Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves Kangu April 4, 2013


Think about the last time you made a donation to a charity. What motivated you to reach for your credit card? For me, I have to feel like I’m part of something, of effecting change, in very personal way. One of my new favorite charities for that type of buy-in is Kangu.

This nonprofit uses a combination of old school (i.e. Save the Children) and new school (crowdfunding) tools to support women in developing countries to have pregnancies, births and newborn babies that are safe and healthy. According to Kangu’s site, “It has been shown that 80% of maternal mortality can be avoided if a woman is given access to the basic healthcare services our partners offer.”

Founders Casey Santiago and Tricia Morente (both Columbia Business School MBAs and grads of the Masters program for International Affairs at Columbia), designed this program to allow donors to have a tangible and more intimate connection with the women they are supporting. The way it works is:

  1. You search Kangu’s collection of mothers from across the globe who need help to find the “mama” you want to fund.
  2. Once you choose her, you begin to make monthly contributions to fund her safe pregnancy by giving her quality healthcare.
  3. Your contribution ensures the chance for a safe birth for her baby

I love that Kangu’s team is not only making efforts to solve this issue, but also that they discovered an innovative way to engage their donors/supporters in a uniquely personal way. I look forward to finding a “mama” to connect with so that she can experience the joy and security of having a healthy pregnancy and future child.


LizzLoves Kathy Callender October 14, 2010

Photo courtesy of Inc./Jamie Kripke

Yesterday, I was reading my new favorite magazine, Inc., and discovered the inspiring story of Kathy Callender and PharmaJet (full story here).


Through the passion and drive of Kathy Callender (pictured right) and her family, a needle-free injector, produced by PharmaJet, is slowly becoming a reality.


The device delivers medicine (e.g. vaccinations) by expelling liquid “out of a narrow passage with enough force to turn the medicine itself into a needle-like stream that penetrates the skin to the desired depth.” The cartridge used for each patient is then disposed, never to be used again.


This innovation, which many have attempted, could prevent the spread of many diseases that result from reusing needles and from accidental needle sticks by medical professionals.


Some may say, wow, that could make a ton of cash in the pharmaceutical industry. But Kathy Callender, entrepreneur and founder of PharmaJet,  isn’t focused on the money-making possibilities. What she really wants is to take the device to developing countries where they can really make a dent in healthcare and help quell the spread of deadly diseases that continue to run rampant.


Through her upbringing and service abroad, Kathy knows, first-hand, how badly some countries need this medical breakthrough. Now, PharmaJet’s biggest challenge is to reduce the cost of production so it can easily be used anywhere. Competing with the cheap cost of traditional needles is quite an obstacle.


Much respect to Kathy and her team for ignoring the nay-sayers and continuing to find a way to make PharmaJet a success.

Photo courtesy of Inc./Nigel Cox