In the early 1970’s, I was living in San Francisco, going to graduate school and involved quite heavily in the anti-war movement. At the time, there was an organization called “Another Mother for Peace” which came to my attention. Founded in 1967, it’s logo showed a sunflower with the words, “War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things”. This non-partisan non-profit’s message asked all mothers to communicate with their local legislators demanding that they stand up for the principle that war must be eliminated. Because it’s mission aligned with my beliefs, I joined. I was in my early 20s and the thought of motherhood was nowhere on my radar screen. The fact that “mother” was in the title of this organization, did not dissuade me from joining their cause. It was the mission that spoke to me. Fast forward a few years and I became aware of another organization that aligned with my beliefs. It was called “Mothers Against Drunk Driving”, otherwise known as MADD. Started in 1980, this non-profit focused on eliminating drunk driving, supporting those affected by drunk driving and establish stricter impaired driving policy. I was not a mother at that time either but I didn’t hesitate to join this organization because it was their mission that spoke to me.
Fast forward to 2011 (that’s right!) and my friend, Diana McDonough came into my office asking if she could talk to me about an idea she had. She proceeded to lay out her vision of what would become Global Grandmothers. When I proceeded to tell her I was not a grandmother, her response was that I need not be concerned because it was about the mission of supporting children worldwide that was important. Among many things, Global Grandmothers would vet non-profits and recommend a handful ensuring that anyone visiting the site, could be assured their donation would go directly to those in need. Once again, I found myself not only becoming a part of an organization that, technically, has a name that “disqualified” me from the group but also helping Diana establish the organization. One of the sayings we have in GG is “You don’t have to be a grandmother to be a global grandmother”. How true this is! It is the mission and the implementation of the mission that is important.
Looking back, I am happy that I joined these worthy endeavors and did not shy away simply because of the title. Whether you are a sister, daughter, aunt, niece etc., look to the mission and jump in! It doesn’t end with just women either….Global Grandmothers has grandfathers, husbands, brothers, and uncles who are all part of our mission as well! I know that in the future, I may very well be a grandmother. But, whether I am or not, I know I will always be a Global Grandmother!