Guest MINDSETTER™ Gianna Contillo: The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Sunday, May 08, 2016


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Gianna Contillo

Mother’s Day is one of the most special, yet stressful days of the year for me. My mother gave me life, she gave me strength, she fuels me with unconditional love, and she is my hero. Each year, I struggle trying to find the best way to fully demonstrate how grateful I am for her love and support. I struggle because I feel like no matter what I do on Mother’s Day, nothing will ever compare to what she has done for me. Have you ever felt this way on Mother’s Day? 

The lessons my mother has instilled in me are invaluable. She taught me how to love, to be strong, to never give up, and to work hard. My mother also taught me the importance of health. In doing this, she introduced me to my passion and life’s work. As a global health activist, yoga teacher, and health coach, I live my passion, and share the gift of health with others. On Mother’s Day, I am filled with gratitude for my mother’s influence on my life. However, I am also sadly reminded of the children around the globe that will never have the chance to experience this connection with their mother. Although progress has been made, the heartbreaking truth is that 5.9 million children still die from preventable health related diseases, before their fifth birthday. 

My mother had the tools and resources to educate me on the importance of health, while mothers in the developing world struggle with limited resources as they try maintain their right to health. They struggle to keep their children healthy and alive. We cannot let this go on without taking action; it is simply unacceptable. Together, we need to use our voices to make sure every mother and child has the right to health and the opportunity to survive and thrive. 

We can do this by taking concrete action today. Congress has come together, Republicans and Democrats, to support mothers and children through the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (H.R. 3706 and S.1911). In celebration of the moms all over the world, we should join them. This is a bipartisan bill that was introduced this past summer with the goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths by 2035. Are you ready to join them?

In Rhode Island, Representative Cicilline and Representative Langevin have both signed on to this bill. I thank them for their leadership. However, Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse have yet to sign up with their support, I respectfully request that they both move to take action now on this bill in honor of their mothers on Mothers Day 2016. 

This Mother’s Day we have an incredible opportunity to take action for mothers and children all over the world. We can do this by ensuring that all of our members of Congress in Rhode Island support this bill and that they urge House and Senate leadership to move the bill forward. Join me by urging Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse to support this bill. Call them, email them, or send them a Mother’s Day note via Facebook. 

Although I may never feel like I can fully repay my mother for all she have done for me, I hope to make her really proud by standing up for other mothers. You can do this too by taking action to give children and mother’s a shot at life and a shot at experiencing the same bond we have had the opportunity to have.  

Happy Mothers Day to all of the mothers and influential women across the globe, your strength is greatly admired and appreciated.

Gianna Contillo is a Global Health Advocate at RESULTS Rhode Island


Related Slideshow: 10 Free (or Almost Free) Things to do for Mom on Mother’s Day Weekend

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Take Mom to the Carousel at Roger Williams Park 

Do a day trip to the carousel at Roger Williams Park, in fact invite the whole family why not. 

Admission is only $2, it's a cool place and mom will love getting out of the house and doing something different. 

For more information, click here. 

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Send Flowers 

Send over some colorful flowers to brighten up the day, weekend and the house. 

Chances are, the next time you are in the kitchen, they will be sitting on the table as the new center piece. 


PHOTO: Dale Cruse/Flickr

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Pick up After Yourself 

Let's face it, mom has picked up after you more times then you can probably count. 

Toys all over the place, video games all over the place, clothes all over the place. You name it, she has most likely picked it up. 

So turn the tables and pick up after yourself, put your stuff away wherever it is supposed to go. 


PHOTO: Jeff/Flickr

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Take Mom to the Newport Cliff Walk 

The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions with the mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.

Mom will love the walk and love taking new pictures to add to her photo albums. 

PHOTO: Doug Kerr/Flickr 

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Call Mom Everyday 

Especially if you don't live at home or are living at school, nothing will brighten up a mothers day like a phone call, but not a phone call because you need or want something. 

A phone call just for the heck of it. 

She will enjoy it. 


PHOTO: Ken Banks/Flickr

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Give Mom a Day Off From Laundry 

Doing the laundry for a household of people is a tedious job that can take hours of a day. 

Tell mom to take a day off from the laundry and get the rest of the family to team up and do it for a day, maybe the weekend? 

Imagine the great day that mom could have if she didn't have the stress of laundry hanging over her head. 


PHOTO: H.A.M Phtgrphy/Flickr

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Write to Mom Everyday 

In a day and age where it is all about emailing and texting, a handwritten letter would be a nice way to change things up on a daily basis. 

You can start by slipping a letter inside the Mother's Day card. 


PHOTO: Fredrik Rubensson/Flickr

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Cut the Grass 

Don't let mom cut the grass, volunteer to do it instead, actually insist on doing it so she gets time to do what she wants. 

Or maybe mom does not cut the grass which means she probably calls a company, another relative or a neighbor to do it and stresses about when they are coming and how much they charge.

Then she has to worry about how it looks and if it's done right. 

Give her a break and just do it yourself. 


PHOTO: Osseous/Flickr 

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Walk or Ride on East Bay Bike Path 

Take mom out for a walk or a bike ride on the East Bay Bike Path. 

The first bike facility to be in the State, it is a 13.8 mile trail that connects 8 different parks from Providence to Bristol.

This will serve as a fun, stress free day and you can even count it as your exercise for the day. 

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Movie Night 

Plan a family movie night at home and let mom pick out the movie that she wants to watch. 

Grab some popcorn, maybe a beverage or two and enjoy. 

An alternative to a movie would be binge watching a show on Netflix that she has yet to watch due to how busy she is. 


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