Help moms around the world with these Mother's Day ways to give back

Mother’s Day is a chance to celebrate, pamper and shower moms with love. But for many moms around the world, this Mother’s Day will still see them struggling to make ends meet. If your mom is one of those who “doesn’t need a gift” (just her baby), here are a few ways to warm her heart with more than a hug.

Help mothers around the world

The war in Ukraine has displaced millions of women and children. Organizations from around the world have gathered at Ukraine’s borders to help those forced to flee. Many groups are providing chances to help not just these women but women everywhere who are in need. Save the Children and World Vision are two organizations featuring gift and donation guides. Their catalogs list wide varieties of donation options including $ 45 for supplies helping at-risk newborns, $ 50 toward hunger funds and $ 75 to help girls with education and health care.
      Women For Women International’s main focus is women who survived or fled wars and conflicts. Their programs teach “social and economic skills” to help women better their lives. They are currently working in Poland to help refugee women and children from Ukraine.
        “We are working to support mothers and their children who have fled from Mariupol to Poland. After weeks spent in shelters — often subjected to sexual violence and without access to water, heating or food — these survivors are severely traumatized by their experience,” wrote Laurie Adams, CEO of Women for Women International in an email to CNN.
          “An emergency donation to our Conflict Response Fund, in honor of Mother’s Day, will help women affected by the war in Ukraine and at-risk women in active crisis zones like Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria and Ethiopia,” she added.
          If you know an expecting mother or new mom, Every Mother Counts is an organization specializing in global maternal health. Started in 2010 by Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts works to make pregnancy and childbirth safer in places in need of better maternal care.
          Courtney Yannacci, Director of Development & Engagement at Every Mother Counts, says that donations received over Mother’s Day weekend will be matched up to $ 100,000.
          “Maternal health is a human right. However, both in the US and abroad, many mothers and pregnant people still lack access to the quality, respectful and equitable maternity care they need. Given the unpredictability of this moment, the need to support moms is as urgent as ever,” Yannacci wrote in an email to CNN.

          Volunteer together

          Nothing can take the place of spending quality time with your mom. Try making the experience one to lift both of your spirits while bettering the world through volunteering. Volunteer Match is a good way to find a project or cause near and dear to your (and your mother’s) heart. Volunteer Match lists volunteering opportunities ranging from the “crafty” like painting and gardening to the “cerebral” like teaching and advising. Just put in your ZIP code and area of interest to find what is available.
          Rachel Kestner, Director of Marketing at Volunteer Match, writes, “Volunteering with a maternal figure in your life can be an impactful way to connect to a cause you care about and start a meaningful conversation. From social justice to the environment, education to health care, animals to the arts — your passion can fuel change in your community.”
          A good way to help mom around the house while doing some spring cleaning at the same time is gathering unwanted household items, clothes and other items and donating them. Look for local shelters, churches or organizations like the Salvation Army or Goodwill and see what items they currently need. It’s another way to do good with mom. And you can surprise her with brunch afterward.
          Margie poses with the letters she's received from Love For Our Elders.

          Lift older moms with letters

          Here’s another way to do something nice for someone other than your own mom. Love For Our Elders, is a program Jacob Cramer started when he was 13 years old, after he began visiting a senior living community as a way to honor his grandfather. He saw how lonely some of the residents were and began writing letters to them. Since 2013, Love For Our Elders has mailed out more than 250,000 letters to seniors around the world.
          “On Mother’s Day, it’s important that we show our mothers and grandmas how much we love them,” Cramer writes. “We can also honor mothers who may not be able to celebrate with family, and all it takes is a letter.”
          They currently have a list of people who have been nominated to receive letters, including Beth, a single mother and retired nurse who loves Harley-Davidson motorcycles and scary movies. And Irene, an 83-year-old who lost her husband to dementia in 2020.
          You can also nominate a mother you think could use a little extra love this year.

           Memorialize mom 

          If spending time together is not possible, keep mom’s memory alive through a StoryCorps recording. StoryCorps has released new animation stories around the theme, “Listening to Mom.” Their site describes the stories as, “stories of motherhood in many different forms to offer you joy, peace, understanding, and a chance to think about the mother figures in your life and what they mean to you.”
          Through the StoryCorps app, you and a loved one can discuss memories and stories about your Mom, which will be archived and available to share with future generations. 
            It’s just another way for you and your loved ones to connect and celebrate your mom on this special day.
            Happy Mother’s Day.

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