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).
I REALLY WANT TO BUT...
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.
WHAT STUFF DO I BRING?
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:
CAN I BRING FRIENDS?
Hooker, please. The more the merrier. Here's the Facebook invite if you want to share it or RSVP: FACEBOOK INVITE
MORE ABOUT KIDS HELPING KIDS
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.
ONE LAST THING
ONE LAST THING
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.
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