Wearing a face mask continues to be one of the most effective actions an individual can take to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. It’s an action that comes from empathy and shows you care about each other, while caring about yourself.
To inspire people to take this simple step toward empathy, Los Angeles-based, global nonprofit Today, I’m Brave
(TIB) announced the official launch of its Empathy Masks, which kicks off with a national campaign '#icareaboutyou' to support children, homeless youth and adults who have been disproportionately impacted by Coronavirus, as well as the frontline volunteers serving these communities.
The Empathy Masks are designed with the words “i care about you” displayed across the front as a clear message of caring for each other and the world, which is especially vital for those who are most at-risk and who may need an extra dose of empathy during these challenging times.
“The power of empathy is more important now than ever. We are thrilled to be partnering with likeminded organisations and passionate influencers to spread the word about how much stronger we are as a society when we come together to overcome obstacles," said Lindsay Stein, CEO, Today, I'm Brave. "When an action comes from a place of empathy, people feel it. Imagine the difference we can make if collectively we choose to wear a mask with the sole intention of caring for our loved ones, our community, along with ourselves. The groundswell for a movement like that would be palpable and the ripple effect far-reaching. Let's make the reason we wear masks bigger than ourselves; let’s make it come from empathy.”
For the roll-out of #icareaboutyou, TIB is partnering with nonprofit organisations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit and Mexicali and with social influencers in each of the communities who will be delivering the Empathy Masks to the nonprofits, and amplifying the Share One, Wear One and Show the World You Care messaging through their respective social channels.
The partner organisations and social influencers are:
Hollywood Food Coalition: providing warm, nutritious meals for homeless youth and adults, along with access to basic daily needs such as clothing, backpacks, sleeping bags, and hygiene items, as well as assistance with housing placement and referrals.
Social Influencer: international celebrity model, actress, and doctor of biomedical engineering, Megan Pormer.
Atlanta Children’s Shelter: providing free, quality day care, emotional support, an educational curriculum for homeless children, and focused social services for their families.
Social Influencer: model, founder of Black Girl Beautiful, and Today, I’m Brave ambassador, Nikia Phoenix.
Lotus House in Miami: improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children by providing sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that empower them to heal, learn, grow and blossom into who they are truly meant to be.
Social Influencer: celebrity TV personality, broadcast journalist and contestant on the 23rd season of 'The Bachelor', Nicole Lopez-Alvar.
Ruth Ellis Centre in Detroit: providing trauma-informed services for lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth, and young adults, with an emphasis on young people of colour, experiencing homelessness.
Social Influencers: social media celebrities and content creators Kenny Knox and Angelo (a.k.a Dopeisland).
Casa Hogar Infantil Uriel A.C. in Mexicali: committed to helping girls and boys in need and advocating for fair and equitable conditions for all. Sister Margaret Farrell, a 'street Nun' that serves Los Angeles’ Skid Row and an influencer in her own right, will be delivering masks to the orphans.
Sherry Bonanno, executive director, Hollywood Food Coalition, said: “What resonated the most about this campaign are the very words displayed on the mask, ‘i care about you’ is what we say to the people who come to us for help each day. These are people who don’t feel worthy or cared about, they don’t feel their lives matter. And here’s where empathy plays a big part. Understanding that they didn’t start their lives this way, they didn’t plan it, something happened to them is so important. And showing them that they are worthy human beings, has the ability to change their lives. The Empathy Masks are so powerful, because without even saying a word, the masks reinforce the message that our clients are cared about by the larger community and that they, in turn, care about themselves and others.”
“Covid-19 has been an extremely difficult time for us, particularly for the LGBTQ+ young people we serve who are 2.2 times more likely to experience homelessness. And that number exponentially increases for Black LGBTQ+ young people, who are four times more likely to end up homeless. So it’s even more vital to do what we can to help keep them safe and healthy,” added Nazarina Minaya, senior development associate, Ruth Ellis Centre. “Health is such an important pillar for us, and to collaborate with an organisation like Today, I’m Brave that not only understands the underserved population we serve, but also provides a way we can help, is phenomenal. Wearing a mask is one of the most empathic actions you can take, it’s a sign that I care about you, and you care about me.”
The #icareaboutyou campaign will continue to roll-out throughout the year delivering Empathy Masks to schools, colleges and shelters in other underserved communities throughout the US.
Executive director, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Sandra Holiday, concluded: “The Atlanta Children’s Shelter is fortunate to be supported by Today, I’m Brave. Our shelter serves families with young children living in poverty and on the streets of Atlanta. We nurture them with love, give them respect and provide them with critical needs – food, housing, healthcare, childcare, education and jobs. We cannot keep our doors open during this pandemic without life-saving PPE. Today, I’m Brave is meeting our critical need for face masks so we can continue to work tirelessly to meet the critical needs of others.”
The Empathy Masks can be purchased at TIB’s website
. They are made of 100% soft, breathable cotton, reusable and washable and come in a two-pack for $14. Wear a mask and share a mask and show the world you care. With every mask purchased, your order benefits one of the four US nonprofit partners of your choice.