Tonia McAllister from All American Mommy is a Mega Mommy Blogger Powerhouse and a true inspiration. Like many other Mommy Bloggers, Tonia reviews products that benefit children and families. But Tonia has a unique mission. She supports companies that give back to their communities and is an advocate for charities. We all admire that!

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Tonia has been kind enough to take the time to answer some interview questions. . .

Please describe your blog for us, and tell us about your readers.

All American Mommy is a blog that provides tips and advice for moms and women, along with product reviews and fun giveaways. It’s also a vehicle for sharing information on great charities and companies that help support them. I feel strongly compelled to help promote WAHMs (Work at Home Moms) and companies that support charities. After all, if we buy from these companies we are also helping the charities that they support. My readers are moms and women of all age groups. I have readers in the US, Canada and parts of Europe. Many of these women have become great friends of mine.

What attracted you to blogging in the first place?

Actually, there were many things. A good friend of mine had been blogging for over a year, and she was really enjoying it. I knew that I wanted to start a blog that could help benefit others. All American Mommy was born and I’ve been addicted to blogging ever since. Yes, I am an addict, and I don’t want an intervention! I am also hopeful that through my blog and networking, I may someday have the opportunity for a career in what I like doing best – helping others.

How long have you been doing this?

I started in September 2008 with my feet running before they even hit the ground.

What do you like best about blogging?

I have met some incredible women through the site, and I love sharing my opinions and things or products that I feel strongly about. I love being able to contribute positively considering that the rest of our world can be so negative.

What skills have you developed just from blogging?

One thing is for sure – my communication skills have vastly improved. I have always been a good communicator, especially when dealing with customers in my current and past jobs. But being exposed to the world via the web is different. You’ve got to be able to get your point across so everyone can understand and appreciate it. If not, you will not retain your readers. In addition to writing, I’ve learned more about the technical aspects of managing a blog than I ever thought possible. Networking is a skill in itself, and there’s no better way to meet talented, generous people than by blogging. There’s always so much more to learn, but it’s exciting.

Is All American Mommy a full time job for you?

Oh, how I wish it were! I work full time during the day and blog at night after my daughter, Haley, goes to bed and also on the weekends. Some nights I stay up way too late, because time just flies by so fast. Blogging has been a fun outlet and hobby but I’d love to have the time and resources to make my site so much more!

What type of work have you done prior to your website?

I was a business owner for 8 years. While I was in college (at nearly 30 years old) I provided accounting and bookkeeping services for small businesses as well as prepared taxes for individuals. I still do a few tax returns for clients who just can’t let me go. I love it! I currently work full time as an executive assistant.

I know you have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter. Do you think your blog has helped you become a better parent? How so?

It really has helped. I think that for me it’s the “journaling” part of blogging that has inspired me to be a better parent. It gives me the time and opportunity to reflect on how blessed I am. Blogging requires me to think about what would be best for my family and others. I enjoy sharing stories about Haley and our family with my readers as well as hearing about theirs.

What is it like reviewing all those products?

It’s awesome but can sometimes be overwhelming. I know…who would think that it would be overwhelming? I feel that I have an obligation to my readers to present them with products that are great for their families so I always have to keep that in mind. I also have an obligation to the companies to help them in any way that I can.

How did you get interested in charities?

My grandparents taught me many great values including the pure joy of giving. They always lived a modest lifestyle. Everything that they own has been immaculately cared for, and the only time they ever splurged on themselves was on vacations a few times per year. They have given so much to their church, the community, friends and family. They are so grateful for all they have, and they generously want to share with those in need. As a matter of fact, I remember many years ago when my grandfather retired. He didn’t know what to do with his time and missed work so much that he decided to go back to work for the business part time. He gave away every penny he earned, because he simply didn’t need the money. What I respect most is that with all of the years of giving I never once heard my grandparents boast or even hint about their generosity, nor have their deeds ever been advertised. They never wanted a pat on the back or any recognition, because they know the true blessing is in the giving. That’s what inspires me.

How are your grandparents doing now?

My grandfather has suffered from Alzheimer’s for nearly 11 years, and my grandmother has devoted her time to caring for him at home. They have nurses come in throughout the day to help. It breaks my heart that she has had to watch her husband deteriorate through the years, but she stands strong by his side and refuses to put him in a nursing home. She’s such a strong woman who is filled with dedication. She’s my hero!

How do you and your site support charities and charitable companies?

I try to give them as much exposure as possible on my site, such as extra ad space  (gift guides, side bar buttons, etc.) at no charge for an extended period of time. I have helped raise money for the Gal To Gal Foundation, which supports women with breast cancer, on my site but have not been approached by any other charities for fundraising. On All American Mommy you’ll find some gifts that “give back” or special promotional products where a percentage of the sales from an item goes to a particular charity.

Your commitment to help others really gives your blog a commendable purpose.

I’ve been able to experience the blessing of giving myself and it’s a wonderful feeling! My passion is to take what I’ve learned and use it to help others. Helping others and giving is just a part of my personality and the way I was raised. You don’t need money to give – give of yourself, give your time, think outside of yourself and you’ll feel great about doing it!

What are your requirements for supporting companies that support their communities?

None really. If they’re doing something great within the community I want to share it with the world!

I noticed that you have written about domestic violence on your website. What advice would you give to a woman who is currently experiencing the terror of domestic violence and does not know where to turn?

Get out now! Seek help wherever you can find it, and use the resources available to you. The internet is a great place to start! Seek the help of a friend or local organization that can get you into a safe living environment and help you get back on your feet. Check out this website for assistance.

Are there any other charities near and dear to your heart?

LOVE Inc. Churches get together and network as affiliates in a most inspiring outreach program. This organization is so willing to help those in need all over the US that they will not turn anyone away who seeks help. They also provide references for other services available within the community.

Since you have told us that blogging does not provide you with enough financial support to be a full time job, what would be your ideal career?

It has always been my passion to be part of something that is meaningful. I would love to work for a company or a charity that is doing something for the greater good of their community and helping people who really need it! Being a business owner in the past, I don’t want to work for a company that only cares about the bottom line. Helping others is what I enjoy doing most, and that’s where All America Mommy is leading me.

It is such a pleasure to see and hear about what moms all across America are doing to make the world a better place. Tonia, thank you so much for taking the time to share your mission with us. Any organization out there that has your support is so fortunate! And any moms reading this, who may be considering starting a blog, will certainly be inspired by the information you shared with us today.

Please visit Tonia’s website, All American Mommy, by clicking here. Tonia McAllister can be reach via email at allamericanmommy@gmail.com.

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