Each year, there are 303,000 women who die from pregnancy and childbirth complications: that’s more than 830 women per day who never get the chance to fulfill their motherhood. And what’s even more upsetting about this number, is that every one of these cases could have been prevented by increasing the numbers of midwives who are trained to provide high-quality care during routine deliveries, manage basic complications, and recognize when to refer a mother to emergency obstetric care.
Striving to establish and increase the amount of maternal and child health programs, the Direct Relief organization actively works in all 50 states and 80 countries to assist in emergencies and provide free medications to people in need. W0rking with over 1,000 health clinics across the United States, the organization has been given a 100 percent fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes, the number one spot on Charity Navigator’s list of “10 Best Charities Everyone’s Heard Of,” and an inclusion in Fast Company’s list of “the world’s most innovative nonprofits.”
Supporting Direct Relief’s mission are dedicated women who volunteer to raise funds and equip midwives around the world with life-saving medical supplies in Direct Relief Midwife Kits. Created by the Direct Relief Women and the International Confederation of Midwives, these kits include 59 essential items a midwife needs to perform 50 facility-based deliveries. To raise funds to equip midwives around the world with these supplies, the Direct Relief Women held is 7th annual Mother’s Day Celebration on May 4.
The Mother’s Day Celebration, held at the Hope Ranch residence of Direct Relief Board member Jeffrey Branch, featured a special guest, Father Rick Frechette, Regional Director of Saint Damien Pediatric Hospital in Haiti and founder of St. Luke Foundation for Haiti. Father Rick addressed the complexities of economic and healthcare development within the fractured Haitian state, and tied in the importance of protecting the bond between a mother and child, whether on the ground, in the field, or by any other method within one’s means. Andrew Firestone, who starred on season 3 of ABC’s The Bachelor, served as the master of ceremonies for the fundraising portion of the evening.
The event raised an incredible $160,000 through the generosity of more than 200 attendees. Farm to Bar sponsored the cocktails for the evening, which were prepared by established mixologist, Patrick Reynolds, while Duo Events catered the reception, passing hors d’oveures that included local rockfish ceviche tostadas and spiced cashew and walnut in jicama shell tacos. Local musicians Joe Osuna, guitarist, and Cambria Metzinger, vocalist, provided melodic entertainment through the evening, and celebrated local photographer, Isaac Hernandez, captured all of it here.