You may have seen Jessica Seinfeld on Instagram, posting videos of some of her recipes, or pictures of her and Jerry and their kids, but 18 years ago she started the GoodPlus foundation. This year, they're providing toolkits to a family member that's often left out of the equation when it comes to parenting their children: dads.
Pat Kiernan talked to Jessica about her Dad Toolkits to find out more about how she's helping fathers get more involved with their kids.
Jessica Seinfeld: Our toolkits for dads are going to go to fathers who are participating in our fatherhood program in New York City. So they’re getting life skills trainings, they’re getting GEDs, they’re getting vocational training, healthy relationship conversations are had, things that when you’ve grown up without a father or a role model, really, really help fathers engage with their own children and co-parent better.
Pat Kiernan: Tell me the connection to Giving Tuesday and what the call to action is.
JS: People can give money and buy a toolkit. So, if you donate, Pat, $50 to GoodPlus foundation, a dad is going to get a basic toolkit of diapers, wipes, a front carrier, and books. And then Bank of America is going to match that, and we’re going to be able to provide two toolkits.
PK: Take us back to the start of what has been a big enterprise for you.
JS: 18 years ago, my first child was born and, as a daughter of social worker, I always understood how expensive it is and how overwhelming it can be to bring a child home. I wanted to create a pipeline between families who had things to give away to give to people who needed them.
And so when I went on your show in 2001—
PK: That’s when it was, it was 2001?
JS: Yes, we go back a long way, Pat. The idea was to just help babies, but I learned early on, to help babies, you have to help parents.
PK: You are very active on Instagram.
JS: Yeah, but I’m about to quit every day. It’s a love hate relationship so much with that beast.
PK: It can be useful.
JS: This is why it is useful. Yes. I could do without the other stuff. Which is like so—
PK: Oh come on, it’s so—like there was the time a few weeks ago when Jerry posted a picture of him looking all Italian on a scooter, and you post within minutes, “here’s what the real story was: he was freezing that day.”
JS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Thank you, you really tracked that I’m impressed.
PK: There’s one part of his routine that I’m convinced is about NY1 where he talks about the weather forecast.
JS: Yeah, I don’t exactly remember which bit that is because he does recycle them in and out, but it’s very likely it’s all based on you actually.
PK: It seems like it’s a shot at me.
JS: No, it’s not a shot at you, like it’s not a shot at me. It’s his idea of what Pat Kiernan’s job in life is really like.
PK: We all have NYC pet peeves. Is there anything—does the subway drive you crazy?
JS: Well the subway should drive everyone crazy right now, it’s such a nightmare. When people park in the Citibike lane, I think that’s unkind.
PK: Do you become a different person and start yelling?
JS: I do. I have a whistle...because I ride so much. It's just an extra level of protection.
If you'd like to buy a dad a toolkit and they have all different types — with front carriers, diapers, wipes, high chairs, car seats and strollers — you can head to Give.GoodPlusFoundation.org/GivingTuesday.
And because of their partnership with Bank of America, they'll match all donations up to $50,000.