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Not Too Busy to Care

by Liz

essentials

December 4, 2013

Not Too Busy To Care

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

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

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.

Give

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.

Take action

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:

Compassion International

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.                             

Samaritan’s Purse         

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                     

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.

How do you help those in need?

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Related topics: Parenting, Loss, Liz, Fear, Family

Share your thoughts

We have had the wonderful opportunity to serve in various ministry with our children serving alongside us. I am always in awe of my children's response and quick willingness to serve where there is a need.

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We sponsor two children through World Vision, participate in Operation Christmas Child, donate to our local food banks, bring meals to friends...

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I coordinated our life group's Operation Christmas Child donation. I collected the money from the other families, purchases all the gifts, and made sure the boxes were put together correctly & delivered. We don't have a lot of money this Christmas, but that shopping was definitely a highlight of the season for me!

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I donate time money or items to those in need

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I'm a Girl Scout leader and we are always looking for ways to give back to our community. We do a lot of work with the local food pantry and we also work with a local church for Operation Christmas Child. Our family also donates a lot to a nearby thrift store that benefits a Woman's Shelter.

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We participate in various service projects throughout the year with MOPS, our small group, Awana, and through our church in general. We donate money, clothes, and food to different places. We just try to help out and give back where we can.

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We love to do Operation Christmas Child as a MOPS group. My daughter is 5 this December and for the first year got to do her own Angel Tree gift shopping (with our supervision) and we chose a 5 year old girl for her to shop for. I also donate our clothes throughout the year to Birthright, Missouri Shores Domestic Violence Center, and Hospice (a wonderful second hand store in our town that helps families battling illness or living in Hospice Care). I love donating and giving back to my own community as well as to other areas in the world.

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We pack Operation Christmas Child boxes with our kids and we adopt a single mom from our church to help on Christmas present and groceries for the month of December.

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We love Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse and giving goats through World Vision. We hadn't heard of Compassion International until now, but we'll look into it. Thanks!

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I participated in Samaritan's Purse. What a great cause!

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My family helps pack food baskets at Thanksgiving for local families. We also give our time and donations to a Haitian organization that helps children and women.

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I always buy Christmas gifts for family from Partners International. This year I also used Compassion and Samaritan's Purse

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We have adopted a girl off our Angel Tree at my daughter's preschool and we are so excited to bless her this Christmas!

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We always send 2 boxes through Operation Christmas child. One for each of our children and they help fill them and send a letter. This year, I made a "Kindness Calendar" Advent Calendar. Each day is focused on someone else....we left a few stacks of quarters with an anonymous note at the local laundromat....we delivered food, clothing and toys to our area Rescue Mission, we will be taking treats to a few widows, etc.

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LOVE the idea of a Kindness Calendar, Sheila! Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks for the reminder! We like to help in ways our children can be a part too (they're 1 and 3) so we've done Operation Christmas Child, our local helping hands, giving to people in the community that we know have a need.

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I do my best to donate both time and resources to organizations that are near to my heart. I am currently helping a small food pantry by helping the founders learn how to coupon to make the best use of the money donations they receive.

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I try to find events/activities/foundations that are important to me and my family and support them in any way I can. Sometimes that's with donations, but mostly it is with my time.

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I organized a drive for students to bring in goodies to help lift soldiers' spirits while they're away from home.

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Our MOPS group donates food and items to local missions and ministries for mom's. We also participate in Operation Christmas Child. My family donates to local charities and canned food drives and we also sponsor a little girl from Columbia through World Vision.

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We donate our gently used clothes to local missions in the area. And always have toys to give. But we really need to do more that's for sure. I want my girls to have a giving heart.

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We have been SO blessed, I can't imagine NOT giving to those in need! It's easy to take for granted what we have, but the Lord keeps us humble by giving us opportunities like Operation Christmas Child boxes, bell ringer's buckets, World Vision's back pack program and Angel Tree by Prison Fellowship. Christmas is not the only time of year we give--needs happen all over, all year round.

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recently our church had a church wide collection for a local womans pregnancy center. So each of my children in the kids evening meetings participated and as a family we filled a bag for a baby boy as well as a baby girl :) It is local but one small way our family was able to help out those that need it!

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I visited an Alternatives Pregnancy Center in downtown Denver this year and they spread so much love and do such good for expectant moms. What a great organization to support!

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Every year we do the operation Christmas child. My kids get to pick out some items for another kid in another country that doesn't have all the things we do & of course talk about how we have so much more than we need.

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Our mops group donated diapers and wipes to a pregnancy crisis center.

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I created a give back to the community group. We go out into the community and help those in need. It's all done by volunteers, no money is involved. Our current project is Families in need for Christmas. We have been collecting new or gently used coats, hats ,gloves, clothes, toys, books and games. They will all be wrapped and given to the families along with homemade decorated Christmas cookies. If you would like to see more of what we do check out our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Helping-Hands-of-God-A-give-back-to-your-community-group/1377168575841216

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We donate food to a food bank at a local church. We donate items to a local pregnancy crisis center and also to a home for young single mothers. We bring meals when people are sick or had a baby.

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We are involved with each of those organizations. We sponsor two girls who have the exact same birthdays as our two girls with Compassion, our favorite holiday tradition is packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (the girls can't wait to be old enough to volunteer at the processing center), and our MOPS group finances 2 microloans with World Vision. But we also love to find people around us to help too. The girls' favorite is donating canned foods for the food bank....helping friends pack when they move, babysitting kiddos during appointments, bringing a meal, donating toys, random acts of kindness that even kids can do at whatever age. :)

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We make a point to serve as a family, packing shoebox gifts for OCC, working at a food packing event putting together special meals for malnourished kids, serving in our local church, etc. I love that my son's preschool also collects items to donate at Christmas to the homeless shelter instead of having a class party.

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My family will buy gifts and food for a family in need.

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My Family (the adults) donate to charity in the community vs. giving Christmas gifts.

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We sit down with our daughter a few times a year and go through her toys to donate to a children's home.. usually around holidays or her birthday. We explain to her that not everyone is as blessed as we are and we need to help and care and share. We also participate in Operation Christmas Child every year. We try to help locally as well as much as we can by donating clothes, food, etc to local shelters or just people/families in need. We also participate in meal trains in such with groups we are involved in during and after hardships such as deaths, surgeries or even good life changes like a new born baby.

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I think the biggest thing I can do in my little world is have my eyes open. Sometimes I think it might be easier to donate food, blood or toys to organizations, but my very own circle of friends might be in need. I might be able to help. Sometimes a mom might need a hand with her kids so she can get groceries alone, or read a book. Maybe there is a family that could use a meal, or someone that just needs a friend. Yes there are GREAT opportunities to give on a local or even global level, but why not try to identify the immediate needs around us, as well.

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Our MOPs group packs shoeboxes and help at the warehouse to get them shipped out. I think that is super fun! Also this year we are looking at helping a Alternatives pregnancy center getting items together for a mom that decides to choose life!

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Our MOPS group has collected items for local women's shelter, made fleece blankets for our local pregnancy support center Have paid for someone else's food in line behind me Pray for those in need Serve food at church to those who don't have a Christmas dinner, this is 2nd annual year

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We always try to keep our ears open for those in need around us during this time of year. Invite them to dinner or surprise them with some gifts or homemade candies.

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We love to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, although we missed the deadline this year. Super bummed. Looking for another service opportunity for my children.

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We packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. Our MOPS group is doing a toy drive for a local children's hospital as well. And our church is having a ladies activity that involves donating to local families in need.

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We pack shoeboxes as a family for Operation Christmas Child.

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It is so easy to forget the plight of the world when we are comfortable in our home. We have tried to instill a sense of compassion in our two little ones, through packing OCC shoe boxes, working with Compassion International, etc. It's hard to choose the right balance of how much information to provide at the young tender ages they are - but we pray for wisdom on how to teach them. :) They are not the only ones that need the lessons though - Mom forgets sometimes, too!

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I am always touched by how empathetic my daughter's heart is at just 5 years old. When I take the time to explain the reality of the world - that bad things happen but we can pray, we can help, and Jesus cares about the people in trouble - it is an opportunity to connect with my kids on a deeper heart level.

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Thank you so much for sharing! :) You are so right!

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