World Vision wants to give your Mother’s Day present to someone else’s mom

(Photo courtesy of World Vision)
(Photo courtesy of World Vision)

Conventional Mother’s Day gifts run the gamut from hand-made trinkets to flowers and chocolates. And anything that can possibly get a child’s handprint on it most certainly will.

But this year, Federal Way-based development organization World Vision is putting a different spin on Mother’s Day gifting.

The Christian faith-based aid provider has been working for more than 60 years to help provide better lives in more than 100 developing countries around the world, from Bangladesh to Burundi to El Salvador. They have provided critical items like food, clean water, sewing machines and livestock, while offering training to mothers who don’t work to earn money for their families.

This year World Vision is encouraging their sponsors to honor their own mothers by donating to mothers in need all over the world.

According to a retail survey by the National Retail Federation, American shoppers will spend an estimated $21.2 billion on mom this year; the top gifts include jewelry, flowers, books and gift cards.

That’s a lot of money to spend on gifts that, while meaningful in the moment, are often forgotten, used up or thrown away. In contrast, World Vision emphasizes that a gift of an animal to a family in need can last a lifetime. In addition they say they’ll send a free greeting card to your own mother letting her know that an animal has been donated in her name.

“Mothers spend their lives giving to their children — they give us time, energy, attention, encouragement,” said World Vision spokesperson Amy Parodi. “Nothing could be more meaningful than giving her a gift that reflects that generosity and selflessness — and the World Vision gift catalog offers a way to do that with hundreds of different gifts for families around the world.”

For $126 an individual can donate an ewe to a family in need. This animal can provide a family with wool to produce clothing and blankets, not to mention up to a half-gallon of milk each day, which provides families with essential protein and vitamins to stay healthy.

If Mother’s Day budgets are slim, individuals can still make a difference by donating two chickens for $25 or a rabbit for $19.

Seattle resident Michael Lewis says he’d rather stick to a more traditional Mother’s Day present.

“I think charity is awesome and all but giving a gift is all about the idea behind it,” he said. “Donating to charity as a gift is not really all that creative unless that person is really really passionate about that cause.”

But Seattleite Sarah Creech says she wouldn’t mind a World Vision ‘gift’ from her two children, who live in Florida.

“I think donations are great,” she said. “If my kids were to do that in the future it would show me that they are thinking more about the world than they do about me, it’s all about the bigger picture.”

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