Continuous Acts to Restore Encouragement

As some may already know, I completed an internship this summer in Washington, D.C. I was placed with a non-profit organization called Public Allies. I am from Philadelphia, so it is not uncommon to see homeless people. Although, when I moved to D.C. the number of homeless individuals that I would come across on the daily was very upsetting. I remember one day as I was getting onto the metro (the train) there was a lady sitting in the station with her newborn baby, a sign explaining her situation and a can for money donations. At the time, I had no spare change on me to give her but the image was stuck in my head. A few days letter, I came across this same mother again. As I went into work that morning and was sitting at my desk, the thought kept popping back up in my head. I did not like the feeling of not being able to help another individual out, but I know that sometimes you need to take care of yourself first. That day is when I realized that I needed to do something. Well, I did not have to; nobody was forcing me but I wanted to. Prior to my experience in Washington, D.C. I never had the desire to help the homeless community or in other words, it never came to mind. Every morning on my way to work and on my way home as well, I would walk under the bridge where you could see more than 20 homeless people living in their tents. So, it may not have been that I never had the desire to help them, but I never was exposed to that population as much.

                As I was sitting at my desk at my internship one morning that is when it came to me. I was going to pass out “care bags” to the homeless. Remind you, this was an unpaid internship; I was not too sure how I was going to make this work, but I knew I had to do something. So, that is when I began having conversations, making phone calls, sending e-mails and completing some research. I always keep in mind the Law of Attraction; when you truly want something and go after it without limiting yourself with disbelief, the Universe will make it happen. I had a list of nonprofit organizations that worked with the homeless, so that is who I started out with. Soon enough I had about four organizations who loved my idea and were willing to work with me. My plan was to create these care bags but in addition to that, try and bring some positivity along with it. These individuals are living through dark situations, I hoped to provide them with some light. Therefore, in addition to the toiletries inside, I wrote positive messages on the outside of the bags. Inside, I typed up motivational quotes and put them in there as well. My plan was to pass out these bags throughout D.C. to homeless women, get to know some of their stories and backgrounds then create a documentary overall. The reasoning for my focus being on women is due to homeless women often get overlooked. For some reason, there is a myth that more homeless men exist then women. In addition to that, many people do not think about the extra struggles that these ladies are dealing with. As women, we get that lucky monthly gift. So think about it. These women are out on the streets with a possibility of no underwear nor feminine products.  

                My first time experimenting with the bags was a weekend that I went back home to Philadelphia. I went to the dollar store, bought the toiletries and bags myself, along with some hot pizza to pass out. This day was a learning experience. First, was the pizza. As soon as I brought the pizza out there was a flock of people who sworn up to get a slice. Mind you, I had only bought one box. Imagine having a group of homeless people around you and having to tell them that they missed out on the pizza and you handed out your last slice. After that was when the bag distribution came into play. As stated, I was focusing on the women. The first lady that I approached to see if she wanted a bag, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. She did not want the bag nor food. I had some trouble finding women compared to the amount of men that I was running into. When I distributed the bags in Washington, D.C. a man said to me, “so they are only for the women? The men are left to die?” This hurt my heart, but as I stated-- it has all been a learning experience.

                In addition to serving the homeless, my next focus turned to helping victims around the world as they were experiencing floods and hurricanes. I held a drive for Sierra Leone victims as they were dealing with flood effects. This drive went very successful and next was Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. The name of my project is called the C.A.R.E Foundation; Continuous Acts to Restore Encouragement. The mission is to instill positivity, warmth and encouragement through dark situations and restore individual’s feelings of love and care. I major in Child Development and Family Relations; I have a passion for working with children. I plan on my next focus to be at-risk youth. Many young people lack an adult in their life who they can look up to. Which leads to them going down the wrong path or lacking motivation. If a child does not see the good in themselves or lacks emotional security and self-esteem, it can take the motivation right out of students. A student is only going to work hard if they have a purpose or a goal that they want to personally reach. I want to be able to motivate the youth and help them see their potential. I plan on turning C.A.R.E into a non-profit in the future and bringing it from city to city; helping individuals who are going through tough situations restore their encouragement. If you are interested in helping with the C.A.R.E Foundation, find us on Facebook or feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]!