Meet Aina. 

A fun story of how you can change the world without leaving your jammies.

It all begins with a Smudge on the Floor.

In 2011 Carmen was that smudge. Pretty sure we’ve all been there – that place where life has just kicked the living crap out of you. So how did Carmen un-smudge? A neighbor – one that she didn’t know very well – cooked up some hope for the future. Literally. In the form of some chicken soup (it CANNOT get more cliche than that). And that is when she realized that, in times of smudge, we all need a hand of hope.

Fast Forward to Ebola.


During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Carmen got kind of fearbola-ish (Seriously. She’s a wee bit obsessive) and decided she desperately needed to DO something to help. After listening to a story on the Diane Rehm Show (Love you Diane!), she decided to contact the organization that had asked for volunteers on the show. She emailed them and offered her services.

No Dice.

They only wanted medical volunteers that could travel to Africa. Yep. Not her. With responsibilities she couldn’t throw over, that wasn’t going to happen. So she asked them what she could do from home.

Well Obvi! They asked for money.

Well yeah, ok, so we all donate money to charity. She wanted to DO something instead of feel helpless about the news. So she said she’d start a volunteer program FOR them, for free, just to help other people get involved.

Crickets. They said they really just wanted money.

Feeling that this was ridiculous, she went on a two-month Google binge to figure out how she could help with Ebola.

help a child with heart disease in developing nations

Nothin. Not a darn thing.

So, being the Type A person that Carmen truly is, she decided to go for it and start her own company (we’ve all been there, right? Right??) Kristin was the first person that Carmen told, and being the amazing person that Kristin is, she said she’d help out in any way. Then Natalie came on board and things started happening (because she’s Natalie of the Golden Touch)…Natalie’s been the brainchild of many a program, even though she keeps saying that she’s just really not that creative.

Kristin and Natalie, being the most amazing people EVER, jumped in whole hog to give other people ways to actually change the world. Ways to change the world from home. Without traveling to Africa, L.A., or Afghanistan.

Without leaving your jammies.

Change the World Without Changing your Jammies

Kristin has become the crazy vetting taskmaster, and has spent HOURS figuring out what orgs actually matter and if they’re worthwhile and well-run. Natalie has spent HOURS combing through analytics to figure out what causes actually matter to all of you peeps and finding fun projects that you’ll love. Carmen has spent HOURS drinking coffee. It’s all been very productive.

It’s been a crazy ride. And we’ve only just begun.

We’ve gone through some really weird ideas and some really, really intense discussions, but here we are. There has been an amazing amount of support and help from massive numbers of people along the way. Bless you for your love and nurturing. Aina is because of you.

Natalie Kristin Carmen

Categories: Featured Articles

Mamas Aina

Carmen & Kristin

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