World Caring Day was first celebrated in 2022 to commemorate the anniversary of the CaringBridge website. The website, launched in 1997 to share information about a baby born prematurely, now allows people around the world to share health updates and coordinate necessary help and support for others. On June 7, World Caring Day seeks to highlight ways we can connect and care for each other. It’s a mission that the Healthy365 Connection Center takes personally as we work to connect Hancock County residents with available caring resources.
A culture of caring lays the foundation for a strong community. Caring doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, either. There are many ways you can exercise a caring spirit with your loved ones, friends, neighbors, or strangers. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Focus on connecting
It’s a bit of a mystery. In a world where we can connect instantly through electronics or social media, people still feel alone. Online relationships have a place and purpose. But, they they also may lack those verbal cues and physical presence that lead to stronger relationships. Old school connections, like in-person conversations, phone calls or even a letter, can tell someone that they’re worth more than a thumbs up button under their latest social media post.
Share your meals
No, we’re not telling you that you must let your friend eat off your plate. Instead, think about your widowed neighbor down the street or the family that’s dealing with a sick child. If you’re one of those families who always seems to throw away leftovers, consider making a to-go box. Send a text to your neighbor that says “Hey, I made a lot of meatloaf. Can I bring you some for your fridge?” Or, spend a day baking with your favorite family members and plan to share the goods afterwards. There’s something special about sweet treats.
Too often, we spend conversations thinking about what we’re going to say next. That’s perfectly natural – everyone wants to be able to contribute. But caring starts with being an active listener. If you’re at lunch with a coworker and you ask how her day is going, make sure you’re also listening to her response. If you have a family member who likes to go on and on (and on and on) about the old days, give him the gift of your attention.
Let them go first
Boundaries are healthy, and we encourage people to communicate their needs and advocate for themselves in their relationships. When it feels appropriate, though, consider waving the other person ahead in line for the family dinner or giving them the covered parking spot at home. You can practice this with strangers as well – let the other guy have the good parking space. In other words, focus on giving rather than winning.
Raise money for causes you believe in
The world is full of foundations and charities designed to support people who are struggling. Most of these groups rely on donations to grow and continue their work. Go ahead and enter that 5K – you’ll also enjoy increased fitness. Remember, it’s not too late to purchase your passport for the Passport to Hancock County 5K Series, which supports various local fund-raising events. Or, nurture a passion for philanthropy among your children by encouraging them to raise money through lemonade stands or dog walking duties.
Help them get the care they need
This may be one of the most challenging – and most important – ways to show you care. If you notice someone near you struggling with mental health or substance misuse issues, consider helping them find the care they need. The Healthy365 Connection Center is designed to connect Hancock County residents with local supportive services. Our support navigators are ready with a non-judgmental, listening ear. Our services include substance misuse treatment connections, mental wellness support, suicide prevention training and personal support navigators who can remove barriers to service.
World Caring Day is June 7, but caring is timeless. How can you help?