No matter where they live, mothers want the same thing: to raise a healthy, happy child. Moms want the ability to provide for their children, to spend time with them as they learn and grow, surrounded by a supportive community. And for some mothers, the opportunity to do so is a given. But for many, many other women around the world — including those in the United States — these basic goals are painfully out of reach. So what can we do about it? How can we provide help for mothers around the globe?
Romper has partnered with Walgreens to provide you with seven ways you can support moms (both in our communities and internationally), and to spread awareness of Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides essential nutrients for mothers and children in need.
According to the World Health Organization, “Malnutrition is the underlying contributing factor in about 45 percent of all child deaths, making children more vulnerable to severe diseases.” And Vitamin Angels’ president and founder, Howard Schiffer, is tackling malnutrition head-on, and has been since 1994. “At Vitamin Angels,” he says, “we believe reaching pregnant women, new mothers and young children with essential vitamins and minerals is critical to giving them the opportunity to survive, thrive, and reach their full potential.”
When you shop for vitamins at Walgreens through 2017, Walgreens will donate a portion of your purchase to Vitamin Angels, and Vitamin Angels will help bring the vitamins that mothers and children in developing countries need to prevent blindness and other serious health conditions. It's just one easy way those of us who are more fortunate can get involved in the fight against malnutrition. If you want to do even more, here are seven other ways you can lend a hand:
1. Support Organizations That Provide Prenatal Care And Nutrition Help To New Mothers
If you’re fortunate enough to have access to an obstetrician and pediatrician, and your pantry is fully stocked with the food you and your child need, it's easy to forget that moms in developing countries may not have these advantages. Many international organizations work to help mothers and children stay healthy and well-nourished, and your donations can enable them to do even more.
2. Contribute Money And Supplies To Moms In Need
Support single moms and low-income families who can’t afford diapers by donating childcare supplies, baby food, and other necessities. Did you know you can even donate breast milk? (Tip: If you're buying things specifically to donate, check with a local organization before you shop. That way, they can let you know if they’re low on specific items, or if they prefer a financial donation.)
3. Pass Along The Things Your Child Has Outgrown
Babies grow out of clothes so fast, you're bound to end up with piles of cute outfits that no longer fit your child. Fill a box (or several) with used clothing, board books, and toys, and offer them to a local charity or women's organization. If you don't plan on having more kids, consider donating maternity clothes and bigger items — like strollers, pack-n-plays, or cribs — when you're finished with them.
4. Get Crafty
If you like to sew, knit, or crochet, and your family already has all the hats and scarves they need, use your creative skills to help other moms. Whether you feel like making baby blankies, warm hats for preemies, stuffed animals, or a set of snuggly pajamas, this is all stuff you can donate. To find free patterns and donation information, search the web for phrases like "crafting for a cause." Have an idea for a project that benefits a local charity? Get a few talented friends together, and start a campaign of your own.
Even if you don't have anything to donate right now, you can still make a real difference by volunteering. Look for an organization that's working to improve the lives of moms in your community. Whether it's a food pantry, a homeless shelter, or a church group, make an effort to help out a few hours a week (or even a few hours a month). Sometimes a kind voice or a hug goes a long way.
6. Encourage Others To Help, Too
Talk to your friends, whether they're parents or not, about the struggles mothers face, and urge them to help in any way they can. The next time you take action to help moms, whether it’s by supporting maternity leave legislation, donating money or supplies, or volunteering, invite other people in your social circle to take the same step, and you’ll have an even bigger impact.
This post is sponsored by Walgreens.
Walgreens will donate 1% of participating products’ retail sales made 5/23/14-12/31/17 to Vitamin Angels.
Images: fotolia, 7