You may not be surprised to hear that I read a lot of blogs. Mostly marketing, business and technology types which help me in my day job. At times they’re inspiring, but not usually the kind of stuff that makes my heart sing.
But this week a post made its way across my screen that I just couldn’t get out of my mind as Mother’s Day approached. This post talked about a feeling I so often have of being overwhelmed by all of the need in the world. A feeling that makes me want to avoid the evening news and then feel guilty for doing so. A feeling that, even though meaningful contribution is something I strive for in my life, there is more that I could or even should be doing.
The post went on to talk about a movement, initiated by a group called the Compassion Collective, to “take back” Mother’s Day in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe, the abolitionist and suffragette who wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870. (#StandWithLove) The idea that Mother’s Day isn’t just about a kind of love “that is pink and fluffy and soft and can be bought at the store,” resonated deeply with me. Here is how the site so beautifully describes it:
Mother’s Day IS about Love. But it’s not about commercial, comfortable love that snuggles up and stays home—it’s about love that throws open the door and marches out of our homes, beyond our fences and neighborhoods and into the hurting world to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the hurting, mother the motherless. Mother’s Day love is dangerous, revolutionary love that unites our one human family and reminds us that we belong to each other and that there is no such thing as other people’s children.
Language like this makes me think of you, my dear readers. Those of you I have worked with over the years (both Moms and Dads) who believe in the power of educating birth siblings and understand the peace and comfort that adoptive family contact provides to birth mothers.
The post also got me to thinking about some amazing organizations and resources which also embody these beliefs and whose work just makes me feel better about this world we live in.
I’ll share them here In the spirit of Mother’s Day. Maybe one of them will speak to you as they do to me, inspire you to find something that does, or just give you hope as they do me.
Five inspiring organizations that are making a difference
The book, Half The Sky, by journalist Sheryl WuDunn and her husband Nicholas Kristof sparked the creation of their non profit Half The Sky Movement and the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide which features celebrity advocates such as America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, and Meg Ryan.
Sheryl is also the presenter of an inspiring TedTalk.
Girl Rising is a global campaign for girls’ education that raises awareness and inspires action using powerful stories told in their well-done film by the same name. I saw this film with my daughter a few years ago and loved how she was able to get their message through the stories they tell.
The Compassion Collective raises funds to donate to organizations which provide aid for refugees in Europe and homeless American Youth. I just learned about this group in the blog post I referenced above. What I love about them is how they encourage donations of under $25 on the belief that donations of $5, $10 and $15 from many people combined together can change the world.
Kiva.org is a micro-lending site that lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. My daughter and I love reviewing the profiles of entrepreneurs from all over the world (and especially in Guatemala) and deciding on who we want to make a loan to.
Ix (pronounced "eye ex") is the Mayan word for water. This company was started by Francesca Kennedy who spent summers at her family home in Lake Atitlan as a child.. On a 2010 visit she was inspired to help after seeing the lake covered in algae. Ix sells adorable (and comfortable) woven leather huaraches made by Guatemalan artisans. For every purchase, Ix donates to provide clean drinking water to children in Guatemala. I love this company and these shoes - I own two pairs and frequently give them as gifts!
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your world and your stories and Happy Mother’s Day!
PS Mother’s Day is celebrated in Guatemala on May 10th each year. As I am sure you will, I’ll be taking a moment on Tuesday to remember the Guatemalan mother who made it possible for me to be a mother.