In typical “me” fashion, I’m figuring out my Mother’s Day gifts at the very last minute. Being that I’m nearly 12,000km from my mom doesn’t make it any easier. My standard go-to is FTD.com where I can browse through a few dozen flower arrangements, settle on something I think is pretty and says “mom” and order everything online. But this year something stopped me.
I sat there on the check-out screen looking at the fact that for a lack-luster bundle of flowers that might live out the end of the week I was going to need to pay an additional 50% in service charges and surcharges. I certainly don’t mean to sound cheap, but when you’re already paying $50-100 on well-arranged garden trimmings, tacking on another $20-25 in charges seems excessive.
So I started thinking, what could I do that would be symbolic, meaningful and wouldn’t assist the racket of a flower industry in business? Then I remembered The Library Project, a fantastic charity organization run by my friend Tom Stader. The Library Project donates books and libraries to under-financed schools and orphanages throughout the developing world (currently largely focused on China, and Asia).
I mean, what better way to celebrate all that our mothers have done to raise us than to honour them with a donation to a cause that helps assure children have the tools to develop and grow.
And while I was just going to throw what I was going to spend on flowers at the Library Project by way of donation and let my mom know, I was happily reminded that TLP has nice looking gift cards in a variety of denominations that feature a “thanks” and a photo of children reading (or looking at the pictures at least).
Unfortuantely my lack of foresight wont allow for the cards to be delivered on time (delivery takes a couple weeks), but regardless – it’s the first Mother’s Day gift I’ve given in a long time that felt like I was actually giving something meaningful.
I’ve spoken about The Library Project before on Lost Laowai, and I can’t laud the organization enough. Their mission of using access to proper reading materials as an enabling stepping stone for pulling people out of poverty is something so fundamentally simple and yet so incredibly valuable.
So, if you’re like me and clicking around frantically for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, be sure to check out the Library Projects gift cards — or just drop the organization a few bucks on top of what you already got your mom. They really are a fantastic cause who are making a real and practical difference.