Women Hold Up Half the Sky: Beyond Flowers for Mom

Kim Athan goes from Book Club to Movement
It was a tale of two book clubs, two cities and one powerful message. Half the Sky by Kristof and WuDunn — deeply touched Kim Athan, her Mom and the members of their respective book clubs. It transported them to a raw and real world they couldn’t have imagined, with a passionate plea to end the oppression of girls and women in developing countries. “Half the Sky made us rethink Mother’s Day gift giving priorities and take action.”


Its baffling to imagine, that $19 billion is spent annually on Mother’s Day gifts — that’s enough to educate 65 million girls globally currently not receiving education.

With this astounding realization, The Mothers’ Day Movement was born. It began with raising $10,000 the first year in 2010 to over $250,000 to date.

“With the help and support of so many wonderful people, including Nicholas Kristof, Half the Sky co-author and New York Times correspondent, we have done more in the past few years than we could have dreamed. My Mom wrote him a thank you letter and he mentioned us in his column! That was a great surprise and a blessing that put us on the map. We’ve raised funds for The Fistula Foundation, Shining Hope for Communities, Saving Mothers and now underway is the Clearwater Initiative.”

Beyond Flowers for Mom
The name “Mothers’ Day Movement” itself is a lesson in how a small change can make a big paradigm shift. The apostrophe was moved past the “s” unlike the traditional spelling of Mother’s Day. With this small edit we are suddenly moved to consider all mothers instead of one.

“Our hope is that in addition to or in lieu of flowers,
you honor your Mom by giving her a gift that can change a life.”

The Mothers’ Day Movement focuses on small charities where they can have the most impact and a new initiative is selected each year. When you make a donation in honor of a Mom, the funds go to directly to the current initiative and an ecard is sent by email.

“We believe that if even just one life can be changed,
it can have a huge impact.”

 5 Simple Things You Can Do To Change a Life On Mother’s Day

  1. Click here {HONOR MOM} to donate to ClearWater Initiative via the
    Mothers’ Day Movement. An ecard will be sent to your honoree(s) on Mother’s Day.
  2. Make a donation to your favorite charity
  3. Send a food basket to a friend in need
  4. Have a tag sale and donate the proceeds
  5. Call your Mom and tell her you love her


Thanks Kim, for holding up so much of the sky.

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Kim Athan, is a mother of two in Old Greenwich, CT. She’s an advocate of the Anti-defamation League and rallies against bullying. As the co-founder of the Mothers’ Day Movement, she is passionate about ending the oppression of girls and women in developing countries. In her personal time, she looks forward to the camaraderie she shares playing tennis with her friends on the Burning Tree CC Team. She can be reached at kim@mothersdaymovement.org for more information.