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Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Big Magic" is urging people to donate for refugees and homeless children in the U.S. (Getty Images)


Stellar authors “take back Mother’s Day” with appeal for refugees and the homeless

By WITW Staff on May 4, 2016

The Compassion Collective — made up of a group of stellar authors, including Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed and Brené  Brown, amongst others — have launched a new campaign to fund raise for refugees and homeless Americans. The group made headlines in December after raising $1 million for Syrian refugees in just 31 hours, all with donations of $25 or less.

As part of the new campaign, the group is also sharing conversations with refugee children, gathered by a Help Refugees team during a visit to the Greek border earlier this month. “We are taking back Mother’sDay,” the collective’s fundraising page declares, with “dangerous, revolutionary love that unites our one human family and reminds us that we belong to each other and that there is no such thing as other people’s children.”

Mothers’ Day, they remind visitors to their site, was actually declared in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe — abolitionist, activist and poet — while explaining that donations will be distributed equally between aid to refugees abroad and homeless youth in the United States.

Compassion Collective members Elizabeth Gilbert and Brené Brown, together in Sydney, Australia, in March. (Facebook/Elizabeth Gilbert)
Compassion Collective members Elizabeth Gilbert and Brené Brown, together in Sydney, Australia, in March. (Facebook/Elizabeth Gilbert)

On her Facebook Page, Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic) wrote that, despite it being a “really ugly political moment right now,” donors had already come forward to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars since the campaign launched on Tuesday, and urged others to join “this revolutionary act of love.”

Brown (whose inspirational writing on vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame has made her a bestseller) led her appeal with Howe’s stirring, extraordinary Mother’s Day proclamation:

“Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Let us meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let us then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God!”

Or, as she puts it: “some good, old-fashion momma ass-kicking.”

Read more at The Compassion Collective and Momastery.