Unforgettable, inspiring, proud…those are just of a few of the adjectives I would use to describe my Mother’s Day.
As some of you may already know, my daughter Katherine Commale is a champion NET-Raiser for Nothing But Nets. She began fundraising at the mere age of five, and now at 8-years-old, Katherine has raised more than $93,000. On Mother’s Day, my whole family and I were honored to attend church services at Historic Saint George’s United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Penn., founded in 1767. Katherine and I were given the great privilege to share our story of how we have been raising money for bed nets for families in need in Africa.
Amazingly, the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, was a member of St. George’s Church. She spent much of her life as an advocate and organizer of women, encouraging them to fight against poor health and safety conditions for children. Sadly, Anna became disillusioned with the commercialization of Mother’s Day. The greatest part of her dismay was the departure from the core values she sought to lift up in her own mother and so many others like her.
Katherine and I stood proudly, mother and daughter, as we educated the congregation about the tragic reality of many African mothers unnecessarily losing their children to malaria, a disease that can be prevented and cured. As a mother, I firmly believe that the malaria situation in Africa is inconceivable! It is completely unacceptable that children and families are sleeping without bed nets. We can end malaria and we must.
Katherine, my son Joseph, and my husband Anthony and I were grateful this Mother’s Day to be together, to be healthy and to have such a blessed life. We stood up and spoke loudly for the mothers and children of Africa. My Mother’s Day wish was that those moms know that we care so much and we are doing everything we can to help them. I hope Katherine and I honored Anna’s spirit and true meaning of Mother’s Day. Thank you.