ripping through neighborhoods, putting an end to any holiday festivities.


When all was said and done, the EF-4 tornadoes took 13 lives and damaged at least 2,000 buildings and homes in the area, leaving a devastating mark on what was supposed to be a holiday of loving and giving with family and friends.

In times of crisis, we see time and time again, that complete strangers have plenty of loving and giving to spare. Community members immediately jumped into action to help those affected by the storm and began to organize, donate, and figure out ways to help provide those in need with the essential three things: food, water, and shelter.

Food, water, and shelter are important, yes, but Candice Kuzov had a different thought: What about breast milk?

Breast milk helps baby Olivia be happy and healthy. All photos via Facebook, used with permission.

For breast-feeding moms in the wake of a tornado, a destroyed home or power outage greatly affects their ability to store frozen breast milk.

Candice knew there had to be moms out there who were in need of breast milk. And sure enough, she found one: a mom of twins in North Texas who lost her supply of 500 ounces of milk in the storm.

"I just asked around on Facebook for that first woman's need for breast milk donations and got blown away by the generosity. The response was so immediate and so overwhelming," Candice said.

Candice and her friend BethAnne were not only able to refill that mom's supply, but the requests to donate kept coming in.

Candice and three other women, Beth, BethAnne, and Stephanie, joined forces to help more nursing moms in need by donating their own breast milk.

"We're a group of moms who saw a need that nobody else did — because we're moms!" the group wrote on their Facebook page called Breastmilk Donations for TX Tornado Victims.

Donors made this possible. Gonna need a bigger cooler!

Together the women have been leading an effort in North Texas to supply moms affected by the storm with donor breast milk, breast pumps, and other nursing supplies to help moms and their babies at a crucial time.

"Breast milk is so personal," she says. "Some people don't want to take another person's, and that's fine. We have other ways to help too. We gave one mom, who is now living in a motel because of the storm, a blender so she can blend baby food for her baby."


Candice making one momma's day with a blender, food steamer, and breast pump.

So far, the group has delivered an estimated 4,014 ounces of breast milk to moms in need.

They are still actively trying to get in contact with any other moms who may not know about their efforts. (You can Facebook message them or email them: milkdonations@gmail.com!) Any extra breast milk they end up with will be donated to the NICU or local milk bank.

"When you’re a pumping mom, you spend hours of your life pumping that stuff. For people to give it to someone else it's definitely a blessing."

No one wants to face a natural disaster or emergency. But it's great that if and when it happens, the generosity of others can help ease the difficulty of it.

"You think in a disaster, you're saying, 'Oh my gosh, we need to donate clothes or canned goods,'" Candice says. "It doesn't even process that breast milk is also desperately needed for some."

What a solid (or should I say ... liquid, eh?) effort that brings the kind of support that makes a community a place you love to call home.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less