Masks (for many of us) have become a part of our everyday lives—our small effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The struggle to ensure that everyone wears one continues, with various organizations and individuals employing everything from art to humor to encourage people to wear them. A new effort from global non-profit Today, I’m Brave attempts to tackle the issue with empathy.
The campaign centers on masks printed with a simple statement: “I care about you.” It’s a quiet reminder that wearing face coverings are especially crucial in stopping the spread of the virus by potential carriers, versus shielding wearers from COVID-19. But more broadly, it speaks to the initiative’s main goal of protecting children and homeless communities most impacted by COVID-19.
The campaign encourages people to purchase the “Empathy Masks” at TIB’s website, priced at $14 for a two-pack. With each purchase, customers can designate one of four nonprofits to receive half the proceeds from those funds: Hollywood Food Coalition, the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Lotus House, Ruth Ellis Center.
Separately, TIB is donating as needed hundreds of masks to each center, as well as Casa Hogar Infantil Uriel A.C. in Mexicali. The nonprofit has tapped celebrity influencers model and actor Megan Pormer as well as former “Bachelor” and “Bachelor in Paradise” cast member Nicole Lopez-Alvar to deliver the face coverings.
"When an action comes from a place of empathy, people feel it,” TIB CEO Lindsay Stein said in a statement. “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. Let's make the reason we wear masks bigger than ourselves; let’s make it come from empathy.”
“What resonated the most about this campaign are the very words displayed on the mask,” added Sherry Bonanno, executive director, Hollywood Food Coaltion. “‘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 … showing them that they are worthy human beings has the ability to change their lives.”
Today, I’m Brave was founded in 2016 by agency David and Goliath founder and Chief Creative Officer David Angelo, who set out to instill his shop’s mantra of bravery in today’s youth. It began with an initiative supporting children devastated by Ebola in Sierra Leone, and has moved on to help families devastated by Hurricanes Maria and Irma as well as patients at Children Hospital of Los Angeles.