Honors Bloggers for Social Good Efforts at BlogHer 2012

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Third Annual Bloganthropy Awards will be held on August 3rd at the BlogHer Conference in New York City

The Third Annual Bloganthropy Awards will be held on Friday August 3, 2012 at the BlogHer Conference in New York City.

The finalists for the 2012 Bloganthropy Awards are passionate advocates. They are respected by their peers and have made a significant impact in their communities.

The Annual Bloganthropy Awards recognize and honor women who use their blogs to support charitable causes. Launched in 2010 by with support from Child's Play Communications, the unique awards program, now in its third year, is dedicated to recognizing bloggers who effectively use social media for social good.

The 2012 event marks the first time that the Bloganthopy Awards are hosted at BlogHer, the world's largest conference for women in social media.

Previous winners of the Bloganthropy awards include Katherine Stone (2010) and Susan Niebur (2011). Katherine Stone writes Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog about postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. Susan Niebur, who chronicled her fight against inflammatory breast cancer and gave hope to millions of women, lost her life to the disease on February 6, 2012. She used her blog, Toddler Planet, and social networks to raise funds for research, to advocate and to educate women about inflammatory breast cancer.

The 2012 Bloganthropy Award Finalists are: Lisa Lightner, Devan McGuinness, Dresden Shumaker, Emily Vanek, Gaby Dalkin and Maggy Keet.

Lisa Lightner, a Board Certified Special Education Advocate, has a son who was diagnosed with Dup15Q at a very young age. Inspired by him, she helps families navigate the impossibly frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming world of Special Education and the IEP process. She created her blog, [“A Day in Our Shoes,” to explain the laws, rules, and services in plain language, always remaining child focused. She always stands by her number one rule of posting on the blog: every post must have a positive ending or offer a solution to a problem. The blog allows her to take her advocacy beyond one individual and institute more systems advocacy and reach more people. Lisa named a "2012 Advocate of the Year" by her local Arc and also serves as the social media/PR person for the National Special Education Advocacy Institute.

Devan McGuinness, proud mother of three living children and 12 babies gone to soon, has used her miscarriage and stillbirth experience to help other families wade through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Devan began [Unspoken Grief as a gathering place for anyone touched directly or indirectly by perinatal grief to gain support, find resources and a build a supportive community which are vitally necessary for healing and understanding. Additionally, she uses her blog Accustomed Chaos, platform on Disney's and social media outlets to advocate support for grieving parents around the world.

Dresden Shumaker blogs daily at site she created to chronicle her path to single parenthood). Two years ago Dresden and her family found themselves suddenly homeless and in need of government assistance. The assistance was like a trampoline - never letting her family hit the ground. When they no longer qualified for help Dresden was ready to blog about it. She wrote several posts that went viral (Food Stamp Etiquette being the most popular). She then opened up her blog to others to share their own stories. Putting a face to the welfare system changes how you perceive it. The 'In Times Like These' Series has had over a dozen first person stories about growing up on food stamps or currently being on government assistance. It's in the comment section on these posts where you will find the change happening. The shifts. The connections. Because of this series Dresden was asked to speak at the National Anti Hunger Policy convention in Washington DC and has become an ambassador for Feeding America.

Emily Vanek is the owner and editor-in-chief of Her work is also featured on, and Her youngest child is on the Autism Spectrum, so she is passionate about connecting with parents with special needs. Emily has had a number of popular posts on her blog which have inspired and comfort individuals with similar heartache for those with special needs. Emily has written about special needs for multiple publications, including, where she writes a toy guide helping to find therapeutic uses for typical toys.

Gaby Dalkin, of What's Gaby Cooking, started the Food Blogger Bake Sale in 2010 to spread the word about Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale. In 2012, Maggy Keet of Bloggers Without Borders joined her to expand the Food Blogger Bake Sale. In 2011, the Food Blogger Bake Sale raised $25,000 through 26 bake sales. Share Our Strength set a challenge to raise $50,000 with the help of bloggers from all 50 states in 2012. With just $1 connecting a child to 10 meals, the Food Blogger Bake Sale has a strong impact in the community. was founded in 2009 by Debbie Bookstaber and Candace Lindemann of “’s goal is to encourage bloggers to use their social media savvy to help charities and people in need,” explains Debbie Bookstaber, co-founder of “The finalists for this year’s Bloganthropy Awards are passionate advocates. They are respected by their peers and have made a significant impact in their communities.” The 2012 Award Winner will be selected by the Advisory Board, which consists of 35+ prominent female bloggers active in social good efforts.

About Bloganthropy: aims to empower bloggers to become philanthropic leaders in their communities. The annual Bloganthropy Awards recognize those who have made a difference by using social media to effectively promote a cause or charity.

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Debbie Bookstaber
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