Giving Internationally for Mother’s Day
Last year for Mother’s Day, my brother and I decided to do something different in recognition of our Mom. Instead of giving her flowers and a card, or treating her to a day at her favorite salon, we chose to make a monetary donation in her name to a cause we knew she already supported.
As a hand-made rug maker and designer by hobby, our mother had been working with a fellow rug-maker who was helping (mostly female) villagers in Mexico create their own rugs and designs which are then sold in the United States. The project is known as the Las Rancheritas of Agustin Gonzales, Mexico.
The donation made in her name gave more than my brother or I ever imagined. It went toward opening the villagers’ first bank account which from there, taught them skills in bookkeeping and finance which were necessary for their growing business.
In January of this year, both my parents made a trip down to Mexico to the village of the Las Rancheritas. There they met the villagers, observed their modest rug making business and saw first-hand how our Mother’s Day gift had sprouted into something so much bigger than just money.
She still continues to support this group by organizing fundraisers and collecting donations which tells me that this Mother’s Day gift was better than any card or dinner out.
As the Mother’s Day holiday now approaches once again, I have compiled a list of suggestions for those of you who also wish to give the gift of giving to your mothers. Note that if you don’t have prior connections to your charity and its leadership as my mother did before we made the gift in her name, Charity Navigator has been a recommended online tool to intelligent giving.
The following are some basic recommendations, although if you know of others to add to the list, please feel free to leave a comment. (In honor of Mother’s Day and to coincide with the nature of this blog, the following are charities aiding women and each has an international scope.)
- Women for Women International helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives.
- Polaris Project is an anti-human trafficking organization working to end slavery. It has offices both in the United States and Japan.
- Girls Learn International pairs American and high school-based Chapters with partner schools in countries where girls have been traditionally denied access to education.
- Womenkind Worldwide is a UK-based group aimed at empowering women in developing countries.
- International Women’s Health Coalition promotes and protects the sexual and reproductive rights and health of all women and young people, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- Global Fund for Women advocates female empowerment worldwide by working with women’s rights groups outside of the United States.
- Equality Now is an international women’s human rights organization which operates around the globe.
- Women Thrive Worldwide spearheads efforts that shape U.S. policy to assist women and their families in the battle against poverty.