USA (MNN) — In the U.S., Mother’s Day is just around the corner. According to the National Retail Federation, 84-percent of U.S. adults will celebrate the occasion on Sunday. NRF also predicts consumer spending will hit a new record high: $25 billion.
India Partners’ Donna Glass suggests thinking “outside the box” this year as you plan a gift for mom. “Cards are nice. Flowers are nice. But is that needed? No,” she observes.
“Flowers will wilt and die. A card ends up in recycling, eventually.”
Why not change a life in mom’s honor instead? Through its in-country cohorts and financial support from people like you, India Partners offers a six-month training program to disadvantaged women. It’s part of their work towards “an India rich in hope, justice, and compassion.”
The tailoring program teaches women how to operate a foot-powered sewing machine and make clothing. These skills are simple yet life-changing for moms like “Pidi.”
Pidi and her husband struggle to provide for their two young children. Although Pidi’s husband works, his job only provides 2,000 to 2,500 rupees – or, $28 to $35 USD – per week. It’s not enough to support a family of four, so Pidi seeks work as a day laborer. It’s back-breaking labor, but this job is also the only option for people with limited education.
“She didn’t have any qualifications; she only studied through the sixth grade.”
Everything changed when Pidi got accepted into India Partners’ tailoring program, Glass says.
“She was just really excited about it because she knows that she can work from home, and she can take care of her house,” Glass says. “[Pidi] was really excited to go through the training, and to learn all the different models of clothes, the different dresses and skirts.”
There’s more to the tailoring program than job skills. It’s about empowering women like Pidi.
“Because [Pidi] can work on her own schedule…she can earn quite a bit more. She hopes… she’ll be able to earn [enough] money to supplement her husband’s income.”
…in mom’s honor
This year, consider making Mother’s Day a “team” event. Team up with your mom, or a mom you know, to help a mother in India.
“For $100, you can make a difference in a woman’s life and the life of her family.”
As explained here, your gift offers her a chance to attend a tailoring school for six months and learn valuable sewing skills. Once she graduates, she will receive a free sewing machine that will enable her to start a home tailoring business.
“There are 60 women who are going to graduate in June and each of them are going to receive a brand new sewing machine,” Glass says.
Photo courtesy of India Partners