Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Magnificent Mamas #2: Mariska Hargitay

Fearless, dynamic and downright fabulous. These words leap to mind when Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Mariska Hargitay is mentioned. Her commitment to her work, her family and her charitable causes--mainly through the Joyful Heart Foundation, which she founded in 2004--is admirable to say the least. Some would call it epic.

And after a decade of playing Detective Olivia Benson on the absurdly successful Law & Order: SVU, she is going stronger than ever.

It's through her time on SVU that Hargitay became aware of the grim realities of sexual and domestic violence and child abuse in this country. Says Hargitay of her education on these issues, "It wasn't just in the scripts for the show, but in the many emails I received from viewers disclosing their stories of abuse, many for the first time."

Instead of turning away from the pain, Hargitay educated herself. She spent many, many hours studying the facts, she became an advocate for survivors through a Manhattan-based rape crisis program and, eventually, she started her own foundation, Joyful Heart, whose mission it is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. All this while keeping her day job!

Over the last five years, the Joyful Heart Foundation has helped thousands of people reclaim joy in their lives, guiding them toward the light of hope that shines so brightly from a newly opened heart. Hargitay's commitment, her desire to make a difference, her willingness to take hands with those struggling in shadow have paid off in ways she'll likely never know. Her work has touched the lives of so many people, in such a deep and meaningful way. And through it all, she maintains her poise, her balance and her sense of humor.

Now that's one Magnificent Mama.

Know a Magnificent Mama who has touched your life? Tell me about her here, here, here or here and you could win one of four of this week's fantastic giveaways, including a mini "swag bag" from Joyful Heart!


BrokenButterfly said...

This blog is a great one! Of course the subject matter helps tremendously in that arena. There are so many women and girls whose lives Mariska has touched through not only her work, but by virtue of the type of woman she is. Thank you for honoring her and for reminding us all about this fabulous woman!

P.S. Kudos to you Meaghan for the Magnificent Mama Mariska title. I completely concur and am amazed that you could type it out. I won't disclose the # of times it took me. :-D

Anonymous said...

OMG!! I LOVE Mariska! She's so amazing and beautiful and the work she does takes my breath away! She certainly is magnificent.

My grandmother was pretty fantastic. She mostly raised me and my sister. She taught us to be strong and proud, even though we didn't have much. She's my magnificent mamma.

xox Thanks for the chance to win :)


P.S. I hope I win the joyful heart bag! I wonder what's in ther? An autograph????

Anonymous said...

Mariska is amazing!

My own mom is a Magnificent Mama. She cared for five of us and always with a smile. She never complained or acted like it was hard. (I'm a mom of 2 now, so now I KNOW how hard she workd!!!!)

Thanks for the giveaway and for writing about sucha wonderful woman.

:) :)


Anonymous said...


My mum died when I was young (like Mariska's) but my memories of her still shape my own efforts as a mum. Her compassion and kindness are still with me. Love you, mum.

Jen T.