Tonight’s Meet a Mom, Daisy Sanders, is an inspiring editor and writer who was looking for ways to use her communications background to help causes that mattered. She joined the Board of CT Against Gun Violence, and has since formed their Junior Council. Over the past five years, she has planned numerous events for the organization, including this year’s Annual Event, a seated dinner at the Delamar in Greenwich, this Thursday, October 5th.
Daisy shares with us why she feels so passionately about volunteering for CAGV and how you can also get involved in this meaningful cause.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally? Names/ages of kids, etc.?
I’m a mom of two — my son, Jack, who is 5 ½ and my daughter Ella, who is 4 — as well as a black lab named Nellie, and a new addition, a yellow lab named Tater. My husband and I have been in Greenwich for nearly 8 years and totally love it here. Professionally, I’m an editor and writer. I mostly focus on lifestyle topics, specifically fashion, with a little bit of food and home thrown in.
Where do you live in Greenwich and what do you love about Greenwich and your neighborhood/ what made you decide to move there/ how long have you been there?
We currently live in mid-country, off North Street. We built this house while living in a neighborhood right near town, and moved in when it was (almost) finished in mid-2021. We always knew that we wanted to be right in town when we first moved out from the City, but that being in mid-country was always the final destination. We love being back here; we have a bit more space, and a bit more privacy, but still feel super connected to central Greenwich. We also have lots of friends who live right nearby.
Please tell us about CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV)?
Absolutely! CAGV is an incredible organization. In a sentence, its ultimate aim is to end gun violence in Connecticut through both legislative advocacy and citizen-facing education and awareness programs. I always say, it’s not CT Against Guns—it’s CT Against Gun Violence—there are so many misconceptions around it being a partisan organization, but it’s really not. It’s a lean but mighty group of amazingly smart and dedicated staff who work directly with legislative leaders to develop and strengthen laws and other policy measures to reduce gun violence, engage the public to get bills passed, work with and elevate the voices of impacted communities to identify solutions, and create and implement educational programs to address topics like the dangers of having—and safe storage of—guns in the home.
What has really powered the organization over its 30-year history are its supporters, the individual donors who fund their work, and volunteers. I take no credit for their success, I just get to be an outsider looking in, with a good view.
How did you get involved with CAGV? What is your professional background?
When I first had my son in 2018, I resigned from my job as Senior Editor at Hearst Digital Media and was quietly looking for ways to spend my time in which I could use my editorial and communications background to make a difference with impactful charities that resonated with me. My mother-in-law brought me to a CAGV luncheon, where I connected with a then-Board Member who is just the most impressive woman. I began working with her in addition to a few other wonderful women, both on the Board and otherwise, to plan CAGV’s annual events, and joined the Board a few years later. I worked on one luncheon in 2019, and then during planning for the second, COVID hit. We pivoted to a digital gathering in 2020, and shifted gears to a cocktail event for two years thereafter. This is our first year doing a seated dinner, which is exciting and, I think, the perfect format for the cause!
Why do you personally feel volunteering for CAGV is so important?
It’s horrific that CAGV needs to exist in one of the most educated and fortunate countries in the world, but alas, it does. Gun violence affects us all, even if that’s easier for some to ignore than others. In our state, nearby cities are being decimated by street violence; as we all know, one of the worst school shooting tragedies in history happened not too far away from here. Not to mention the incidence of firearm suicides. Did you know that 80% of such suicides — and two-thirds of school shootings — happen with a family member’s gun? There are such clear ways to help prevent this. It’s a problem that can be solved — that has to be solved — because quite literally, our lives and the lives of our children require it to be. And it’s about time we all stop living in fear.
How can people get involved if they feel passionately about this cause?
First of all, if you’re reading this and that’s you – thank you! We can’t have too many people care about this issue. There’s such a great group of parents in the area who have gotten very involved lately, and I am always amazed by their brilliance and passion.
There are a few ways to join the effort! First, you can start by subscribing to CAGV’s emails. Specifically, of course, we always need development help. Supporting fundraising events, spreading the word, and donating are all so integral to the success of the organization. They can’t do what they do without the funding for it.
If you’d like to get more “hands on,” joining the so-called CAGV Action Team is a great entry point. Once you’re signed up, you can listen in on monthly calls (optional!) to get the update on what’s happening in the gun violence prevention world and how you can help, and have access to toolkits that can help you reach out to, for example, local school boards to discuss how schools can help educate parents on things like safe storage.
More season-specific, but driving up to Hartford on a “Lobby Day” in the spring to help garner support for the bills that are up for a vote is so impactful. Even if you’re not comfortable approaching strangers to talk about the bill at hand, just being there in a CAGV t-shirt goes a long way.
How do you balance your work, volunteering and being a Mom?
Sometimes it all feels so manageable, and sometimes we all feel like we’re losing our minds a little, right? I always remind myself that I’m no busier than any other mom in town. I am lucky in that I have an amazing support system, both at home and socially, a wonderful nanny, and my husband works locally so can be very involved with the day-to-day of parenting and home management — all of which is important to note. I’m certainly not doing it alone! I also try to know and remember my limits before I say yes to a new commitment.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by some super wise women, so picking one is tough! One of my dearest friends always reminds me how little time we all have, and why spending every minute doing something (or with someone) we love is key. I try to think about that when I feel a little overwhelmed or like I need to reset and recharge.
What do you like to do to relax/have fun for yourself and as a family?
I think this is two very different questions, in a great way!
I’m what I’ve heard referred to as an extroverted introvert. I love to socialize and have a tendency to over schedule, so taking some alone time (Bravo reality TV for the win!) can feel so refreshing now and then. I also am currently studying for my Level III WSET certification, just because I love wine—and the cheese that goes with it!—which is a nice passion project.
As a family, we vary between being homebodies with lots of time in our playroom, and doing “family playdates” with close friends. My munchkins are also very into going to “golf” (which means 90% riding around in the cart and 10% golfing) and love to “explore” and go on adventures to places like New York City.
Anything else you’d like to share?
CAGV is really an approachable way to get involved in a seemingly unapproachable cause. I love chatting with people who care about the issue but aren’t sure how to go about it — there are so many misconceptions about the gun violence prevention effort, and I encourage anyone even remotely interested in learning more to reach out!
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:
Grab coffee: I have a morning Aux Delice ritual — I’m more of a honey-ginger tea and/or bone broth person, but that’s only because I get over-caffeinated easily.
Workout: I’ve been seeing the most incredible Pilates instructor, Erin Glasebrook (who is also one of my closest friends), for years. I’ve also been working with the amazing Anel at Countdown Fitness since just after my son was born, and I recently started going to the dance-pilates class CorePlay once a week.
Go on a date night: Townhouse or The Cottage
Go out for a girls night: Bianca or Le Penguin
Go out to dinner as a family: Mediterraneo
Get your hair done: Maison D’Alexandre
Get your nails done: Posh, exclusively!
Have fun as a family: In the summer, the kids and we love going to Polo matches together. This time of year, Tod’s Point, particularly on crisp fall Sunday evenings (with a pizza for dinner).