How We All Can Care More
You’ve heard of those stories where someone going down the drive-thru line at a fast food spot decided to pay for the car behind them? Well, that general idea of “paying it forward” is what fuels the New York-based organization Care More. Care More, as described on its website, believes that “every act of caring counts.” We were able to catch up the org’s founder, Mercedes C. Smith, and chat with her about the organization and how we can all care more.
When and why did you create Care More? Was there an experience that resonated with you?
The Care More concept originated about four months ago. I currently work full time in the public relations industry. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with amazing celebrities and entertainment stars to million dollar corporate companies—including notable TV personalities, premium liquor brands and one of the largest casino companies in the nation. Working in the heart of midtown Manhattan, I’m constantly surrounded by men in their tailored suits and swanky women with their Chanel & Louis Vuitton bags, who walk pass homeless individuals like they’re invisible. And if they do look at them, it’s in a form of disgust or annoyance. From the day I made that recollection, I felt the need to create a platform that helps those in need no matter their situation and encourages people to care for other human begins just a little bit more. With the hope to potentially change the world!
What do you hope to get out of Care More? What is the legacy you want it to leave?
I envision Care More being a platform for change and a vehicle that moves the world into a better state. I would love for people to no longer look at cleaning up a community or donating for the homeless as charity or volunteering. I pray that paying it forward and simply caring for others becomes so embedded into others hearts and souls that it becomes second nature.
What do you feel is the best way someone can show that they care?
Trick question—there is no “best way.” It truly depends on the giver and the receiver. You can show someone you care through a smile, a simple hello, holding the door open, offering advice, listening, or simply being present physically and emotionally. There’s no right or wrong way to show someone you care for them. Just be sure the act of caring is positive and of good intentions.
How can one who might be emotionally numb or desensitized show compassion towards others?
Before you can show compassion to someone else, you have to be loving, kind and compassionate with yourself. If you’re emotionally numb, you need to dig deep and have the conversation within to analyze why you’re so cold & insensitive to others. Whether homeless, domestically abused, disabled, we are ALL human and should all treat each other as such.
What would you tell someone who might be feeling depressed or overwhelmed?
If you’re still alive and waking up every morning, God has a tremendous purpose for your life! No matter what you’re going through, keep going! Breathe and realize this dark storm, too shall pass.
Let’s shift back to Care More. How was the first event?
We are blessed to say that our first mission was an experience that everyone involved will forever remember. Our participants (who we like to call Care Givers) came from near and far to serve as beacons of hope to 100+ homeless individuals in need.
Each package included deodorant, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, Q-tips, combs, band-aids, a notepad, mints, a fruit and a nutrition bar. Our Care Givers split into 5 groups to deliver the parcels and returned with humbled hearts, tears and remarkable stories.
We’ll be announcing our second mission shortly! So be sure to follow LetsCareMore.com.
How can someone participate or help with Care More if they aren’t in the New York area?
Our goal is to have events in every major city [starting in 2015] and we currently launched an ambassador program! If you’re interested, feel free to email email@example.com. Another way to get involved is the spread the word via social media, donate and MOST importantly show others you care. Positivity and love are contagious! Spread it as much and as far as you can 🙂
Credits: Mercedes C. Smith