Events » Mother’s Day Project

The Mothers’ Day Project

(co-sponsored with Hawaii Women Lawyers)


The Mothers’ Day Project began in 2001 when lawyer Elizabeth Kent came up with the idea of collecting and repurposing unused “gift with purchase” cosmetics from women lawyers and packaging them into beautiful gifts that could be given to children in domestic violence shelters, who would then give gifts on Mothers’ Day. Subsequently, Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation and Hawaii Women Lawyers formally established the Mothers’ Day Project. By 2009, over 10,000 gift bags had been created and distributed to the children. The Mothers’ Day Project received the 2009 Public Service Award from the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.
The gift bags have been delivered for distribution to foster children served by Social Workers at Child Welfare Services, State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS); to participants in the DHS Foster Grandparent program; and to children who are not housed, through the John A. Burns School of Medicine led by Dr. Jill Omori and JABSOM student volunteers.


To help hundreds of deserving children say “Happy Mother’s Day!” with a pretty gift for a special person in their lives.


Annually in the spring, volunteers from HWLF, HWL, law firms, JABSOM, the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, and elsewhere collect unused cosmetics and package them into gifts. Prior to 2020, those volunteers happily gathered to create the gifts. In 2020 and 2021, volunteers met the challenges created by the pandemic by individually continuing their commitment to the Mothers’ Day Project.
In 2022, donations of new, gift-quality hand and body lotions, toiletries, cosmetics, and cosmetic bags will be accepted through the end of February. Due to the pandemic, the MDP will continue to be sorted and packaged on an individual basis, and volunteers are needed to sort and package donations and to assemble the gift bags. Supplies will be provided. Gift bags must be completed by the end of April.


Donations may be made and volunteers may contact HWLF at: