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How one cloth diapering company is helping to save abducted children

Gaelle Wizenberg and Craig Cignarelli at the Green Steps Media Fashion Show last week. The two are helping to raise awareness for Project Child Save.

Gaelle Wizenberg and Craig Cignarelli at the Green Steps Media Fashion Show last week. The two are helping to raise awareness for Project Child Save.

Something that sets Tastemaker Moms apart is our desire to make a difference.

Remember we told you about the fashion show we went to last week — the one that focused on sustainable clothes and accessories? Well, one of the coolest people we met there was Gaelle Wizenberg, mom and founder at Charlie Banana.

Gaelle Wizenberg, founder of Charlie BananaGaelle is a true Tastemaker Mom. Her twin passions for design and cleaning up the earth a bit led her to create Charlie Banana, which specializes in cloth diapering solutions.

Whoa — we made that sound pretty bland. Gaelle and her team design really cute, really easy to use 2-in-1 diapers.

But it’s not her “Orbit” print diapers (much as we love ’em) that make Gaelle a Tastemaker — it’s her passion for making a difference. Gaelle’s mission is to get 50 percent of moms to choose cloth diapers over disposable.

That’s bold, we said initially.

“But to me, it’s realistic,” Gaelle said. “Because then we tip the balance. I want people to stop thinking if you’re a cloth diaperer, you’re ‘granola.’ I’m not granola. I just want the best, healthiest choices for my son.”

In that effort to change people’s thinking, Gaelle has targeted mass market stores — like Target.

“That ‘legalized’ it,” she said. “Now the thought can be: ‘I’m a normal mom; it’s available at Target!'”

But her mission isn’t just to get more moms diapering their kids in a more eco-friendly way. Charlie Banana also gives a percentage of its earnings to Operation Smile (since CB’s launch in 2011) and, more recently, to Project Child Save.

When we met Gaelle at the fashion show, it was the first we’d heard of this organization. It’s a non-profit that tracks and locates abducted children — many of whom have been sold internationally into sex slavery — and brings them back.

Pretty incredible.

Project Child Save founder Ty Ritter

Project Child Save founder Ty Ritter

“This is something as a mom of two children that I don’t want to think of, but we have to face it,” Gaelle said, adding that when she decided to support the organization and sent in the first donation, “it was a good chunk — but I definitely wished I could do more.”

But the donation brought PCS founder Ty Ritter nearly to tears. “The minute they got the wire in, they were able to take off on a mission they’d been waiting for funding on,” Gaelle recalled. “Three days later, Ty called me and said, ‘Gaelle, we went in to get five kids, and we got 13.'”

“I can’t explain how I felt in that second,” she continued. “And in that moment, I knew I needed to help. That we can do a lot more. It actually motivated me to do better with my company — because the bigger we get, the more people we can help.”

Gaelle and her friend Craig Cignarelli, who also works closely with Project Child Save, are planning a fundraiser event for PCS on June 5, 2014, and helping the organization to increase awareness.

Find out more about Project Child Save and how you can help reunite abducted kids with their families.