Sunday, April 5, 2015

Helping Moms in Need on Mother's Day!

I had always thought Mother's Day was a tough nut to crack. It seemed to be less a day of rest or a celebration of my maternal awesomeness than a reminder that being a mom is a 24/7/365 type of gig and that our small overlords have decreed that no breaks are allowed. Mother's Day often left me feeling like a I wanted to sit in a chair and sigh, while looking sadly out the window.

Then four years ago, all that changed. A couple of readers shared with us that they were making gift bags for moms in their local Domestic Violence Shelter. We asked if we could copy their idea and they said HECK YES. So we threw a party and invited all our friends and made over 100 swag bags for women in domestic violence and homeless shelters in our community. By helping others, my perspective completed changed and Mother's Day suddenly became awesome. Here's an example:

Before: I'm not really sure why my husband and kids thought I would like lemon raison oatmeal. It actually looks and smells terrifying. 
After: It was so sweet of them to make me something for breakfast, even if it does cause vomiting. 

Before: Why do I have to unload this freaking dishwasher on Mother's Day?? ONE DAY NO DISHWASHER - That's all I ask! GAH!
After: Thank God I have a dishwasher. Dishwasher, you are a precious angel that makes my life easier and you never ask for anything in return or roll your eyes at me when I say no more Xbox.

When I made Mother's Day about being of service to other women, everything else about that holiday clicked into place. 

I'm so happy to invite you to our fourth annual 
Mother's Day Party on Friday, May 1st! 

If you don't live near me, you can always do something on your own! Get together with a couple of your buddies or highjack your Bunco or Book Club or Play Group meeting this month. You could even just skeedaddle over to the Dollar Store with your kids and make one bag for one mom in crisis. Participating doesn't cost a lot and it feels awesome. You're acknowledging another mom, one who will probably receive nothing, and letting her know that YOU SEE HER & YOU GET IT.  

If you want more info on what to put in the bags and how to get it all organized, click here for our sign up genius or check out our graphic below. We worked with Shelter staff to figure out a good mix of things that the moms want and need. 

Want to get your kids involved? Have them clean out their toy boxes and book shelves! They can help other kids and make a big difference. Most children who arrive at domestic violence shelters come with nothing. Your kids can help provide them with basics that can mean the world to them. See the graphic below for more ideas.

If you do live near me, head on over! Bring the kids! Prepare yourself to be aggressively hugged by me while I also yell at my children to stop doing that! 

Date Friday, May 1st
When: 5-6pm accepting & sorting donations
6-7pm making Mother’s Day gift bags
Where: Fairfax Presbyterian Church
10723 Main St, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Who:     To benefit women at the Patrick Henry Family Shelter, The Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter, Duffy House, and Artemis House.

UPDATE on 4/9/15: Our friends at the shelter have told us that the residents really need feminine hygiene products and undergarments. We'd love to accept new underwear and new or gently used bras, in all sizes.

Feel free to share any of this info with anyone who might want to pitch in!

(c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2015

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  1. If you’re looking for another idea, our church does Safe Motherhood Kits through IMA World Health. They are $25 each if you want to just throw money at the problem but you can also put together kids yourself. They go to pregnant women in developing nations like Haiti and Sudan. I have to tell you, nothing is more humbling than looking at one of these kits with a bar of soap and scalpel and imagining delivering your own baby with just those tools. And as if that isn’t horrifying enough, we all know the delivery is on average just a day of your life… even worse perhaps is the little hat and tunic for the baby and imaging that’s all you had to care for them with after birth. No fancy bouncy seat to put them in or bobby to save your tired arms while nursing, not even a diaper. It truly makes you grateful. Use this link if you’re interested or curious, it lists all the items in the kit: .

    1. We did that a few years ago - we raised lots of birth kits and some direct donations for groups working with mothers in developing countries. It's hard to get medical supplies into places like Sierra Leone, sometimes though. And many medical groups will not accept kits that we make because they're not considered medically "sterile". It's such a great cause though.

  2. Would you hate me if I totally did this same thing in my community because it is AMAZEBALLS.

    1. Oh my gosh!! I would love it!! Let me know if you need any help and how it all goes!

  3. We stole your idea and did a shelter in Md this year. Thanks so much as it was a wonderful idea! It's nice to be able to do something tangible like this rather than just blindly donating money.




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