Tuesday, December 11, 2012

10 Ways to Help Now That Out Project is Over

As we wrap up our annual gift card exchange, we thought we'd share some ideas on ways you can keep helping moms and families in need. I asked Guru Louise if she had any brilliant ideas and she suggested that everyone contact Toys for Tits. I paused, wondering if it was a typo or if she was suggesting we pimp out Kate's jugs (Shock and Awe, respectively) in exchange for donations for this project.

Sadly, it was just a typo.

Here are ten suggestions for ways you can help families in need:

(1) Look around and look hard. Find those moms that you know, or sort of know, that are having a rough year. The three reasons most moms gave us for needing help:
  • A special needs child whose treatments aren't covered, whose care limits a mom's ability to work, or to find safe & adequate childcare.
  • A divorce or break-up (often with an element of abandonment or abuse that even those closest to the mom don't know about), and
  • Someone getting sick and the combo of medical costs & having to miss work throwing them in a hole.
So many people have contacted us because they asked for help from places like the Salvation Army or an Angel Tree program, only to be told that those programs were filled in October. Or because they make slightly too much money, and therefore get no help at all. Or because they are ashamed that they're struggling and can't face asking their friends and family. If you can find families like this, slip a gift card into their mailbox. If they would be too embarrassed to take it, do it anonymously. It will make a world of difference.

(2) Need help finding families like this? Ask the Guidance Counselor at your kid's school if they would be able to pass along a couple of gift cards to a student's family that was really hurting this holiday season. Or ask your preschool/day care director. Or if you go to a church, ask your pastor.

(3) Go buy stuff at a local, small, or family-owned business. These folks are really struggling.

(4) The next time you eat out, over-tip your waitress.

(5) So many moms asked us for just a little help to pay off a lay-away. Why not go somewhere they do lay-aways and ask if you can pay towards or pay off one that is all kid toys? Or stuff like winter boots and jammies?

(6) Food banks are on empty. Help fill them up.

(7) Is there a domestic violence shelter in your community? Those moms have often left everything behind and lost everything they own in acts of extreme bravery, to give themselves and their kids a shot at a better life.

Meet Ashley & Lisa from The Dose of Reality.
(8) Heap a little extra love on your kids' teachers. And think about doing something for your school's resource teachers, librarians, office staff, nurse/clinic staff, and custodians - all of whom work so hard for our kids and are not usually remembered during the holidays. (There's a pretty awesome post on teachers gifts right here, if we do say so ourselves).

(9) Join Sweet Relish! If you really want to help families in need - join their site. Click here! We get a $1 in gift cards for this project for every one of you that joins and follows me, Lydia B. Coupon. Please, we are not even half-way to our goal with them. That's $2,500 in gift cards that will not get donated.

(10) Come to the MommyLand Event with us next Monday in Virginia or the Sweet Relish party this Saturday in Charlotte, NC! If you go to the NC party you can meet our buddies Ashley & Lisa (from the awesome blog The Dose of Reality) who are clearly both insane and also hilarious. 

Or check the event page to see if there's one near you. There are five - hear that? - FIVE Mommyland events this weekend from Pennsylvania to Texas to British Columbia, Canada. We are taking this schmidt international, hookers. Or start your own event! We'll help!

We love you like a mutha,
Lydia & Kate & Guru Louise

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012


  1. Just wondering if I can get some of you wonderful people to help my family . I am a mommy of 4 kids 8 and under, we are just getting by and got hit with a tax bill we where not expecting from a trailer house we sold last year. I have entered a photo contest in hopes of winning the gift card to get my kids something for Christmas. if you could help me out that would be wonderful.Just vote for this picture. Thank you so very very much. you can vote once a day. Just copy and paste this link in your web browser.

    1. thank you thank you thank you!!!! You can vote once a day too. Thank you so much to anyone else that has voted too. I REALLY appreciate it. I am just a couple of votes from first place. You would really be making a differece in my childrens lives this Christmas. also I promisr you wont get any spam from them.

  2. When I was single, my family (parents and another single sister) would adopt a family from the school where my sister teaches(which is in a very poor area). She'd ask the nurse for a name and the nurse would supply a family's name, sizes, etc. Then, my mom, sister, and I would go on a shopping trip and have a blast. We'd get home and my dad would help us wrap the gifts and load them up into my sister's car. We'd usually include a gift card to a grocery store and a disposable camera. She'd take them to school, give them to the nurse, and the nurse would get them to the family. Now I'm not really in a position to spend that kind of money, and I live far away so the tradition has ended, but it was so much fun to do. So the idea of asking at a school, especially one in a poor area where the nurse would know about the needs, is a good one.

  3. So you don't have $ to help out another family? How about your TIME? Offer to have a playdate and let kids come over so their families can make/shop/clean/WHATEVER. You may be surprised just how awesome that could be for an overwhelmed Mom. :)
    Love from one mutha to anutha!!

  4. Also don't forget military families where the spouse is deployed, or even others that are helping out with clean-up from Sandy. I have a friend from Church, who just found out she is pregnant and is also home schooling their 2 older kids. Her husband has been helping out with the clean-up, not sure what organization he works with, and has been away basically since the end of October, with only a weekend off since. I am sure there are other Mom's like her who could use some help during this time, even if it is just an offer to watch the kids while she does some Christmas shopping and gets some time to herself.

    Jrseygirl in VA

  5. I love love love the idea of over-tipping your waitress. I was a very broke waitress at one point. When people do this, it makes a big difference. Great thinking!

  6. Yes! and Yes! and if you overtip your waitress, do it in cash! Some restaurants don't pass along tips over 15% or 18% from credit/debit cards to their staff. If you can, always tip in cash.

  7. Ok...so I am a single disabled veteran mother who can't seem to get out of the rain as of late, but I would love to do something like this for my community. Any good advice or suggestions on barriers I may have to overcome?! You ladies are an inspiration! God bless! Merry Christmas!!!




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