Special meaning to Mother’s Day

Families across the area will celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday.

The modern American holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, W.V., according to the web encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Jarvis then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States.

Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s.

Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated throughout the world. In the U.S., it is celebrated the second Sunday of May.

At Caring House, the holiday has added significance, reports Cheryl O’Neil, director of Caring House.

For mothers and children fleeing domestic violence, Mother’s Day is a time to be thankful for the courage and strength it has taken to escape and to cautiously hope for better days ahead.

“Many of the women we serve are mothers and many of those mothers have their children with them,” O’Neil said. “Mother’s Day is a time when we remember all of the things our mothers have done for us throughout our lives. The mothers who have sought refuge at Caring House have all undertaken incredible acts of survival to give their children better lives.”

Caring House in Iron Mountain offers shelter, counseling, advocacy and other assistance to families who are survivors of domestic violence.

The agency also works to provide counseling specifically to children who have been exposed to domestic violence.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline Report, Michigan ranks as eighth in the nation in the number of calls they received asking for help.

Out of those calls 26 percent were seeking safe shelter, 15 percent legal advocacy and the remaining were seeking counseling.

Caring House receives more than 100 crisis calls every month from people living here in the local community, O’Neil said.

“We here at Caring House hope that this Mother’s Day will be a positive one for the mothers and children receiving assistance,” she said.

“Our clients have been through so much pain, fear and heartache. Our goal for this Mother’s Day is simple: that every survivor has a safe Mother’s Day, filled with love, compassion and healing,” O’Neil said.

Caring House knows its life-changing and life-saving work is only possible with the help of the community.

We encourage area residents to participate in the Mother’s Day tradition of giving a gift, card, or remembrance to their mothers, grandmothers, and/or maternal figure on Mother’s Day.

And it wouldn’t hurt to also make a donation or volunteer to help our local domestic violence shelter.

For more information, contact Caring House at 774-1337.