Friday Five – Charity in honour of Mother’s Day!

Friday Five – Charity in honour of Mother’s Day!

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday Five…5 things that are bringing me bliss this week! This week I am doing something a little different. In honour of Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, and since I struggle with what to buy for my mom, I thought I’d share what I did this year…a donation in my mom’s name!

Here are five worthy causes that have crossed my path recently, that I believe in and support. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many of them directly relate to moms, kids and families. Please consider donating to one of these, or share your favourite causes that are close to your heart in the comments below.

1. Kenya Spare a Camera

Meet my friend Norm, a former Kitchener native who now makes his home in California.  He’s the one in the middle, surrounded by those adorable, smiling faces!

In 2010, he had the opportunity to spend a month at Cura Orphanage in Kenya, home to children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.  While helping to raise much needed funds for the orphanage, he also shared his photography hobby with the children.  He came with donated cameras and taught them the basics of photography.  Most had never seen or used a camera, some had never seen pictures of themselves before!

Check out these beautiful images captured by Norm, and by the children of Cura.

Another visit in 2011, and it’s hard not to feel the emotion in this reunion…

Norm is off on a jet plane again, headed for Cura this week, donated cameras in tow, and I can’t wait to see the pictures and posts from this trip!  You can follow on his website, Kenya Spare a Camera, or Facebook group.

I encourage you to read Norm’s post from Mother’s Day 2011, and please consider making a donation.  And if you have any old cameras you’re not using, consider donating those too!  They will definitely be used to capture the bliss found in this remarkable place!

2. Charity: Water

I’ve posted about how much I am enjoying the audio book version of Danielle LaPorte’s White Hot Truth (release date May 16!), and I am so happy that proceeds from the sales of the book are going to two important charities; V-day and CharityWater.org.  Check out the video by clicking on the link above.  See how you can help change lives with clean water, especially this Mother’s Day in honour of moms.

3. Mary’s Place

Mary’s Place is YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo’s emergency shelter for women and families, located in downtown Kitchener. Homelessness is the only criteria for shelter.  While cash and gift card donations are always welcome, they also maintain a wish list of non-monetary items that are accepted and used for the programs.  You can also donate online here.

4. Help for Finding Joy

Rachel Martin is the single mom of 7 behind the popular blog Finding Joy, one of my favourite bloggers, and in some ways, the inspiration for Little Pockets of Bliss.  A few weeks ago, she went through the horrific experience of a fire that completely gutted their minivan.  Luckily they all managed to escape, though Rachel did suffer burns to her foot during the ordeal.

I think losses from a fire hit home for me, as my “real world” job is 911 operator for the fire department.  I handle these calls, knowing that I’m talking to someone in what is, perhaps, the worst moment of their life.  While all that truly matters is that everyone gets out safe and sound, after it’s over, the material losses are still pretty devastating.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up, to help with medical bills and the cost of replacing her van.  Due to the age of the van, the replacement value will not be much towards the cost of a new vehicle for 8 people.

5. The Strong Oaks Woodshop

My mom picked this cause for my donation in her honour, as my Mother’s Day gift to her!  She came across this post, shared by one of our favourite children’s book authors, Ben Hatke (check out his website for more info on his art and books like Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, and Nobody Like a Goblin).

Again, a devastating fire has claimed everything this company worked for.  While insurance will cover the cost of replacing the building and tools, their specialty is working with reclaimed wood, something you can’t just go pick up at the hardware store.  And while they are waiting to rebuild, their employees and their families will suffer from the lack of work.  Check out the video story of this amazing company and it’s people.  Strong indeed!

Well, that’s it for this week’s Friday Five! From my mom and me, I’d like to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!  How are you spending the weekend?  Got a great charitable cause you would like to share? Leave a comment below, or come find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!  I’d love to hear from you!

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