Whether this is your first time being honored on Mother's Day or your millionth time trying to find the "perfect" present, celebrating mom can be just as much fun for the giver as it is for the receiver. But this year, why not tap into the spirit of the holiday and share a little love and appreciation with the rest of the world? If you're wanting to kick the altruism level up a notch, and your favorite mom is on the same page, then you might be interested in making a donation to one of these places on Mother's Day that will leave everyone's hearts feeling full.
As a kid, you probably wrote one of those poems where each letter in the word "mother" stands for something sweet, like "M: making me soup when I'm sick." In a way, that childlike view of who a mom is and what she does gets right down to the core of motherhood: selflessness. That's not to say that moms everywhere wouldn't ugly cry tears of joy if you told them they could have an uninterrupted shower right now. But, if you know that your own mom's heart beats to the sound of philanthropy, then you'll be happy to know there are several places you can donate to on Mother's Day to honor her humanitarian spirit.
If She's All About Animals
I'm almost certain that it's physically impossible for me to drive passed a stranded turtle in the road — I have to pull over and put the poor little fella in the grass. So if the mom in your life shares her lunch with squirrels or volunteers at a local animal shelter, then you should consider these places to donate to on Mother's Day:
- Animal Equality — With a focus on ending the abuse of farmed animals, this charity has strong history of animal-friendly altruism.
- Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) — They go to court — literally — for the well-being and protection of animals everywhere.
- Best Friends — An invaluable resource for animal lovers, this locally-minded organization has virtually everything. Not only can you locate a no-kill shelter through their site, you can also learn about different ways to help animals who don't have a forever home yet.
2. If She's Gaga For Going Green
There are several variations, but there's a quote that's something along the lines of, "we only have one planet, so we better take care of it." Though post-apocalyptic films might have you thinking about terra-forming faraway planets, for now, this is the only place the world as we know it can live. So check out these charities which benefit Mother Earth:
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — For over half a century, this international organization has tirelessly worked to protect nature and preserve ecosystems that are home to a variety of flora and fauna.
- National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — With an eye on politics, government, and legislation, the NRDC blows the whistle on environmental hazards and advocates for our planet's limited resources.
3. If Home Is Where Her Heart Is
If the mom in your life knows that homelessness isn't something that just happens on television, then you'll want to check out these places where your donation will go towards helping to end homelessness and giving every human the basic right of dignity:
- Robin Hood Foundation — Like the classic tale, this organization takes from the rich (in this case, the foundation's board of directors cover all costs) and gives back to the impoverished. Since the backers of this organization have finances on lock, that means 100 percent of your donation goes directly towards ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
- Habitat For Humanity — Though it's been around for decades, this organization most memorably caught the public's eye when former president Jimmy Carter pushed up his sleeves and went to work, building homes for families in need.
- National Alliance To End Homelessness — At both local and national levels, your donations can go a long way towards giving homeless people an accessible path to having a home.
- The York Project — Instead of a traditional contribution, you can purchase a Donation Kit for homeless people. The Donation Kit includes, "socks, bottled water, and toilet paper," according to the official site for The York Project.
4. If She'd Rather Have Gills
Maybe it's because I've always lived near an ocean, but I just can't imagine living too far from the beach. If your mother is all about that #SaltLife, then she'll definitely appreciate places like these:
- Ocean Conservancy — As the name implies, this organization is all about conserving the ocean. Whether that means teaching humans about the dangers of plastic waste in the water or cleaning up beaches, they've got it covered.
- charity : water — Switching gears from saltwater to sanitary water, "“charity: water works to provide clean and safe drinking water in 26 countries around the world," as Christine Marlowe, who works with the organization, tells Romper via e-mail.
5. If She's Vocal Against Violence
Unfortunately, abuse can come in many forms and violence can affect anyone. That's why speaking out against domestic violence is so important — to shatter taboos and erase stereotypes. The organizations below aim to do just that:
- Moms Demand Action — In conjunction with Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action is comprised primarily of mothers against gun violence.
- National Network To End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) — Since it takes a village to raise a child, sometimes it takes a national network to help a child escape abuse in the home.
- Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) — Much like the previous organizations, PADV also puts donations towards ending the vicious cycle of domestic abuse.
6. If She Fights For Equality
There's absolutely no room for racism and if your mom feels strongly about that, too, then she can get behind these organizations:
- Race Forward — Tackling the issue of racial inequality head on, this organization works on both local and national scales.
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — The ACLU is practically synonymous with taking on civil rights cases — and setting some ground-breaking precedents for equality in the process, too.
- Point Foundation — Providing scholarships and a chance at academic success for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other non-binary or non-heterosexual students, the Point Foundation is a cause any mom can proudly stand behind.
7. If The Whole World Is Her Neighborhood
Growing up in the South, being hospitable was the only way the world around me seemed to be. If the mom in your life treats everyone like her neighbor, then she'll love places that work to build bridges, not walls.
- Amnesty International — Protecting the rights of humans around the world for over 50 years, Amnesty International relies heavily on volunteers and grassroot-led efforts. From exposing sex trafficking crimes to overturning inhumane imprisonments, this organization doesn't shy away from anything.
- Human Rights Initiative (HRI) — Based in Texas, this organization focuses on helping immigrants and refugees. Whether they're fleeing violence abroad or facing human rights violations right here, the HRI is there to help.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.