You know what I neglected to mention at some point during this very Marian past work week, bookended by the Immaculate Conception and Guadalupe?
(hangs head in idiot shame)
Mary's Shelter. It's a home for women in crisis pregnancy situations, and it's the fullest expression of what it means to be truly pro life. Because material assistance, spiritual support, medical and emotional care, and physical shelter. It's the total package.
One of my best friends, Karen, sells Arbonne, and she had the beautiful idea to create baskets filled with botanical skin care products to give to the mamas who call Mary's Shelter home.
I LOVE the idea of incorporating quality and beauty into charitable giving. I think it's easy enough to give leftovers, or to troll the Target dollar spot (um, guilty as charged) loading up on sparkly body wash and crappy nail polish. When Karen and I were brainstorming about how we could promote her giving baskets here on the blog, I was really struck by the idea that these moms deserved the same level of quality that I have at home in my own medicine cabinet (and in my makeup bag).
It's natural (and I'm looking in the mirror here) to go for the biggest bang for your buck when you're doing charitable giving. But I think there's something to be said for giving something a little nicer and a little higher quality than, say, the store brand mac and cheese. Even if the store brand is what you'd buy for your own family.
I want these moms to feel a little pampered. And this seems like a small but tangible way to share a little bit of joy with them during Christmas time.
It's easy enough to be pro life when all eyes are on baby. It's a further step to love and support the mama who did turn away from the clinic, who left the abusive relationship, who put school on hold to give her child a shot at life.
If this resonates with you at all, would you consider sponsoring a basket for one of these mamas this Christmas? It costs $30 (Karen is selling everything at cost and donating the packaging and shipping), and it could be a really sweet part of your family's holiday this year. Generous love for an unwed mother in a crisis pregnancy? Sounds very seasonally appropriate.
You can donate two ways. The first (and probably easiest), is by clicking here and giving directly via Paypal:
The cost per basket is $30, but any amount you can spare is so very appreciated.
(And don't worry, if you don't parle Paypal but you still want to give, please drop me an email with "Mary's Shelter" in the subject line, and I'll connect you directly with Karen to give via CC or checking account.)
Please pray for these mamas and their babies, if nothing else. It's a tough time of year to be alone in any circumstances, and they've each made a heroic choice in a culture that screams at them to do the easy thing, the thing that's no big deal and gives them back their "freedom."
Praise God for brave mothers and sweet babies who don't know how lucky they are.
(p.s. Karen's husband is the name associated with the Paypal account: "Scott Cruess" will appear on your gift receipt. Don't worry, he's a firefighter and an okay guy - he won't embezzle the funds ;)