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

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