Monday, May 5, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Picks for 2014

Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 11! Are you behind and scrambling to shop this week? Looking for something meaningful? Would you like your gift to show her what an enlightened human being you have grown into as you give her a gift that helps mothers or girls in poverty around the world?

Here are my four favorite picks this year for Mother's Day Gifts that help the world's most vulnerable women and children:

#1 Girl Up
Photo Credit: UN Foundation's Girl Up Campaign
Give the gift of light! A gift of just $38  on behalf of your mom will help Girl Up and the United Nations Refugee Agency provide a solar lantern to an adolescent girl living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia where often, there is no electricity. But with a solar lantern, a girl will be safer at night and will have enough light to be able to do her school work. To buy a lamp or other gifts to benefit girls in developing nations visit the Girl Up donation site by Tuesday, May 6 at 11:59PM ET and they will send your mom a special Mother's Day card to let her know about your gift.

#2 U.S. Fund for UNICEF 
Do you prefer that your mom actually receive a physical gift? No sweat. I get it. Visit the Shop UNICEF link has both useful and beautiful gifts appealing to many kinds of mothers. So many that I'm not even going to give you a picture! Unfortunately, the timing is such that she probably wouldn't get her lovely scarf or bag for a while, but you could accompany it with a related UNICEF book, "I Believe in ZERO" by Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. It's a brilliant account of a mother whose life mission is to save the lives of children of other mothers all around the world. Funny, touching, humanizing, inspiring. says in its review: "In I Believe in ZERO, Caryl Stern draws on her travels around the world, offering memorable stories that present powerful and sometimes counter-intuitive lessons about life. I Believe in ZERO reflects her - and UNICEF's - mission to reduce the number of preventable deaths of children under the age of five from 19,000 each day to zero."

Photo Credit: Fistula Foundation
#3 Fistula Foundation
If your mother gave birth to you (I know a lot of adopted folks, so I don't assume this is the case!), she probably knows a thing or two about childbirth. What she might not know is how heartbreaking such an experience can be for the poorest women in the world with no access to birth assistance. Mothers can die from the experience or suffer a fistula. If your squeamish, skip the next sentence, but I hope you don't because fistulas happen to 75% of women who endure labor of 3 days or more and causes women to become outcasts, greatly hampering their ability to provide care for their children. An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both for life unless cared for. A woman with a fistula is too often rejected by her husband and pushed out of her village because of her foul smell. Here are two gift ideas from the Fistula Foundation.
A Mother's Day Tribute Card: A donation of $10 or more will send your mother a card from the Fistula Foundation featuring the photo of a woman and her child, taken at the Edna Adan University Hospital in Somaliland, where Fistula Foundation has long provided support for obstetric fistula treatment.
Dignity Gift Set: $175 will purchase a beautiful necklace and earring set featuring cultured pearls, the universal symbol of health and purity. 
Photo Credit: Fistula Foundation
#4 A Kiva Micro-loan
You can empower you mother to make a micro-loan and help another mother or anyone of her choosing from the website. You can go get a Kiva card of any amount to print yourself to hand to her or email to her in time for Sunday. She'll get to visit the website, view many individuals all over the world who need help to start a business to help them out of poverty, pick her loan recipient, and get updates as they pay her back. Visit their page to see a video about how their loans work:

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