Charities have ramped up production during the coronavirus pandemic. As the unemployment rates increases by the millions each week, those who had never before visited a food bank are now doing so to feed their families. During a time of crisis, the basics are important – food, water, toilet paper – but getting a little something extra “can change someone’s mindset,” according to Ingrid Harb, co-founder of Made With Love, a women-led charity project in Tampa Bay that will donate care packages to residents in need.
Grit Daily caught up with Harb to learn more about the Made with Love care package project. She explained that, as a child growing up in Mexico, one of her favorite things to do was to deliver care packages to the rural areas outside of her town and play with the children there. Harb has organized local and international conferences, including the Women’s Ambassador Forum, and most of her projects focus on empowering women.
She wants the care packages to spread love, empower families to keep going during this difficult time and to support small businesses. The care packages will include food, hygiene and beauty supplies, coupons for local businesses, coloring books with colored pencils or crayons, toilet paper, coffee, seeds to plant flowers, and a note of inspiration.
The Made with Love team partnered with various companies, including Tampa Printer, Made Coffee, Apothecare, L’Oreal, Paper Seahorse, Psalms’ Gourmet Brittle and Hope Seeds – and they are seeking more partnerships. Harb said she could tell that businesses were having a hard time because fundraising is usually easier when so many people are struggling and there’s a charitable way to help them.
The first round of boxes will be distributed the week of June 1st through Feeding Tampa Bay. The first batch will consist of 250 boxes, given out on a first-come-first-served basis, and the women intend to continue the project through the pandemic.
Made with Love is led by four women, who are powerhouses in their own right. Alexis Fraser is an artist and the founder of Kisses for Causes, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts. She handles marketing and design for the Made with Love initiative. Kim Linton is the founder of 1Light Daring Leadership & Facilitation. She is the operations director for Made with Love, dealing with distribution and item control. Kristi Finigan is the Regional Business Development Director for Eastern Sports Management, and also deals with operations for MWL. Ingrid Harb handles public relations and company partnerships for MWL.
GD asked Harb how this work tied into her passion for helping women, in particular. She indicated that at first, she wanted to focus on helping mother, but that by helping families, which are often led by women, that they would still benefit from the care packages.
Harb said that, “Sometimes a small item of gratitude can help people say, “I’m not alone. I can do this.”” When isolated from society, it can be easy to forget that others are struggling, too. The items that come in a Made with Love care package may remind a family that they are part of a community – that they have not been forgotten about, and that can go a long way.