Every year, I forgo buying my mother the traditional card, flowers, and jewelry for Mother’s Day. It isn’t that I don’t love her or think it isn’t important to honor her on Mother’s Day. She is an amazing woman, a great role model, and the first feminist I ever knew. But I hate the Hallmark-driven, mass-produced, buy-this-or-you-don’t-really-love-your-mom aspect of Mother’s Day. She doesn’t need a card written by somebody else to know how thankful I am for her. And she doesn’t really need any more makeup, perfume, kitchen items, or jewelry. How much more gendered can Mother’s Day ads and gifts be?
When I think about what the perfect Mother’s Day gift really is – what I want it to mean – it is one that shows her how much I love her, how much I respect motherhood, and how much I value her caregiving. It is also one that reflects who I think she is and what she stands for and values. So for me, the perfect Mother’s Day gift isn’t a gift in the traditional sense, but a donation in my mother’s name to a charity that helps mothers around the world. I am grateful that she worked so hard to keep me safe, healthy, well-fed, and educated, and I can’t think of a better way to honor her than by helping to ensure that another mother can keep her child safe, healthy, well-fed, and educated.
In case you haven’t already bought your Mother’s Day gift – or even if you have – here are some great charities that work to empower mothers around the world. Many of these charities even have special Mother’s Day “promotions” where they’ll send a Mother’s Day card on your behalf when you donate, letting your mom know about the great gift you gave in her honor.
With gifts ranging from $24 to $192, your donation can buy a safe birthing kit, maternal health care, or a woman’s small business training.
IPPF doesn’t have any special Mother’s Day donation options, but what better way to thank your mother for giving birth to you than to donate to an organization that ensures women around the world have the ability to choose when they want to start a family of their own.
With gifts ranging from $20 to $120, your donation can buy a flock of chicks, a tree, or a goat.
Make a donation to help women survivors of war rebuild their lives, and Women for Women International will send a card to your mom.
With gifts ranging from $12 to $275, your donation can buy anything from soap, art supplies, and mosquito nets to medical training for a midwife.
Our mothers fought for many of the rights we enjoy today. Make sure we don’t lose the current War on Women by donating to an organization that works to support and strengthen women’s groups around the world.