[INTERVIEW] WOMEN & PHILANTHROPY Featuring CARE MORE Founder Mercedes Smith | No. 005

[INTERVIEW] WOMEN & PHILANTHROPY Featuring CARE MORE Founder Mercedes Smith | No. 005

The idea for something like Care More started when I realized that New Yorkers are desensitized by poverty. Going to work everyday in the city, I’ve witnessed a lot of people walk passed the homeless. I felt compelled to do something about it.

It’s amazing to have strangers come together to accomplish one common goal – helping the less fortunate. When I first began the brand, I envisioned creating an opportunity for people to experience talking with homeless men and women face to face. One way we do this is by using our care packages as a conversation starter tool. You’ll be amazed that some homeless men and women haven’t spoken to people in years. One guy we gave our care package to announced to us that his birthday was last week so we decided to sing Happy Birthday to him. He was so shocked because nobody has sung Happy Birthday to him in years. By learning of their stories, people can become an advocate to solving this situation happening in New York as well as in other cities.

Everyday, homeless people are trying to find the right resources to get out of their current situation. They don’t have identification or proper paperwork so it prevents them from having access to shelters, obtaining EBT cards or having a job. A lot of times, their items are stolen and some have become a victim of theft. This one homeless lady on the street shared with us an experience when somebody gave her urine in a bottle to drink out of assuming it was juice. Other homeless people experience food poisoning when handed something to eat. People can be very cruel.

One way we chose to solve this problem of homelessness in the city was by creating different programs and partnering with grassroots organizations to assist us with our mission. Our partnership with AFROPUNK has been such a blessing. This summer alone with AFROPUNK’S help, we’ve handed out over 1,200 care packages. Since our inception in September 2014, we’ve been able to assist the homeless in NY, NJ, and PA with over 1,600 care packages. Included in the care packages, you’ll find: toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, chapstick, shampoo, lotion and a motivational message. Now that Care More has become a reality, I still think there’s more work to be done. We really want to take it to the next level by bringing it to the right officials.

People can visit our website and click the support tab to donate funds and items for our up-and-coming events and also email us at info@letscaremore.com.

Website: LetsCareMore.com
Instagram: @LetsCareMore
Twitter: @LetsCareMore