Caring. Nurturing. Loving. Helpful. Mindful. These are the most common words used to describe our moms and words that most any mom could use to describe herself. With the celebration of moms coming up this weekend, why not change it up from the usual Mother’s Day festivities and help celebrate other moms who are less fortunate?
Mother’s Day is May 10, and what better way to celebrate than helping other mothers and families in need? Take a look at these organizations that serve mothers, families and children in need and learn how you can help these organizations and what you can do on your own this Mother’s Day.
LUTHERAN SERVICES OF GEORGIA
Since 1981, Lutheran Services of Georgia has been helping families across Georgia by providing programs, and necessary items to in-need families in 7 cities. Partnering with DCFS (Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Family and Children Services) they also provide specialized foster and adoption programs for orphaned children in Georgia.
In addition to applying to be a foster parent or adopting a child, you can volunteer as a Family Intervention Services Volunteer for Youth Family and Permanency. This entails supervising parent/child visitations, and providing childcare services to participants of the training sessions or parenting groups. You can also serve in helping “refugees” become familiar with their surroundings by teaching them how to take public transportation and shop for groceries, and by connecting them with other community resources and programs. Sign up to volunteer with LSG’s May 30th Appreciation Celebration!
Please visit http://www.lsga.org/ to learn more about Lutheran Services of Georgia and their programs.
To learn how to become a foster parent, please click here.
To learn more about the adoption from foster care process, please click here.
For infant and baby adoption inquiries, please click here.
For a full list of how you can volunteer your time, click here.
Emmaus House uses donations to provide struggling families in poverty with essentials, such as a Georgia ID, groceries from the food pantry, furniture bank vouchers, health care assistance, help with rent and utilities, as well as parenting education classes and a "Parent Cafe."
Emmaus House offers the "A Great Start" program to struggling parents with children ranging in age from the prenatal stage to five years old. The program is to teach good parenting techniques from the beginning of the child's life to form a strong family foundation for the future. Not only do parents receive instruction, but dinner, childcare and other supports that will help the family unit.
The Parent Cafe' is designed to bring parents from all backgrounds together to discuss, support and share parenting tips and ideas, as well as helpful information and resources when it comes to parenting. This cafe is a judgement-free zone, and is intended to help encourage parents to build a social network and a sense of community with other parents in their same neighborhood.
Please visit http://www.emmaushouse.org/ to learn more about Emmaus House and their programs.
To learn more about about programs for children, parents and families at Emmaus House, click here.
To make a donation to Emmaus House, click here.
THE MIRACLE FOUNDATION
The Miracle Foundation’s mission to empower orphans to reach their full potential. Their work is to “turn orphanages into functioning, loving homes where orphan children can thrive and transform the story of their lives.” They assert that every child is entitled to a stable, nurturing and loving environment, and that every child has the right to clean water, electricity, nutritious food, high-quality healthcare, and an excellent education. The Miracle Foundation also believes in equal opportunity, guidance, the right to be heard, spiritual freedom, and the right to be protected from neglect. The Miracle Foundation strives to “help people help themselves” and partners with orphanages to ensure they are up to code and have the best staff available for the children.
You can help support the work of The Miracle Foundation by donating money, or if you’re one of those wanderlust individuals, you can become an ambassador and immerse yourself in India’s culture. The ambassador program allows you to see first-hand where your financial contributions are going and meet the children whose lives you’re touching. Each trip includes some sort of hands-on project, depending on what the current needs are at the time of your trip.
To learn more about The Miracle Foundation, please visit http://www.miraclefoundation.org/.
To make a donation to The Miracle Foundation, click here.
To learn more about becoming an ambassador, click here.
CHILDREN'S RESTORATION NETWORK
Children’s Restoration Network has been working with homeless mothers and their children for more than two decades. They help more than 6,000 children, spanning 134 shelters and homes in Georgia each year. Children’s Restoration Network’s efforts include collecting toys, clothing and other gifts for kids aged infant to 18 years old via their 12 Days of Caring program. They also host a wrapping party each year for volunteers to get together and, you guessed it, wrap up all the gifts for the kids.
If you’re looking to volunteer sooner than November 28 (when the 12 Days of Caring program kicks off) then you can volunteer to help older teens and homeless mother’s build their resumes and create email accounts for them so they have a better chance of ending their homelessness and gain employment. And their tactics seem to be working. According to Development Director Ben Minor, “Over the final quarter of 2014, 89 percent of participants in the career workshops found jobs within two-to-three months of attending the workshop.” These workshops take place twice a month.
CRN also collects school supplies and new book bags for kids going back to school in their “Back 2 School” campaign. This effort helped 5,500 children get what they needed to start their school year off on the right track—and they had enough to ensure that kids who moved into shelters had a new book bag waiting for them.
There is also their “Project One on One” program, which is something you can get involved with between now and the Back 2 School program. Project One on One is a weekly tutoring program for children who are in need and high-risk
To learn more about Children’s Restoration Network and their programs, visit http://childrn.org/.
If you don’t live in the Atlanta area, and want to donate to another deserving nonprofit that does a lot for the state of Georgia, click here.
Care is an international non-profit organization that has been helping families in the poorest communities all over the world for the past 70 years. Their headquarters are in Atlanta, but they also have “field offices” in seven other U.S. cities, including Boston; New York; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Miami; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Seattle. The organization’s main focus is on women and children, and educating boys and men about gender equality. According to the Care website, women produce half of the world’s food, and only make ten-percent of the world’s income. They fight to help with global poverty by fighting this injustice. Other efforts are focused on violence against women and child marriages. They provide educational programs and tools to help create change that is sustainable in the communities in which they work.
Care is funded by corporate partners and other donations from individuals to its cause. How can you help these young women and children? You can donate financially or donate your time. Donate your time by signing up with their Care Action Network, which is currently comprised of more than 200,000 advocates across the United States. These advocates help spread petitions and awareness about the gender equality and poverty issues around the world, and communicate with representatives in Congress.
To learn more about Care, visit www.care.org
To learn how to donate, click here.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Another way to help women and children in need that a lot of people don’t think about, is to donate bras, undergarments and feminine hygiene products to women and children shelters. These items are often overlooked, because women’s specific needs aren’t always on the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to homelessness. These women need feminine hygiene products, too, and if you’re homeless, how are you supposed to get these things? It’s an integral part of a woman’s life. And everyone deserves to be clean, comfortable and sanitary.
There’s even an initiative that was started by three women on Instagram called “Period Packages,” which will provide women with the products they need when they have their periods. The packages and their contents are possible through donations on a Go Fund Me Page.
Another organization helping homeless women with receiving feminine hygiene products is a group called “Distributing Dignity,” where they not only distribute pads and tampons, but also bras. Fun fact: The organization’s co-founder is Reba McEntire.
To learn more and to donate money or products to Period Packages, click here.
To learn more and to donate to Distributing Dignity, click here.