Editor's note: Guest author Kirsten Heder, wife of actor Jon Heder, is a long-time Heifer supporter. She has visited Heifer projects and serves as a co-host of Heifer's Beyond Hunger event in Los Angeles every year.
Every year, Mother’s Day comes and goes in my house with lots of joy and love. My husband and kids never fail to honor me with lovely, homemade and heartfelt gifts, and often, they give me a “duty free day”—a day of freedom from my normal mom routine. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
As a mom of three, I’m always asking myself the same things that most moms roil over. Are they eating healthy enough? Did they get the right shots? Is the homework done? Did I switch the laundry? Do they watch too much tv? On and on… any mom can surely relate. We are constantly worrying and (probably) over-thinking if we are doing the right things.
Most likely we are, and I am.
But another question I’ve been thinking on lately is just as important as the day-to-day grind: Am I teaching my children how to give?
The concept of charitable giving is not totally foreign in our home. My husband and I have been supporters of Heifer International for years. I’ve travelled to the field to visit their projects, where I visited with moms and children in the communities where Heifer works. We have so much in common—the same desire to create better lives for our children and for our global future. Heifer’s idea of Passing on the Gift resonates with my family as a sustainable solution to ending hunger and poverty on our planet. In the communities I visited, part of the resiliency created starts with Passing on the Gift. They get to pay forward to another mom, another family, another community…
So how can I pass on my passion for charity and show my children a different way to give? Heifer International helps me with that. They help me show my kids that the simple gift of an animal can provide better nutrition, improved income—but most of all, hope for the future of moms around the world.
So this year, what I want for Mother’s Day (in addition to the sweet drawings and lovely picked flowers from our yard) is to know that my children understand how and what they can do to pass on their gifts. And my hope for future Mother’s Days would be that when my children think of their mother, their first thoughts will be of compassion and a desire to serve others. To know that one of my legacies to them is understanding how to give back when we have so much.
The greatest gift I could ever receive for Mother’s Day, as a mom, is the joy of knowing that my children are consciously creating their own footprint toward changing the world.