Being Change: Miki Woodard's life of giving back
Podcast #62 — Aired May 28, 2015

When you dedicate your life to giving back, great things happen. This week on BetterWorldians Radio, we’re talking with Michelynn “Miki” Woodard about her work harnessing the power of celebrities like Prince William, Princess Kate, Dr. Phil, and more, to help make a difference in the world. Miki is currently the President and CEO of both the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation. Miki will discuss how both organizations are helping to improve the lives of children and families in need.

 

 

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Michelynn "Miki" Woodard
President & CEO, Dr. Phil Foundation
President & CEO, When Georgia Smiled

Miki Woodard is President and CEO of the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation. Miki has over 15 years experience in corporate philanthropy across multiple industries, including entertainment, non-profit, television, digital media and music. Miki previously served as the vice president of philanthropy at JCPenney. Before joining JCPenney, Woodard founded the Amalgamation Group LLC, a strategic consulting firm that brought together celebrities, philanthropists, non-profits and brands. Miki’s background also includes serving as managing director of West Coast Operations for Be the Change and as president and chief operating officer for West Brands, where she ran Kanye West’s parent company. Woodard is a prominent member of the philanthropic community where she supports numerous charitable organizations, mentors many young women, and is an active public speaker.

 

Episode Transcript

Raymond Hansell
This week on Better Worldians Radio, were talking with Michelynn Woodard, the president and CEO of both the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled, the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation. Miki has over fifteen years experience in corporate philanthropy across multiple industries including entertainment, non-profit, television, digital media, as well as music. Miki previously served as the vice president of philanthropy at JCPenney. Before joining JCPenney, Woodard founded the Amalgamation Group LCC, a strategic consulting firm that brought together celebrities, philanthropists, non-profits, and brands. Mikis background also includes serving as managing director of west coast operations for Be the Change and is president and chief operating officer for West Brands where she ran Kanye Wests parent company and helped lead the growth of its subsidiaries as well. Woodard is a prominent member of the philanthropic community where she supports numerous charitable organizations, mentors many young women, and is very active in public speaking. Hi, Miki. Welcome to Better Worldians Radio.

Miki Woodard
Hello. Thank you very much. Its very nice to be here. I appreciate this opportunity.

Raymond Hansell
Youre very welcome and I think youll fit in very greatly very nicely with all of the guests that weve had on the show. This is a real opportunity for our listeners as well. Now let me begin our conversation. Your career has been revolved around giving back so what first sparked your interest in philanthropy and charity?

Miki Woodard
Its a great question. You know, I think I get it honestly through my family. My grandfather was a Tuskegee Airmen and so in part of the introduction to the show, you talked about people doing small things that lead to big change and that is kind of what philanthropy is to me. Thats really what I saw by his own acts of bravery and courage and its interesting that were doing this right after Memorial Day weekend and really celebrating so many people that have served and unfortunately those who have dedicated everything including their lives to service. But that is really where I get it from. He was in the ninety-ninth. His nickname was Brute although we called him Betty Petty, and growing up I used to go listen to him speak and talk about being an airman and his story is actually profiled in one of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. and I have his congressional gold medal here in my home. We still have a lot of his memorabilia although he is not with us anymore, but I think it was his example of needing and doing something different to try and change the world that probably really kind of first sparked my interest from just a child in doing this.

Raymond Hansell
So its actually coming right from your own personal roots in your family.

Miki Woodard
Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Raymond Hansell
Thats the best. Thats the best. Now specifically youve worked to harness the power of celebrity as well to make a difference in the world. Can you tell us, our listeners, a little bit about that and how you do that?

Miki Woodard
Yeah. I started doing that about fifteen years ago as you said in the introduction and I really didnt know that this field existed when I started doing it. Once I was able to start my first role in celebrity philanthropy which was at Creative Artists Agency, I really had a very unique opportunity to work with so many incredible high profile celebrities who were very genuine about wanting to change the world and give back. Most of the work that we did was not about the cameras. A lot of it was very private. A lot of it came from, you know, private issues that happened in their families, either an illness or a death or the birth of a child or something that would change their life and therefore lead them on this path to wanting to give back. So I have been able to kind of meet them in those moments and really kind of use their platform to do all of these great things.

Raymond Hansell
Speaking of celebrities, you used to run the west coast office for Be the Change and there you were able to actually book Prince William and Duchess Kate when they visited Los Angeles a few years back. Tell us a bit about that experience.

Miki Woodard
Well that had to be one of the highlights of my career for sure. Its funny. As a child I grew up in England for part of my childhood. So when I was young and lived in England, we still had Prince Charles and Princess Diana. So it was really a very personal full circle moment for me to have any opportunity to interact with Prince William and Duchess Catherine and first and foremost, they were so nice. They were so kind and so humble and so open and we were able to create just a remarkable day over at Sony Studios and we took one of their largest sound stages that they pretty much donated to us to use for a military event to again really celebrate military service and also when military service men and women come back, helping them to find that next career and really looking at all of the incredible skills that they bring back from their experiences abroad. So thats a passion point for Prince William and so they came and spent a few hours with us over at Sony and I had the great privilege of being her escort at the VIP reception that we did earlier that day. But they came early that never happens and stayed late that never happens because they were just so excited, genuinely moved by the stories in the room and the people that they met and the experiences that they learned about.

Raymond Hansell
Thats amazing. Now in another role, you also ran philanthropy for JCPenney and were able to secure Blake Shelton as a JCP Cares investor. We had an experience with JCPenney that went back for like ten years so I was in Dallas in a previous business and we loved working with them. Theyre a great company and of course the whole story of JC Penney himself is a very inspiring story. So tell us what that partnership was like for you?

Miki Woodard
Absolutely and I agree, you know, James Cash Penneys statue is right there in the center of the JCPenney headquarters building and around that statue are quotes on his life and his dedication not just to building the incredible organization that he did, the retail institution of JCPenney, but also you know, his own personal philanthropy and charity and how important it was for him to do both. That really permeated the culture of the organization. So when I lead philanthropy, it was a really interesting moment because it was right in the middle of all of their transitions and they were trying to think about as a business how do they operate in a different way and also with philanthropy, how do they kind of highlight the work that theyre doing and so their customers really knew how important this was and also give them an opportunity to participate. So Blake Shelton was another celebrity who was kind enough to join us on that journey and as he said, he became our JCP Cares ambassador and what he really did was use a tour that he was doing at that time to give back and really talk about JCPenneys own philanthropic work. We did a lot there with the USO and military service men and women again, really highlighting their contributions to this country, created some really beautiful spots on television about their own contributions and commitment, dedication, and selflessness. Then we also used Blake to highlight a program that we had at JCPenney called roundup where the customer had the opportunity to round up to the next dollar and so that change in the middle went to charity, and on average at that time, it was about a forty-four cent contribution.

Raymond Hansell
How about that.

Miki Woodard
Forty-four cents per customer added up to more than a million dollars a month.

Raymond Hansell
Oh my God.

Miki Woodard
So we were able to really support a lot of great charitable organizations across the country because of Blakes prominence and platform.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah, thats a great idea. Now you also volunteer your time mentoring young women. Can you talk about that for a bit with us?

Miki Woodard
Yeah, absolutely. I think that is something that one of the things that means the most. Ive seen all kinds of big ways that people try and change the world in all kinds of phenomenal organizations that are doing things on a really kind of grand platform and landscape. But my own personal philanthropy and commitment and kind of vision and purview leads me to believe that if you are able to really dedicate the time to spend with one person and youre able to help and change that persons life in any way, then that really goes to the generations that will come after them. And so its funny, I always find when I engage with my mentees that I think I am bringing all of the answers and I am ready to be there and help them change and its just the opposite. I get so much from them and I dont take on a lot of them because I really want to have the time to dedicate to them for years. My closest mentee and I started when she was sixteen and she is about to be thirty. So it really has been taking her through high school, getting her through college, getting her through her first job and her first apartment and all of those and making sure that she is set and steady and she is an amazing person who has really become a part of my family and that means a lot to me.

Raymond Hansell
I bet that does. Thats really very richly personal and rewarding Im sure. Youve worked in so many roles in the areas of philanthropy and working also in this mentoring to make a difference in the lives of people and also to make a difference in the world, so Im curious. What is the most rewarding aspect of all of this work for you personally?

Miki Woodard
That is a great question. I think the most rewarding piece is when you actually see something different and that doesnt always happen. What comes to mind is really the work that I did in Haiti. So I went to Haiti after the earthquake. It was about three to four months later. I was with an organization that was looking at what organizations should be profiled as part of the telethon and what works would they support. So I was able to in that analysis, really do some very hard work on the ground for for a few days. And seeing the children that we met, helping them do simple things like get new shoes or find food that day or help connect them to a relative that they had lost. Those kinds of things to me are profound. Its not the big change all the time but just the little things day by day that you know those peoples lives will be better for it.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah. Thats an amazing story. Its so good to give and people often think its a cliché but you receive so much more than you give as a byproduct of all of that.

Miki Woodard
Absolutely.

Raymond Hansell
Were going to take a short break but before we go, I want to take a moment to update all of our listeners on the change coming to Better Worldians Radio. Beginning in June, you can go to Better Worldians Radio dot com to hear our new episodes. You can also browse our dozens of past shows featuring many inspiring better worldians past guests like authors Dr. Barbara Frederickson, Rachel Macy Stafford of Hands Free Mama, non-profit founders like Jay Scott of Alexs Lemonade Stand, and social entrepreneurs like Auntie Anne Beiler or Auntie Annes Pretzels, and even Hollywood stars who weve had a few like Fran Drescher who discussed her non-profit, Cancer Shmancer, and her successful battle against cancer herself. Greg will be talking more with Miki Woodard when we come back in just a moment.

Fred Rogers
Hi neighbor.

Raymond Hansell
Youre listening to Better Worldians Radio. Were speaking with Miki Woodard, the president and CEO of the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled, the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation.

Gregory Hansell
Hi, Miki. This is Greg.

Miki Woodard
Hi, Greg.

Gregory Hansell
I was hoping you could tell us a bit about the Dr. Phil Foundation and what its mission is.

Miki Woodard
Absolutely. So the Dr. Phil Foundation really focuses on children and the mission of the Dr. Phil Foundation is to change the lives of children across the country. So we really focus on domestic causes. Dr. Phil is the spokesperson for both CASA and Feeding America so often times our work focuses on those in foster care and dealing with issues around child hunger.

Gregory Hansell
What is your role like at the Dr. Phil Foundation?

Miki Woodard
So I am the president and CEO which means that I have the great privilege of working with Dr. Phil quite regularly to lead his philanthropic work and help him develop the legacy that is so important to him. And so on a day-to-day basis, I am able to bring to him causes and organizations that could probably use a little bit of support and in generally have some urgent need. Then we can discuss kind of what work we could do together that might be able to help.

Gregory Hansell
So how does Dr. Phil use the platform of his show to get his viewers involved in supporting these different causes?

Miki Woodard
You know, the amazing thing about the Dr. Phil platform is really its the Dr. Phil Show. The show reaches four to six million people a day with an additional two to three million people viewing all of their social media channels. Thats an incredible platform and so what we are able to do is to use that to shine a light and bring publicity to so many different causes.

Gregory Hansell
You just mentioned CASA. I know that Dr. Phil and his wife Robin are the official spokespeople for CASA. Its an organization actually weve discussed a few times before like on our show with One Simple Wish. Can you explain what CASA is?

Miki Woodard
Sure. CASA stands for court appointed special advocates and what those advocates are are volunteers. It really is an incredible organization because these volunteers get involved with children when they need it most. Its generally kids who need somebody to chaperone and guide them through court systems, legal proceedings, where should they live, all kinds of recommendations about helping those kids to find some structure, some safety, some permanency, stability. The issues that youd be involved in couldnt be more important because generally these kids have no one else and these volunteers stay with these kids for years to really make sure that the outcomes for them are positive and beneficial not just to them but to the community and society around them.

Gregory Hansell
That is so important. Its so important. Its such great work. So how do the CASA workers specifically help to make a difference in the lives of foster children?

Miki Woodard
So CASA workers are incredible in that these are just volunteers who have stepped up, who go and get extensive training and dedicate their time to these cases. Generally theyll get two to three cases per person and theyll stay with these children from the beginning and the beginning can be in court. The beginning can be at a hospital. The beginning can be at someones home where they need to leave and find a new solution. And so CASA volunteers learn all kinds of ways that they can be creative about how theyre able to advocate and be a voice for these children, and the great thing is that court houses across the country really do respect and listen to what the CASA advocate has to say, and therefore it really does influence the cases of where these children go and how their lives end up and they need these advocates to have a consistent voice in their lives because if you can imagine being a child where you dont have that, you dont have parents or relatives that are with you for these really, really complicated life choices.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah. Its amazing to imagine. Its difficult to imagine. You know, how does someone become a CASA worker?

Miki Woodard
So you can become a CASA volunteer by going to any local CASA chapter. There are chapters here out in Los Angeles. So there is a big CASA Los Angeles region office that is located right outside of downtown Los Angeles. There are over three hundred CASA chapters across the country and then there are also statewide offices as well as a national CASA organization. Im on the Board of National CASA. So you can look up C, A, S, A, CASA, in almost any community across the country and find out how to volunteer and that is one of the things that Dr. Phil has done often with his platform and show is call out to his audience and ask them to step up, to volunteer, and the result of that has been millions of hours of volunteer time donated across the country.

Gregory Hansell
Wow. Thats amazing. Well I guess thats an example of the kind of impact the McGraws have had on CASA. How else have they helped the organization?

Miki Woodard
Without the volunteers, the organizations cant move forward. So there are lists of children that still dont have advocates, so what each organization really tries to do is look at how many kids are there in that community that need help, that need someone to stand up for them and be there with them on this journey, and then how many can they really support? And those that is all resources. Its either financial resources so that you can run an office effectively or its volunteer resources because you need people to come and give their time to take on if you can really take on two to three cases and youre in a big city like Los Angeles, imagine how many volunteers you actually need to deal with the problem?

Gregory Hansell
Sure. Sure. Have you been able to sort of follow the lives of any of these CASA children and see how things have worked out for them because of the help theyve received?

Miki Woodard
I have but most of that hasnt been through the children necessarily as through the advocates and the volunteers and hearing them tell their stories. I was just at the CASA Los Angeles gala dinner a few weeks ago and they honored one of their former board members who also was an advocate to many children and hearing her talk very personally about the cases that she had observed and being able to have helped with and also seeing the children that really did end up being a much better situation than when they started, but also hearing about those who really had some challenges along the way. So sometimes you think that this is going to be a year and youll be able to get that child in a steady and stable structured home and household and kind of life pattern, and then you find out that really that year is going to stretch to three or five and youre there for every bump in the road. So its also about the advocates resiliency and not just the kids.

Gregory Hansell
As CASA workers must learn and gain so much from that work, what kind of feedback do you get from the volunteers on how this work impacts their lives?

Miki Woodard
I think it changes their lives. You know, I think its one of those things where you always feel like when youre going into this work that you are going to be the one with the solutions, that youre going to be providing the help and the change and the vision and you get so much more out than what you actually are able to give. I dont think I cant think of anything more rewarding than going into the life of a child that has no one else and being able to speak for that child in a way that results in them having a whole different path ahead. So you carry that with you and often its not just that child. Theyre thinking about brothers and sisters and parents and adoptive parents and so its complicated, you know, decisions that have to be made in all of these cases. They are very complicated decisions but you know that without you, I dont know how those decisions would even get made. How would those conversations happen? How would those considerations be looked at? And so what they take away is truly invaluable.

Gregory Hansell
Im sure. Im sure. Well there are so many great success stories with the Dr. Phil Foundation. I was hoping we could talk about a few of those now. Can you tell our listeners about the way Dr. Phil Foundation and its supporters have helped little Isaiah who was struck by a car as an infant?

Miki Woodard
Absolutely. That case really touched me. It was one of the first that I worked on during my tenure in leadership at the Dr. Phil Foundation. And sweet little baby Isaiah was out walking with his grandfather or his grandfather was actually pushing him in a stroller when they were hit by a teenage drunk driver and in the result of that accident was pretty severe injuries for that little baby and they did not think that he was going to make it. So imagine that moment as young parents when hearing that your father and father-in-law is severely injured and your child might not make it. And so baby Isaiah was stronger than anyone estimated. He was a fighter and he made it. But his journey is going to be a difficult one. He sustained pretty severe injuries and that family needed some support. The medical bills were astronomical, over the million dollar mark when we learned about the case. So what Dr. Phil was able to do was not only bring those parents on the show, talk about little Isaiah, show photos of Isaiah, but he could tell his viewers this is something I am going to support personally through my foundation and I invite you to join me. That is a real example of how Dr. Phil is able to change lives because it isnt just what he is able to contribute but it is also the millions of viewers who are watching. What always moves me are the what I get in response to those calls for help and so its everything from two dollars to hundreds of dollars, to a child that sent me his allowance and a bubble machine to pass on to baby Isaiah. So people really listen. They respond. You see the goodness of people in that and were able to pass those contributions along. So for baby Isaiah, the result of that is a special school that hell be in for the rest of his life that really focuses on helping children with traumatic brain injury so that he is able to learn how to walk and talk and feed himself and do all of the things that so many children enjoy much more easily than he ever will.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah. You know, its such a sad story but it is such a wonderful example of not only what Dr. Phil and his foundation have been able to do but also just an example of just peoples innate goodness, you know, and desire to make a difference, to really help someone in need. It is inspiring on that level.

Miki Woodard
Absolutely. I really do love opening the mail that comes from viewers and thats really just the checks that are coming to the foundation because the notes that are in there are so heartfelt. We get notes, we get cards, we get checks. We get contributions in all kinds of ways and it really does speak very directly to that goodness.

Gregory Hansell
I know the Dr. Phil Foundation also supports many music programs for youth and teens in need. Talk about that work and why music programs are important to the Dr. Phil Foundation.

Miki Woodard
So for Dr. Phil, he spends so much of the show looking at things that are concerning in society and so his passion or making the world a better place and really focusing on opportunities for children in some ways stems from all of the things that he covers in the show and he sees the results of bad choices. So how is he able to provide and use his platform for more children to have an opportunity to have a different trajectory and a different path? And he knows the role the arts plays in that generally but I also think this is something very personal for him. His youngest son Jordan is a musician and so he sees firsthand kind of the impact that those decisions have had on his own family and the success that Jordan has enjoyed and his kind of passion around music and the arts. So for Dr. Phil its how do you pass along that happiness, that enjoyment, that opportunity that so many kids dont get anymore. I mean, its usually the first thing thats stripped away.

Gregory Hansell
I think its really great. I mean, you know, I think music has that advantage of both helping with cognitive development, right, which is something that you know, kids in need often suffer issues with, but also brings so much joy into peoples lives and thats obviously something lacking all too often in that same group of people so I think thats great. You know, there are so many great success stories on Dr. Phil Foundation dot org of kids having succeeded. You know, kids have succeeded against all the odds. What have you learned from their stories? How have they inspired you?

Miki Woodard
I think I have learned how resilient kids are. At this point, Dr. Phil has done over two thousand episodes. We just finished a few weeks ago, the thirteenth season of the Dr. Phil Show. Thats an incredible legacy. That is a lot of shows where you have shown both the good and the bad. And what he has been able to do to help so many kids overcome such significant obstacles really shows that with help, with support, with hope, with knowing that youre not alone and someone truly does care, that people are able to take that little bit, that little bit of light and really turn it into so much more, that kids are resilient and theyre strong but they just need someone around them to let them know that someone cares.

Gregory Hansell
Well its a powerful and inspiring mission. Tell our listeners the best way that they can help support the Dr. Phil Foundation.

Miki Woodard
So Dr. Phil has several causes that he gives to on a regular basis. All of those are covered on Dr. Phil dot com and youll see stories like baby Isaiah, like the little boy that was found under the stairs, Jordan Bleimeyer, and so many others that could use additional support. So we always encourage listeners, viewers, anyone that is interested in helping so many of these kids to get onto Dr. Phil dot com and go to that donation page and make a contribution and you can choose exactly which case youd like to support and all of the funds go directly to that case. Dr. Phil Foundation pays overheard for salary and staffing and everything else not through these contributions. Thats all paid directly. So every contribution made gets passed along.

Raymond Hansell
Well thats inspiring for all of our listeners and for everybody to take advantage of that opportunity as they see fit. I think this is really great, inspiring work. Were going to take a short break again right now but when we return, well talk more with Miki Woodard and MarySue about the charitable organization When Georgia Smiled. In the meantime, if youre a fan of Better Worldians Radio, you might want to check out our social enterprise, A Better World, whose mission is to make uplifting games and apps to brighten the world. Our goal there and with everything we do for that matter is to do good, have fun, and change the world. Were creating some really awesome stuff, awesome digital products designed with the purpose of making a difference through optimism, through altruism, and also through charity. So far to date, over thirty-three million good deeds have been done in our virtual world called A Better World by more than three million people. Last month we partnered with Northern Childrens Services, a non-profit that supports healthy development for children while stabilizing their families to build stronger communities. Our players completed three hundred thousand good deeds in the game last month and so we released funds to the Mothers Fresh Start Program to fill welcome home suitcases for new moms in need with personal care and baby necessities including clothes for both the baby and the mom. You can join in and find out more at A Better World dot com. Well be right back.

Fred Rogers
Hi neighbor.

Raymond Hansell
Were back now with Miki Woodard, the president and CEO of the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled, the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation. And now lets welcome back both Miki and MarySue.

MarySue Hansell
Hi, Miki.

Miki Woodard
Hello.

MarySue Hansell
As if youre not busy enough by running the Dr. Phil Foundation, you also run When Georgia Smiled, the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation. What does the name where did the name When Georgia Smiled come from?

Miki Woodard
You know, its a very personal story of Robin McGraws. Georgia was her mother and so when Robin decided to open the foundation a year and a half ago and was thinking about the mission and work ahead, she wanted to give it a name that really meant something to her. So she named it after her mom who she unfortunately lost when she was quite young. Shell often tell a story about how her mother died on the phone with her of undiagnosed heart disease.

MarySue Hansell
Oh dear.

Miki Woodard
So Robins whole mission and work around domestic violence and sexual assault, relationship abuse also has another important factor which is her work around telling women to stop and take care of themselves because she feels if her mother had done anything to take care of herself in addition to everything that she did to taking care of her family that she might still be here today.

MarySue Hansell
You know, that theme comes up again and again from some of the guests that weve had in the past. The mothers and the women do have to take care of themselves first so they can continue to care for those who are so important to them.

Miki Woodard
Its very, very true.

MarySue Hansell
Can you tell our listeners about the aspire initiative?

Miki Woodard
Yes. The aspire initiative to me is very exciting in that there are so many ways to try and help victims of domestic violence and often thats a really complicated and horrific situation that you might be in. So when Robin McGraw decided that this was what she wanted to take on, she wanted to do something different and so she did two things. One was build an app for your smart phone and it is called the aspire news app.

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Miki Woodard
And at this point weve had almost a quarter of a million downloads and some from countries outside of the US around the world. And when you have that app on your phone, its disguised. So it looks like a news reader. When you open the app, there are twelve different news sources and you can pick the one that would make the most sense for what you might be reading at the time. Right under that are a variety of services including an opportunity to pre-type a text message and enter in contacts that are only stored within that app, nowhere else on your phone. So if you are in a moment where you need help and you need to reach people quickly and secretly, you tap on your phone three times with that app open and that text message goes out to everyone that you have put in that contact list. That can also include 911 and the message can be anything from this is the time, come help now, go get the kids, call the police, whatever you might need in that situation. So she really wanted to have people be able to have that help at their fingertips. Your phone also starts recording eleven seconds of audio that you can keep in case the police are called and there are discrepancies about what was actually happening in the room and all of that happens and your phone never changes. So hopefully your abuser has no idea that you have been able to reach out in that manner. There is also a free curriculum available on When Georgia Smiled dot org and that is the aspire curriculum. It is available in English and Spanish and it is available for different age groups, teens, tweens, young adults. Its interactive and it is everything from helping with how to exit, creating safe strategies. If youre in an abusive relationship, what is a healthy relationship? All of that is covered in this curriculum with lots of video and presentations from Robin.

MarySue Hansell
How can our listeners, if they are in this dangerous situation, take advantage of the curriculum? Where do they find that?

Miki Woodard
That is right there on our website on When Georgia Smiled dot org. Its right there on the home page. Its easy to access. You can go in and find the module that is best for you. Weve done a lot of outreach this year to universities across the country and high schools and were trying to get it incorporated in a lot of different curriculums so that people know that its out there and available and can use it to start really important dialog.

MarySue Hansell
Now do you have any personal stories that you can remember about how this aspire app really saved someone or what happened in these dire situations?

Miki Woodard
You know, its interesting. I have gotten interesting calls. I got a call from a mother who was about to send her daughter off to college and was looking at all of the statistics that universities across the country about campus sexual assault. She was really worried about how to keep her daughter safe so she wanted to download the app on her daughters phone and go ahead and have me help her learn how to set it up and learn how to teach her daughter how to use it. So they had kind of a safety plan in place before her daughter ever left the house. Then we also hear from weve had a couple of cases that weve covered within the Dr. Phil shows this year of people that had downloaded the app and used it to get out of really dangerous and violent situations because they were able to notify friends that were able to call the police and get the police involved very quickly.

MarySue Hansell
Thats wonderful. That would make mothers feel very comfortable knowing that their daughters have access to something like that at college when theyre off for the first time as well as so many of these abuse stories that you hear in houses, battered wives and things like that. So Im so grateful that they came out with what. Now an important part of Robins work is getting men involved and fighting against this domestic and sexual violence. I love this. Why is this so important?

Miki Woodard
You know, for Robin I think its two things. One is shes got two boys and so for her, it was, you know, the conversations that she had with them growing up about their own relationships and how to think about not only their relationships but the relationships they heard their friends talking about and how to help them kind of guide and navigate themselves in the world. So thats one piece but also Robin also helps victims. Men are also victims of abuse and Robin didnt want that story to get left out, that this is not just women but how do we provide resources and support for organizations that also help men? So weve partnered with one called Male Survivor and there are others out there that help men that are victims because a lot of this is about secrecy. So for Robin its you know, how do we break that barrier and have anyone in an unhealthy relationship feel more comfortable about talking about that and sharing that with people which hopefully will lead them to a safe way to get out.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah, yeah. I love the idea that they can do this in secret and that if someone should get their phone with that aspire app, that no one would know whats on there, that they can use it at any time. Robin is a national spokesperson for the Girl Scouts. Can you tell our listeners about her work there?

Miki Woodard
Yes. Thats been really exciting. She is the first national celebrity spokesperson for Girl Scouts. Weve been working with them for a little bit over a year and it all does kind of ladder up to this work that were doing about health relationships. Robin has a really funny and interesting and unique story of the first years of her marriage to Dr. Phil and how she has always been very always wanted to be a mother, always wanted to be around children, and she called the local brownie troop and said that she wanted to be a leader but she didnt have her own kids. So at the time they were like well thats a little concerning. But they ended up doing the checks that they needed and giving her a brownie troop and so part of it is in this moment now working with the Girl Scouts, going all the way back to looking at when she was a troop leader before she even had children and talking about the work that she did then, but also its an opportunity to again start talking about healthy relationships and self-esteem and how to take care of yourself and really reaching younger women. So hopefully these are things they will carry into their adulthood and hopefully be able then to make different choices. And so Robin has already spoken at their national convention which was in Utah. She was honored at the Girl Scout luncheon here in Los Angeles and had an opportunity to speak. And weve done other really fun and creative things with them about self-esteem. Robin has a notebook that she made called reasons Im fabulous and she had the girls sit down and talk about what is great about you, what do you love about yourself that you want to share with the world? That was a really interesting exercise and conversation, so its opportunities like that that she likes to explore.

MarySue Hansell
Thats great. I was a brownie once so I think thats such good advice there. Robin McGraw Revelation is a lifestyle brand that brings to life Robins philosophy of self-care. Can you tell our listeners about you know, what the revelation is and what the products are and the fact that they do support When Georgia Smiled of course.

Miki Woodard
Well and its interesting because Robin started When Georgia Smiled, the foundation, before she started the brand. And so it really shows, you know, everything that is important to Robin. It is about being an entrepreneur and a successful business women, but it is also about this really urgent need to give back and to hopefully change the world a little bit. And so Robin McGraw Revelation is a purpose driven brand with a lot of lifestyle products, everything from skin care to amazing little handy wipes to a fragrance line, to lots of products that are coming out. But the three that are on there that support When Georgia Smiled 100% are two different lines of lip gloss. One is named after her granddaughter, Avery, Avery Lasting Love. She really likes to personalize everything and so in that line shes got two lip glosses named after her mother, a lip gloss named after Avery, and one named after Averys mother, her daughter-in-law. Then shes got a candle set, a really nice votive candle set. One hundred percent of the proceeds again go to When Georgia Smiled but that is called the light of my life and that is a tribute to the men in her life. There is the Phillip, the Jay, the Jordan, and the London who is her grandson, and each scent kind of is something that reminds her of one of them. So for Robin, it really is you know, how did you give back in a significant way and also tell a very personal story. And really quickly, Robin McGraws Revelation is all around when she lost her mother. Again its that moment when she realized that her mother had taken all of them to a doctor but never been herself.

MarySue Hansell
Oh no.

Miki Woodard
And so how do you encourage women to stop and take that moment that they often defer and delay and help them recognize how important that moment is.

MarySue Hansell
Excellent. How can our listeners help support When Georgia Smiled?

Miki Woodard
When Georgia Smiled is doing a lot of incredible work but as much work as we are doing, we are getting more and more inquiries from shelters and organizations across the country. Domestic violence is not something that is very well funded and so we could use the support of everyone that wants to make a contribution on When Georgia Smiled dot org and make a donation and we turn those right around. Again, there is no overhead that is taken out of any of these contributions. Dr. Phil and Robin are generous enough to pay that in other ways and pay that personally and so all of these contributions turn around and go right to victims who need help, campaigns that we create for college students across the country, technology solutions that we are able to develop. But we really are able to see the impact on something that is really difficult.

MarySue Hansell
Miki, here is a personal question for you. How do you hope to make the world a better place through all of this wonderful work that youre doing with the Dr. Phil Foundation and When Georgia Smiled?

Miki Woodard
That is a great question. You know, I find that I am personally moved by the stories that people trust me enough to share because of the work that I am doing for both of them, and when we hear some of these stories of women that have never shared before, that they are in a situation that is dangerous, and you would never suspect some of these people that are really well known and some that are not would be in situations like they are. But to be able to provide resources, to connect them, to help them get out, that moves me. It really moves me to hear about the kids that were able to help through Dr. Phil Foundation like baby Isaiah, like Jordan Bleimeyer and so many others. That is deeply gratifying and worth every moment and all of the effort that we spend.

MarySue Hansell
Very inspiring. Thank you.

Raymond Hansell
An amazing story. Thank this has been an amazing show so far. We just have been astounded by the work and the breadth and depth of what is going on with the Dr. Phil Foundation. For our listeners, you can find out more about the Dr. Phil Foundation by going to Dr. Phil Foundation dot org and you can also learn more about When Georgia Smiled by going to When Georgia Smiled dot org. Miki, thanks so much for joining us today on Better Worldians Radio.

Miki Woodard
Thank you very much. I have enjoyed it and again, I appreciate the opportunity.

Raymond Hansell
Youre very welcome. We appreciate having you on board for the show. Id like to remind our listeners that beginning in June, you can hear new episodes of Better Worldians Radio by going to Better Worldians Radio dot com and as we end our show each week, we like to share our better worldians mission. We strive to make the world a better place by encouraging the very, very best in everyone. We focus on things like positive thinking, positive values, and positive actions, many of which weve heard in todays episode. In short, our vision here is to bring out the very best in everyone so that we can all make it a better world. Until next time, everybody, please be a better worldian.