Starting this weekend, Caring Across Generations, along with our Care Can’t Wait Partners, are engaging in a new push called “Carnations for Care.”
The intent is two-fold: One, to remind Congress, during the time period between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, of the policy solutions that family caregivers need, including access to child care, and home and community-based care; and two, to visually remind Congress and the general public of the work that family caregivers do every day to support their family members who need care. Care is not a personal issue but one that impacts us all.
Care is the foundation of our economy. But for too long, the essential work of unpaid family caregivers and the underpaid workers that provide direct care to older adults and people with disabilities, has gone unnoticed or has been passed over for Federal investments. In the same way, carnations are often the foundation of the most beautiful bouquets, despite being thought of as “throwaway flowers.”
In reality, those providing care are the backbone of the economy; they do the work that makes all other work possible. We must honor these family caregivers and paid workers, show the beauty of their work and highlight their frustrations with the lack of action in Washington, DC.
Together, we can move Congress to include care investments in the economic recovery package that is currently being negotiated. We will do this by bringing caregivers and those who receive care out of the shadows and onto the national stage, through photo and video, and encourage caregivers across the nation to share their own portraits of what care looks like in their lives. These powerful images will remind Congress that we need more than carnations for these caregivers.
We’re getting started this weekend, at the Sweet Auburn Fest in Atlanta, GA and online at the Momibuster: A Filibuster that Work for Moms. During the coming weeks, in New York, California, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Charleston, WV, we will be bringing families together to capture portraits of the power of family, in every form, and to highlight the policies needed to help us all care for each other.
In addition, during the last full week in May, we will feature powerful portraits of care in Times Square and Washington, DC, and will encourage all of us who cares about care to share our own portraits with our Senators (stay tuned for instructions on how to create your portrait and add a carnation logo). When we come together, we can pressure Congress to make sure that the vital funds to support the care infrastructure makes it into the reconciliation package.
Nicole Jorwic is our Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns. You can get to know Nicole here.