Mother’s Day is almost here. Most of us get mom a card. Many of us like to give flowers or candy, take mom to dinner, or have a gathering at the house. But these are short-lived. The flowers wither, the food is eaten and the cards are forgotten. You’ve created memories, that’s true. But what about a gift that could create memories throughout the year? One that could empower your mother and her community? That’s right – we are talking about a gift to a nonprofit that reflects your mother’s values.
Here are our thoughts. First, find time to talk with your mother to learn what is most important to her. Ask about what is closest to her heart, those experiences that shaped her, or her vision for the future. You may feel you know her answers, but we suggest asking anyway. You may be surprised, especially if her response doesn’t match what you thought it might be. The conversation itself could be a gift: an opportunity for your mom to share her values with you.
Your next step is research. Which nonprofits bring your mother’s values to life? If she values education and treasures her alma mater your search should be simple. The same would be true if her choice is her place of worship. If her choices are children’s welfare and development, the environment, hunger, homelessness, or increasing women’s political participation you will need to research. Look online. Talk to friends, family members, and colleagues.
Before giving, do a little more research on the top two or three organizations you feel are a good match. Use charitynavigator.org or guidestar.org, or bbb.org to make sure the organization is legit. The last step before giving is to call the organization directly. Share that you want to make a gift in your mother’s honor, and that you want to encourage others in your family to join you in doing so. Ask about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.
Your next step is to get into action. Now that you know the organization you want to donate to, make a gift. Send a check or give online. The nice thing about giving on line is that some websites are set up so you can share news of your gift via social media and encourage others to give. Imagine if 10 of your friends and family members also made a gift. Your mother would be honored 10 times over.
Finally, take time to let your mom know what you have done. This is also a time to let her know about the nonprofit’s upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. She can decide if and when she wants to get involved.
Use this method to celebrate the women in your life. Consider young mothers, the women in your neighborhood who helped raise you, or perhaps a favorite teacher. If your mom has passed, honor her with a gift that keeps her legacy alive.
We wish you a Happy Mothers’ Day.
Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw