Monday, April 21, 2014

Let's Help Moms on Mother's Day!

Three years ago, when I thought about Mother's Day, I just wanted to sigh… So Kate and Guru and I decided to look at it from a whole new perspective. We saw it as an opportunity to help moms in need. While we were figuring out what exactly to do, some awesome readers told us about how they were instead putting together Mother's Day gift bags for women living in a domestic violence shelter in their town. 

We were like: THAT IDEA IS GENIUS. Then we asked them very politely if we could steal it. Of course they said yes. 

So we threw together a Mother's Day party in a week and put together over 100 gift bags for moms in domestic violence and family shelters in Fairfax, Virginia (where we live). Then we did  it again last year. And other readers from all over the US and Canada did it, too. AND IT WAS ALL INCREDIBALLS and it made me ugly cry with how beautiful people can be. 

And Mother's Day was born again for me.

We're doing it again this year and you're invited! If you live anywhere near Fairfax County, VA then come on! 

Friday, May 9th from 5:30-7:30pm

Fairfax Presbyterian Church (10723 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030)

Bring your kids, your bad self and some donations for the gift bags! If you can't swing that, just come on down and help us get everything organized. 

Kids of all ages are welcome! There'll be fun things for them to do and ways for them to help. We're also collecting stuff for kids at the event (see below for details).

Don't live near us? Don't think you can swing a long drive? NO PROBLEMO. If you like this idea, steal it! Make a gift bag or two for a shelter in your community. Just leave a comment below and I'll update this post with places/locations as they form.

Here's the sign up genius with all the stuff we need. 
We asked the shelter's staff and they helped us come up with a list of things the moms need and stuff they'd like. Feel free to sign up to donate or to copy the list for your Mother's Day party:

Hooker, please. The more the merrier. Here's the Facebook invite if you want to share it or RSVP: FACEBOOK INVITE

We're asking kids to donate their gently used, freshly laundered stuffed animals and backpacks/tote bags. Talk to your children about what it means to be homeless. About how scary it might be for a kid to leave their home and all their stuff behind to stay in a shelter with their mom. And how when they arrive at the shelter or the safe house with nothing, sometimes they get a bag with stuff in it - a teddy bear to snuggle, some clean socks, some crayons, a coloring book. Think about what that bag of stuff would mean to that child. 

Your kid could be the hero that donates the bag.

There were years where I was pregnant or nursing every 2 hours or wrangling tiny people and completely exhausted always and I could never have done this. If that's you right now, IT'S OK. High five, woman, it's not your year to help and don't you even sweat it. Maybe you don't have any money to buy stuff, or extra time to volunteer. Been there, too. Or maybe your mom isn't here anymore or isn't that great and the whole idea of this just isn't something you feel ok about. I get that, too. It's both cool and the gang.  

If nothing else, maybe we could help Mother's Day matter a little more by reaching out to a woman who we know is struggling. Maybe we could try and LIFT HER UP somehow. Send her our best wishes or prayers (if she's into that). Write her an email telling her that we get how hard she's working even if it seems like no one else does. That we see her, and know she's amazing and special. 

Just an idea.

Love, Lydia

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013


  1. Would love to do this in the Philadelphia area!! Great idea!

  2. This organization provides Mother's Day gift bags to those in northeastern Massachusetts (Essex County/Merrimack Valley). Goes through social workers that access the non-profit's donations for children.

  3. In the area, but can't get there at 5:30-7:30. I have signed up to donate. May I drop off items in the church office just before the event?

  4. You know what I'd love my husband to do for Mother's Day? Clean out the closet where we hide everything we don't know what to do with. And then donate all the stuff we don't need to the thrift store run by the local women's shelter. If he could do that with the toddler while I watch chick flicks in another room, I'd be thrilled.

  5. I am organizing an event in the Salt Lake City area to benefit a local domestic violence shelter. The event will be held in my home in South Jordan on May 7th at 10:00am. Kids are welcome. Anyone interested in attending or donating can contact me via email

  6. I have organized a drive here in Wichita Falls, Texas. And with the amount of community support I have received, we are now going to make it an annual event! Thank you for the inspiration!!!!!!

  7. Thanks for the one last thing. We live in the area but in traffic, at those times, probably an hour away. As I was trying to figure out how to wrangle my three kids under 5 and join you...I got to the "one last thing". I totally recognized that as much as I want to do good for some other mamas, this is not the year for me. Thanks for making me realize it is ok to be exhausted and not beat myself up about it.

  8. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative
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  9. I just saw this now, and I just want to say that this is a perfect Mother's Day event. Really really perfect. I hope you do this again next year and I'll be sure to join. Kudos!




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