Mother's Day

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Will Be Lined With Luminarias Honoring Mothers Who Died

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Mother’s Day can be incredibly challenging for women and girls who have lost their mothers, and the coronavirus pandemic has added many thousands to their ranks, but an organization is bringing its special brand of help and healing to D.C. Sunday.

Lauren Shea and Larissa Martin will once again face Mother’s Day thinking of the loss of their own mothers. As ambassadors for empowerHER, an organization that supports young women under 24 coping with the death of their mother, they are turning that pain into strength.

This year, the District will for the first time take part in the organization’s annual nationwide fundraising event.

On Sunday, candlelit bags known as luminarias will line the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

“By illuminating the Lincoln Memorial with this whimsical display of luminarias, it’s just going to magical,” Shea said. “We’re really excited about it.”

Each bag is purchased by donors from around the world for a suggested $25.

The luminarias are decorated in honor of, or in memory of, loved ones.

EmpowerHER says it uses 100% of the money raised for its programs, which include mentorship matchups and a Mother’s Day retreat, which, due to the pandemic, will once again be virtual this year. 

“So they’ve been able to bring these girls from all over the place to share this unfortunate event that they’ve had to deal with and trauma into one place online,” Martin said.

D.C. is among nine major cities across the U.S. participating in Sunday’s event. The program hopes to expand to more cities.

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