I didn’t make it to any marches today. It was Shabbat and some things in my life come first. This week’s Parsha, or Torah reading, was the first section of Exodus where we learn about Moses’ life which famously starts of with the decree from Pharaoh that all Jewish baby boys are to be thrown in the Nile. Yocheved, Moses’ mother, has some other ideas about what to do with her newborn boy (as well as some of the local Jewish midwives who decide to go against Pharaoh’s wishes).
Moses’ life is heavily influenced by the amazing women around him. Yocheved, Miriam, Batya, and Tzipporah, all names that bring to mind strength, intellect, and justice and who, I would argue, led the first Women’s March.
But let’s say you are in a similar position to me. You aren’t able to go out and paint signs but you want to do something. Let’s say you are able to go out but you feel it isn’t enough (hint: it probably isn’t). Or let’s just say you’re a good, charitable person. How can you help women in Birmingham? Glad you asked! I will tell you…
- Give to Pathways Home. This transitional shelter serves women and children in the Birmingham-Metro area and is focused on helping women with mental illnesses through their Safe Haven program. They offer therapy programs from yoga and art to finance classes. You can donate to them or volunteer for meal planning, front desk service, in their boutique, or offer to drive to pick up much-needed supplies.
- The Women’s Fund. This organization is dedicated to eliminating poverty in the lives of Birmingham women. Join their mailing list to learn about new grants and projects.
- Give to Birmingham Crisis Center. Offering services in English and Spanish, the Crisis Center offers support to sexual assault survivors and they have suicide prevention resources for children, adults, and seniors as well as offering LGBT resources and various hotlines for mental health crises.
- Give to Inmate Moms. They run programs to help inmates with families maintain relationships with visitation initiatives, and the Storybook Project which provides children of inmates with recordings of children’s books by their mother. They also supply women with clothing, jewelry, toiletries, gift cards, and bags upon their release to make transitioning easier.
- Help out Girls Inc. They have tons of volunteer opportunities and very cool t-shirts. They also offer many of their programs in Spanish including their youth literacy program.
Whether you give time or money, these are worthy initiatives that impact lives in this city every day. If you were moved by the Women’s March and want to keep the spirit going, start local and of course, feel free to comment with some other charity recs.