Each Mother’s Day, Old First raise money to provide blankets and other relief for people displaced by natural disaster or suffering economic deprivation– in the U.S. and around the world.
Here is how it works: you make a donation of $5 (or more) to provide someone left exposed to the elements or to want with a warm blanket or other assistance in the name of someone dear to you. The most obvious person could be your mom!
Your mom– sure. But anyone else that has been like a mother to you! Or to your kids! Or your friends and family who are mothers! The possibilities are endless, and the more generous, thankful and creative you are, the more people will be kept warm in the face of even the harshest situations.
And Old First will send that person you honor a card at Mother’s Day, letting them know that you made the donation in thanksgiving for them.
Our past support for Church World’s Service “Blankets+ Program” helped provide emergency basic needs and services to those affected by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami – a disaster that may have killed some 28,000 people and displaced more than 300,000, who are now living in evacuation sites across Japan.
Among the thousands in Ishinomaki receiving help from CWS partners is Hideaki Aonuma, 33, who fled to higher ground when the tsunami came: “There were over 1,000 people on the hill where I escaped, and we stayed there for the whole night,” he says. “Then when I came to see my house one day later, houses were destroyed and all furniture was washed away.”
Aonuma is now staying with other evacuees at an elementary school. Such impromptu evacuation sites are hosts to scores of individuals in need of assistance, especially the elderly who can’t travel very far. CWS and our Japanese partners plan to focus on these unofficial sites, as they can sometimes be overlooked.
But the Blankets+ program is also helping out in Nicaragua and Kenya, and right here in the U.S. in regions where flooding or tornados have displaced families.
And these are just the beginnings of what Blankets+ accomplishes with our contributions. For more information, check out the Church World Service website.
Please consider prayerfully who you might “buy a blanket” in honor of– on or before Mother’s Day. Think of all the people who have in one way or another been there for you, kept you protected, showed you warmth…
Kris Forest will have an information table on Old First’s Blanket Sunday on Easter Sunday, May 1 and Mother’s Day, May 8.