I’m a busy mom, and I don’t make a point of watching the news every day. When the telly is on at our house you’re likely to see parades of princesses, talking trains and singing mermaids in lieu of global news coverage, and I’m alright with that. Being “informed” these days means knowing when my daughter needs to wear her tie dye field trip shirt to kindergarten, or when it’s my son’s turn to bring snacks to preschool.
Sometimes, though, national or worldwide events make such an impact that the news makes it past my self-imposed bubble and into my eyes, ears and heart. Such was the case on November 8th as news of Super Typhoon Haiyan was broadcast online, on the radio and on every televised news program.
I listened to statistics, stories and descriptions of the conditions people in the Philippines were enduring. And what I pictured - what I knew to be true – was that mothers, children and families were suffering. I knew each of my family members – my most important people – were accounted for. At the end of the day we broke bread together as a family in a warm house, then tucked our two healthy children snugly into bed. My heart ached for families missing loved ones. Thirsty women and children – surrounded by blue ocean – with no clean water to drink. People hungry and without food, weary and without shelter. I needed to notice. I needed to hear. I needed to do something.
When I became a mom, I became a caretaker. I kiss boo boos, soothe hurt feelings, bathe, feed and nurture my children day after day. I am fueled by instinct and love, and I am aware of the needs of my children in a powerful way. Nothing before motherhood compares to the acute awareness of someone outside myself that accompanies motherhood.
Motherhood and compassion are inextricably entwined, and I believe one of our greatest responsibilities as moms is to teach our children empathy and show them compassion in action.
Natural disasters offer an opportunity to help one another and offer hope – even for busy moms with growing families. So how does a busy mom take care of the world while caring for her children?
Talk to your kids about events that affect people around the world. Use age appropriate language and let them hear it from you, not the nightly news.
Pray for children and families in war or disaster zones, or those experiencing poverty. Share your gratitude for the blessings in your life out loud with your children.
Support a cause that matters to you, like sponsoring a child in poverty or sending money to an aid organization after a natural disaster, your family’s gift will make a difference.
Your family can impact the world for good right where you live. The holiday season is upon us, and now is the perfect time to volunteer with your entire family. Visit a nursing home to brighten the day of older folks in your community, or volunteer at your local homeless shelter.
These three difference-making organizations support the work of MOPS, and your family can support their good works:
1,350,900 children are currently sponsored by families like yours through Compassion International. Compassion has partnered with local churches in the Philippines since 1972, and it is estimated that over 100 Compassion church partners and nearly 20,000 children they minister to have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
If you’ve ever packed a box for Operation Christmas Child, you are already familiar with the impact of Samaritan’s Purse. After Typhoon Haiyan displaced an estimated 580,000 people, the organization responded by meeting emergency needs including water filters, protective tarps and family food packets, and more emergency aid is on the way.
World Vision brings sponsors and donors alongside over 4 million children around the globe. In the coming months they’ll open about 40 Child-Friendly Spaces in the Philippines in areas where emergency food and water have already been distributed. These spaces will provide a safe place for children to resume learning, play, and also emotionally recover from the typhoon and its effects.