This is the sixth post in the 2021 Kindness series. Each month I will make a donation to a different nonprofit and write about the organization.

For the May post I wanted to write about a nonprofit that helps mothers – in recognition of Mother’s Day and in memory of my mom, Arlene Summers, who passed away last year (photo below). But I didn’t have a specific organization in mind… One day, I learned about Every Mother Counts while reading Linsey Addario’s book Love and War. I was moved by a haunting photo of 18-year-old Mamma Sessay in a Sierra Leone maternity ward. She was seated in a hospital bed naked, assisted by her sister, after giving birth to twins. There was a large pool of blood on the floor below. The next page had a photo of the hospital staff tending to one of the twins. And the next was a photo of Mamma Sessay’s funeral. Every Mother Counts works with communities to help women like Mamma Sessay have a healthy pregnancy and safe childbirth.
Arlene and Lori

Me and mom


Each year, 303,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth complications.

Approximately 60% of maternal deaths occur in 10 countries: Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Congo, and Uganda. (I learned about some of the health care challenges women face in Uganda when I visited Betty Kahima’s clinic a few years ago.)


About Every Mother Counts

Christy Turlington Burns created Every Mother Counts in 2010 after experiencing complications when she gave birth to her daughter. Their mission is to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. Every Mother Counts works with marginalized communities to provide high-impact, low-cost solutions to improve maternal health outcomes. They currently have partnerships in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Tanzania, and the United States. Their work involves raising awareness, engaging communities, and providing grants. To date, Every Mother Counts has provided $21 million in grants, education, and community engagement in 9 countries. Their work has impacted nearly 1 million lives!


Support Every Mother Counts

If you are interested, here are some ways you can support Every Mother Counts.