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#GivingTuesday: Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation

By Isabel Kallman


There’s eight more weeks until #GivingTuesday, which is November 27 this year or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. And, also after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. This year is the launch of #GivingTuesday and it’s a day to celebrate giving – a day when families, charities, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more can come together to encourage giving during the holiday season. The founding members behind the initiative include the UN Foundation, the 92nd Street Y, Mashable, Skype, Microsoft,, Groupon, Kiva, GlobalGiving, the (RED) campaign, charity: water amongst others.

Every Tuesday ahead of #GivingTuesday, I will be highlight a non-profit organization that is meaningful to me. I hope that you will consider them in your charitable efforts on #GivingTuesday and in other ways as well, by using your time or your voice. Thank you.


soledad o'brien brad raymond foundation

Today, I want to introduce you to the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation. You know Soledad from seeing her in your home, on your television screen. She is an award-winning broadcast journalist and CNN anchor who throughout her career has traveled the globe reporting on some of the world’s most devastating stories. Inspired by the courage of one young New Orleans woman who– after Hurricane Katrina– was determined to finish college, Soledad and her husband Brad Raymond launched their foundation.

Together they invest countless hours and thousands of dollars in young women. They see their organization as “a bridge between obstacles and opportunity,” and provide young and deserving female scholars with the resources (both monetary and mentoring) to overcome barriers and reach their highest potential. The young women they choose for their college financial scholarship program are those whose family situations and lack of resources constantly put them at risk for dropping out of college.

The foundation’s approach is very individualized and the scholars are not only selected based on academic merit and need, but also character. I spoke to Soledad about the program she launched and what I love about it is that they are not trying to bite off more than they can chew. She recognizes that her scholarship program is relatively small– currently supporting nine young women– and even though the goal is to continue to grow it to help more scholars, she wants to ensure that these women can continue to have the mentoring access to her that they have benefited from thus far.

I hope that as you look for organizations to support, you consider the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation for #GivingTuesday and beyond.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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Lisa Stone

Isabel, what a wonderful post — thank you so much for highlighting the O’Brien Raymond Foundation.  I’m a donor myself because of the focus Soledad and Brad put on changing the lives of young women who then go on to change their communities. And having met Alexia (in her uniform above) and the other scholars, I can confirm that this foundation is doing a terrific job of identifying people who will try and try and try before they give up.  If anyone reading this post knows a young woman who is more determined than anyone else they’ve ever met to… Read more »