There’s no doubt that millions of women are out there fighting: for themselves, their children, and their communities. But when a woman is hit with something like a life-threatening diagnosis, losing everything in a natural disaster, or the tragic death of a child, it’s often other women who step in with understanding, support and love.I was a 40 year old single mom when I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and then, three weeks later my young son was rushed to the hospital diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. This caused me to take a sacred pause that lasted two years and ask myself, “What does this really feel like now that I am one of ‘those women’ who need help?”

I craved someone to come into my home and help me clean up what felt like the aftermath of a tornado. I needed love, compassion, organization, nourishment, and the feeling of my burden being lifted, if only for a moment. 

That’s how Mother’s Grace charity was born. We started with two thousand dollars in the bank and focused on reaching out to moms that had experienced tragedy in the form of illness or some acute and disabling loss. 

The following list was our “to do” items as we began embracing precious women:

  1. Be passionate, vulnerable, start to feel each need, and get excited about helping.
  2. Be honest, dig deep, face your fear, take a risk, and share your plan with a trusted group.
  3. Get a few trusted people on board that share your passion. Seek out people with special skills that can fill the gaps, whatever your organization, project, or business needs. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle looking for the right fit…reliable, strong women.
  4. Get busy telling your personal story over and over and over again until it resonates and people get it. This lends passion and compassion to your mission.
  5. Hold an event that appeals to women – fun not boring, an intriguing speaker, great food, wine, shopping, create a buzz – make people want to join the excitement.
  6. Take any support you can get no matter how small or different. We worked with salons, restaurants, car dealerships, and many many other small businesses that wanted to get their brand out as well.
  7. Get the media involved then write about it. Write a compelling press release. Get followers on social media. Spread the message.

What started with a small garage sale that garnered $1,800., Mother’s Grace turned into a five million dollar organization
with an international reach, and has helped over 6000 women.

Many of the women I’ve met through the charity have inspired me deeply. Several of them have turned her own immense suffering and grief into something bigger for others. Everything they do may turn out to be the one thing that protects their child—and yours—from gun violence, cancer, addiction, and loss. They are change agents and you can be too. You can do it in very small meaningful ways and you can start with a single act of kindness!

Michelle Moore is the mom of three boys and founder and president of Mother’s Grace, a nonprofit that addresses the critical needs of mothers and their children in the midst of tragic life events. Her book, A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World One Woman at a Time shares the stories of 12 rockstar moms who are setting the world on fire helping others.