By Solis-Cohen, Myer [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
Poet, activist and woman, Julia Ward Howe is credited with the proclamation that brought women together:
"Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!"
Howe's call is still as powerful today, as it was in 1870. Back then, she was calling for women to work towards peace in the world. Today, the call might be for peace, for an end to poverty, for aid to immigrants and refugees. No where in the proclamation by Howe does she call for families to spend money on women.
According to The National Retail Federation, Americans spent approximately $21 billion dollars in 2015 on Mother's Day gifts. If only half that amount was used to help those in need, think of all the good we could do!
This Mother's Day, rather than spending hundreds of dollars on presents, flowers and cards, perhaps we can honor Mom by giving to her favorite charity, or donating money to a scholarship fund or sending aid to young girls in third world countries so that they may attend school.
In this day and age when families live miles apart and technology has invaded every part of our lives, the best gift we can give any woman in our lives - mother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend - is to spend time with them...sitting side by side sharing space. No need to spend money.
To all the women in my life - those who have given birth to children; those who have given birth to ideas; those who have nurtured families; those who have nurtured communities; those who have touched the hearts and minds of strangers and those who have touched the lives of people they have never met - to ALL those women, I send greetings of gratitude and love. Thank you for being who you are! You have blessed so many.
Links to organizations that will honor your Mom with a donation to help others:
Save the Children
A Child's Place
Urgent Action Fund for Women's Right