Our garage sale rocked it: Thank you!
Thank you. To every one of you who took the time to donate your cast-offs to our sale, and to those who shopped it, and to those extra special types who did both, or who volunteered your home as a drop/store spot and worked the sale.
All together, we raised $3,000 for Family Forward Oregon. That's exactly TWICE what we raised last year. We rocked it, mamas!
If you're not familiar with Family Forward, allow us to introduce you. See, in 2007 Activistas was conceived as a part of urbanMamas - another child, sort of. It brought mothers together who care deeply about how our country's public policies are failing families. A few of them decided to kick it up a notch and created a non-profit organization called Family Forward Oregon. Perfect name since their entire plan is to move families forward in, yup, Oregon.
What does it mean to "move families forward"? To them, it means "to build a family-friendly economy that fully supports the work of child-raising and family caregiving without jeopardizing economic security." Right on. How are they doing that? By mobilizing families, engaging employers, and shaping policy. Their manifesto might give you a better sense:
- Value the work of caring for children and others in need of care. Whether that care is taking place in the home or in professional settings, we must value it economically and culturally. This means redefining work to include care, and redefining care as work. It means professionalizing child care and education professions as well as developing policy that makes it more economically feasible for parents to raise children without risking long-term economic insecurity.
- Achieve economic equity for mothers and other caregivers. Motherhood should not be a major cause of poverty, and there should not be a wage gap between mothers and others. We need policy that supports mothers' capacity to succeed in the workplace as well as provide needed care for children without ending up in poverty.
- Value and support all kinds of families. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Whether two parent or single parent, straight parent or gay parent, nuclear or extended, blood-related or not, wealthy or poor, all families are connected by caring relationships and deserve equal access to economic security.
- Engage parents and other caregivers to build a social movement. We will engage caregivers to work for social change by redefining success to emphasize family and community well-being over material wealth, building a culture that values the work of caring, creating communities that realize we all benefit when our members are well-cared for, and developing an understanding of the systemic nature of our seemingly personal challenges.
- Develop bold, universally available family policies that will interrupt race, class and gender inequities. Tinkering with the current system may help some families, but it will not touch the lived experience of most. We support bold, universal policies that will truly change the experience of families across income level, racial group, or sexual orientation.
Now that's something to get excited about. And to support. So if you didn't get a chance to support Family Forward Oregon through our fabulous, 2nd annual urbanMamas/Activistas community garage sale, but would like to, you can of course donate online.
There are other ways to get involved, as well, and we highly recommend their 6-week discussion course, "The Economics of Motherhood." A real eye opener, and reassuring to know that it's not just me who struggles to care for my family the way I want to in today's economy, and it's not just me who's responsible for sorting it out. Here's how they describe the course:
Economics of Motherhood Action Groups are intended for those who want to learn about the systemic political and economic issues that challenge families and the ways they can take action for positive change. The groups will explore topics like work, taxes, and child care. Typically, a group will meet four to six times and follow an engaging curriculum that combines short readings with an emphasis on ways parents can take action and make a difference.
The groups are embedded in workplaces, neighborhoods, friendship networks, and any other existing communities. One group might meet over the lunch hour at work. Another might integrate the curriculum into an existing Moms' group or play group. Or an interested person may convene a group among neighbors and friends.
If you are interested in joining or convening a group contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.