‘Love Everyday’ is in Vancouver and it’s aim is to increase awareness about poverty and under privileged people in our communities. The message is that all of us are truly fortunate to have great people and opportunities in our lives, but so few of us are fully aware of them all. They hope to serve as a reminder that no matter who you are or where you are from, there are things you have in life that someone else doesn’t have. Whether that be friends, family, or a warm place to sleep – Appreciate and love them all for all they’re worth.
The main idea that they hope to demonstrate through Love Everyday is that we all possess the power to make huge positive changes in people’s lives that are less fortunate than our own. By educating people on the issues of poverty, they hopefully encourage them to get involved and share their gifts with those less fortunate. Their goal is to help give a face and identity to those that most of society might not see otherwise. If you’re lucky enough to have a roof over your head, appreciate it for everything it’s worth and pass on the positive mental attitude.
Created by Mike Mendes in 2008 in Toronto Mike Mendes demonstrates the Love Everyday message by doing non-profit educational talks and discussions as well as art workshops for schools and youth groups. He has also been nominated as a Champion of Change by CBC News and featured on the CBC News site. Love Everyday has led Mike to supporting areas all over the world from Toronto, New York City, Venezuela, across Australia and now Vancouver. All the money made through Love Everyday goes right to the people on the streets of the city we are currently located for purchasing things like clothing, blankets and food.
Here is a brief interview with Love Everday:
So what is Love Everyday exactly?
‘Love Everyday’ is a cause that aims to increase poverty awareness. Through educating people on the issues of poverty, we help encourage people to get more involved and realize that we all possess the power to make huge positive changes in people’s lives that are less fortunate than our own. Together we can help give a face to people that most of society might not see otherwise. Our goal is to be a reminder that no matter who you are or where you are from, there are things you have in life that someone else doesn’t have. Whether that be friends, family, or a warm place to sleep, appreciate them all for all they’re worth.
How did you go about starting Love Everyday?
Love Everyday originally just started as an outlet for my art. I was selling T-shirts I designed at concerts, events, music festivals like Warped Tour and Wakestock, and online through the web site. After travelling a bit and seeing cases of poverty all over the world, as well as right in my own city, I decided to try to do something about it. I started helping out people on the street with all the proceeds from the shirts. After spending a lot of time with a lot of people on the street, I guess I just developed pretty strong relationships with a lot of them and it just motivated me to keep getting more involved. I started doing non profit art workshops and talks with youth groups and schools. Now Love Everyday has led me all over the world, helping out a little bit here and there and it’s been a pretty wild adventure.
Any particular events that stand out from the adventure so far?
Seeing the incredible amount of poverty in Venezuela was a huge deal for me. Families living in alleys and sheet metal shacks, with their kids running around clothesless. It was pretty heavy. I went around and gave out bags of Love Everyday shirts to kids in these areas and it got to the point where I ran out of clothes to give. A little girl was still tugging at me asking where my shirt was for her. I ended up giving away the clothes I was wearing and some clothes I brought just to last me for the trip. Somewhere during my time lost in South America, between getting stranded there with no clothes, missing flights, being registered as a missing-person, and getting chased by wild dogs and someone with a machete, I realized my life can get pretty hectic at times but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Where are you located right now?
I’m in Vancouver for a bit right now working on some things with Love Everyday, then probably off to California. I also tattoo at Dark Day Studios here in Vancouver on Main St. I’m incredibly lucky to have a trade that allows me to just drop down anywhere in the world and work. My tattooing sort of supports my wanderlust and helps Love Everyday get around.
What keeps you motivated?
It can get pretty tough and a bit lonely, but there’s always little things along the way that keep me going. Like every time I meet inspirational people on the street that have such great outlooks on life. It’s crazy how that works though, right? Finding a source of motivation through someone who is seemingly so much more down on their luck than you are. It’s a really humbling experience that gets you looking at your own life and appreciating everything that much more. And it’s amazing when I’ve worked with people like that on the street for a while and then I see them come up out of it and eventually get a job and a home and get everything in order.
I’m also so lucky and thankful to have such a great group of supportive friends and people that are really into Love Everyday. My inbox can get pretty full of amazing messages from people all over the world, and I do read every one of them even though I can be the worst at getting back to people or getting a hold of. When things get a bit tough, it’s nice to look back over those mails and I instantly get stoked again. Even something as simple as someone saying that because of me they bought a coffee for someone out on the street today – that’s huge. It’s an incredible feeling to have played even a small part in that little event in some way.
How can others get involved?
It’s never been easier to help out. It can be as simple as posting our site on your Facebook or inviting friends to the Love Everyday Facebook page. Every little bit of help means that much more people can catch on to the message. Social networking, and also video sharing sites open up so many possibilities. Share the Love Everyday promotional videos with your friends. The littlest things can make a huge difference, which really is the message behind Love Everyday.
Any last words?
At the end of the day, I’m no different than anyone else. A few years ago I just made the decision that I wanted to try to make a difference, and hopefully along the way I can motivate others to make that decision as well.