The Birth of Global Grandmothers: Diana’s Story
After my granddaughter was born I couldn’t believe how she captivated me — so perfect in each detail, so fragile, — and so promising! But I was bothered too – by how much she enjoyed when so many children in the world had so little. By an accident of fate my granddaughter was born into a loving family in the world’s richest country while an equally-deserving baby with loving parents was born into poverty and privation. How unfair the world seemed – and how little I was doing about it!
That was when I conceived of Global Grandmothers. The basic idea was simple – become a grandmother to the world’s children. Commit to giving to children worldwide as well as those near and dear to you. A meaningful way for me to do this was giving to a child in need when I gave to my own grandchild. I called this Linked Giving.
Knowing that there were many who were not grandmothers who shared my concerns, I thought we could welcome anyone as a Global Grandmother who was willing to make that commitment. Let the world’s children benefit from the pooled generosity of caring adults.
A website, I thought, could be the focal point of Global Grandmothers. There, anyone could register a commitment to give to children in need, and contribute to charities Global Grandmothers had vetted for effectiveness.
Global Grandmothers would not seek funds for itself. Instead, – it would be a conduit. It would generate commitment and facilitate giving to child-centered charities. I purchased the web domains “global grandmothers.com” and “global grandmothers.org.”
On August 23, 2009, I read the New York Times Magazine article “Why Women’s Rights Are the Cause of Our Time” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The article announced the “Half the Sky Contest” asking readers to write about their efforts to address women’s and girls’ issues worldwide. Forcing myself to get serious, I submitted the Global Grandmothers’ idea. Although I didn’t win, it motivated me to engage others in this project, to incorporate, and to establish a website!
By April 2010 Global Grandmothers was incorporated and by October it received federal 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Our website went live on January 18, 2011.
If you are reading this, you are one of the hundreds, thousands, and ultimately millions of people I hope will become Global Grandmothers. Please join us – be a grandmother to the world’s children by giving generously.