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Meet 8 Moms On A Mission To Change The World for Their Children

mom on a mission, make a differencePolymers. Phlalates. Dioxane. I can hardly pronounce these things, much less understand where they can be found in the products inside my home. The products that my children use. The products that I give to my children that may be harming them.

Nancy and James Chuda lost their young daughter Collette to Wilm’s Tumor, a rare, non-hereditary cancer that they believe was caused by pesticide exposure. In 1991, the Chudas founded Healthy Child Healthy World, a leading organization that advocates for safer products, safer food and better policies regulating the use of harmful chemicals.

It stands to reason that these parents on a mission would want to recognize others who are working to make the world a better place. Four years ago they created an annual program called Mom On A Mission to do just that, and to help inspire other parents to take action on issues that affect their children.

Last year’s Mom On A Mission winner was Tamara Rubin, who founded founded the organization Lead Safe America after two of her four children were lead poisoned during a routine home renovation. Tamara jumps in to help families who have lead poisoned children with relocation and emergency abatement.

The finalists for the 2012 Mom on a Mission have been announced, and voting is open until October 15. We thought you’d like to see what these eight amazing women have done to change their own communities for the better.


  • Bettina Elias-Siegel 1 of 8
    Bettina Elias-Siegel
    Bettina gathered more than 250,000 signatures in a petition asking the USDA to ban pink slime in school cafeterias. In just 9 days after she put the petition on Change.org, the USDA reversed its decision to allow school districts the choice of using beef with pink slime. She lives in Houston, Texas.
  • Heather Donatini 2 of 8
    Heather Donatini
    Heather lost her four-and-a-half-year-old son Jarren to cancer. To honor his memory, she started the Bumblebee Foundation to support families with pediatric cancer and to educate families about what is in the food we eat. She lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
  • Kiddada Green 3 of 8
    Kiddada Green
    Kiddada founded the organization Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association to address the fact that black mothers have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United States. She does everything from hosting seminars to sitting on national policy-making boards to make sure black mothers have the information and help they need to successfully breastfeed. She lives i Detroit, Mich.
  • Andrea Pett-Joseph 4 of 8
    Andrea Pett-Joseph
    Andrea's son has the genetic disorder Epidermolysis Bullosa, which causes tearing and blistering of the skin. She opened the Los Angeles office of the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation and has since helped raise $4 million for medical research. She lives in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Angie Nordstrum 5 of 8
    Angie Nordstrum
    Angie co-founded Boulder Allergy Kids with another food allergy mom to train local schools and their nurses on how to safely accommodate children with food allergies. She also co-founded Erie Rising after discovering that fracking, a natural gas drilling process which uses carcinogenic chemicals, was going on near two local schools. She lives in Erie, Colo.
  • Martha Sanchez 6 of 8
    Martha Sanchez
    Martha organized her entire community to gain closure of a chrome plating manufacturing plant using carcinogens that was located across the street from her children's school. She's now working to transform the land where the plant stood into affordable housing. She lives in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Hannah Pingree 7 of 8
    Hannah Pingree
    Hannah, a former Speaker of the House in Maine, was a leader in getting a state legislation passed to regulate the use of toxic chemicals in children's products. She lives in North Haven, Maine.
  • Victoria Di Iorio 8 of 8
    Victoria Di Iorio
    Victoria created the Healthy Home Initiative to educate the building industry on sustainable design with healthier indoor environments. She lives in Chicago, Illi.

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