Saturday, May 7, 2011

Who's Your Mama?

Tomorrow, April 8th 2011 will be Mother’s Day. Here in the US alone we spend over $14 Billion dollars on cards, flowers, meals, gift certificates, jewelry and more to tell our Grandmothers, Moms and wives (where applicable) that we love them. And with the exception of the really expensive jewelry they probably put it all away (except the perishables) after making a show of how great it all is for one day – never to be seen again.

You can read a very interesting history of what has become today’s Mother’s Day at Mother's Day Central.

Traditionally mothers have been viewed as nurturing, caring, loving people. Greeting card companies, florists, chocolate manufacturers and department stores encourage that viewpoint – especially this time of year.

And while I have nothing against free enterprise, one has to wonder if there isn’t a better way to honor one’s mother. There is and this year you can all help to make a HUGE difference in Mother’s Day.

What if you could give your mother a public declaration of your love and, at the same time, help children on a global scale? Well – you can.

To Mama With Love is a collaborative online art project that, while letting you honor your Mama by creating a “heartspace” also raises money to invest in some incredible women who are helping change the world. Created by Epic Change, the people who brought you TweetsGiving, this is truly a fantastic project.

The Women And Their Projects

Started last year in time for Mother’s Day 2010, To Mama With Love focused on raising money to build a dormitory for a school in Arusha Tanzania. Shepherds Junior School was started in 2004 by Mama Lucy Kamptoni. Using income from raising chickens, the school started with only 6 students. Today over 450 children receive an education as the school continues to grow.

This year three more amazing women will be able to get help through this project. I am going to give you the brief biographies of each of them as posted on the To Mama With Love website:

Recently named one of TIME's 100 most influential people and Newsweek's 150 Women Who Shake the World, Suraya Pakzad is an outspoken Afghan activist on behalf of the rights of women and girls. She originally founded the Voice of Women Organization (VWO) to educate girls in Kabul in secret schools under the Taliban, and has since expanded to support and assist underprivileged women and children throughout Afghanistan.

At 19, New Jersey native Maggie Doyne used her life savings from babysitting to start Kopila Valley Children's Home in Nepal, which has grown to a home for over 40 children, and a school serving over 200 students. Now, at just 23 years old, Maggie's work has been featured in the New York Times, and her remarkable story has earned her the DoSomething & CosmoGirl awards.

Renu Shah Bagaria is the founder of Koseli, a center for children in Kathmandu, Nepal, who, due to their economic circumstances and the country's recent civil war, live in the city's streets and slums. Koseli, which means "gift", provides education, food and tender loving care for over 75 young students, and, in the evenings, hosts an adult education program for local women.

The goal is to raise at least $65,000 USD to invest in Mama Lucy's secondary school in Tanzania, Renu & Maggie's schools in Kathmandu & Surkhet, Nepal, and Suraya's women's shelter in Afghanistan.

Over 95% of funds collected through heartspace sales will be invested directly in these remarkable women. The remaining 5% represents PayPal & wire fees associated with donation processing & disbursal.

(That’s the end of the “lift” from their website.)

When you think about it sending 95% of funds raised to assist these women is absolutely awesome!

How it works:
If you want to honor your own mother or another woman in your life click here now: To Mama With Love and sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account.

If you don’t have a woman in your life that you’d like to honor (which can be for any number of reasons) then please honor my Mom. She’s an incredibly feisty 90 year old who came to the USA with her mother while a teen and built a wonderful life.

Mom At Her 90th Birthday Luncheon

To honor her just click here: Charlotte Weissenstein. Then click on Add Funds. After you've made your contribution, go back and tag her wall if you want to leave her a message. Your contribution will go far towards helping the projects mentioned above.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

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