Hi and welcome to CausePods, I’m your host, Mathew Passy. Here at CausePods, we have one simple mission to highlight the amazing folks who are using podcast as a way to raise awareness for good causes and make the world a better place, whether it’s in their own local community or their taking on global issues.
Please visit us at CausePods.org where you can learn about our guests, show their favorite charitable cause. Join our Facebook group of resources for CausePods podcasters and find a link where you yourself could be a guest here on CausePods. Again, that’s all at CausePods.org.
All right, we are taking you out to the West Coast and in California, we are chatting with Carina believes she is the host of the CareMore Be Better, a podcast for Social Good and Sustainability podcast. Karina, thank you so much for joining us this morning at CausePods.
Great to be here. Thank you.
So in your own words, tell us, what is the mission of the CareMore Be Better podcast?
Well, I’m really here to help amplify the message of other people that are doing really great things. So I kind of look at it after listening to your podcast a bit like you’re the podcast that helps get cause partnership and cause oriented podcasts out there. And I’m somebody who helps to amplify the message of those that are doing the good. I see it as my mission to help them get more airtime and to inspire people to understand better that they can be the change they want to see, too.
I think sometimes we step up Mount Everest, we think, oh, I can’t make a difference. It seems too much. So I like to tell the stories of individuals, especially as they’re getting started in their endeavors.
Why is this your mission?
Well, I’ve always felt like it’s my mission in life to live well by doing good. I’ve worked for over 20 years in the natural products industry now, and typically I work with companies that are very cores oriented. So managing the sales and marketing messaging, I’m always building in some element of that, some element of social good, some element that support sustainability or whatever. And so I’ve just kind of come to the conclusion I wanted to double down on that and make more of a difference every day in both my personal life and my professional life.
It feels daunting, right, it feels like saving the planet, saving society, saving our culture, saving all these things feels like you said mountains and huge, huge overcomers and things like that.
So where can an individual start? What’s the low hanging fruit for an individual or maybe a small company, a startup to just make small impacts and start to make a difference that you would suggest?
You know, there are so many stories out there that really just, I think, need to be told more like there’s one really fantastic, not for profit in the vitamin space called vitamin angels. And what they do is they bring vitamin A to people in other countries that may not have access to the same kind of nutrition that we do in the West. And they’ve been able to basically end infant blindness in many of these countries just by correcting deficiencies that they had.
So supplement companies do simple things like say, OK, I’ll donate a quarter for every bottle sold to the vitamin Angels and then the vitamin Angell’s is able to amplify the work they do. So in some cases, it’s as simple as that, choosing a not for profit to collaborate with when you’re in the business space, but in other cases, it’s just as simple as donating your time. There are so many not for profits out there that are doing great work and that really don’t have all the resources they need every day to get the job done.
And so if you are passionate about a particular thing in your community, all you have to do is reach out to them and say, look, here’s my skill set. I’d love to help in some way, and that’s all it takes. It’s not like we’re all staring up Mt. Everest every day. You don’t have to be the next greeter, Thornburg. Right. You can make small little changes in your day to day life that have an impact.
You can donate your time, you can donate resources. You can do what some others have done and suddenly just create a new business that ultimately gives back to their community. One of the stories I tell in my podcast actually aired today when we’re recording this is about the giving cake. So the giving cake is a company that came out of that kind of a concept. And this is a simple company that one of my girlfriends actually started. She chose to give back to the community through baking beautiful floral cupcake bouquets and selling them in her local community.
She’s giving one hundred percent of profits to local charities in need, and it’s her way of giving back. Now, this isn’t her job. She has a full time job. It’s just something she’s passionate about. And she decided to do it as her way to give back to her community. So, you know, it’s not like it’s impossible to do these things. It’s just sometimes we have to take a step in the direction that we know we want to go if if we’re purpose driven and we’re saying I want to be a part of this change or I’m not happy with how something is run in my community, they can step in, you can step in.
What is it that you do to amplify those people’s messages outside of podcasting? Just so somebody who’s listening, who has a CausePods like I’ve got my podcast, I’m doing that, but I’m still kind of struggling with what are some of the ways that you might be able to help different causes with getting their message out there?
You know, one of the things I have done is connect not for profits with companies that are interested in championing a particular cause. It’s actually I’m just consider myself kind of a networking champion that way. Like, I like to help people. It’s nothing I’ve ever equities. It’s just, hey, OK, so you have this company that has this particular thing that you’re involved in, like let’s say they want to make sure that people in Flint, Michigan, get clean water.
And so they’re going to go ahead and donate some resources to fuel that well, I might be able to help them find that not for profit and go ahead and connect them so that that other not for profit is amplifying their message now through a company that’s going to help support it. And then that company can go ahead and ultimately get the benefit of the extra little marketing jazz that comes from that. Like this is something that we did to help a community in need.
And so you said you don’t equities that, but then how do you make a living doing this as it stands now? I mean, I’m, what, four episodes in? I’m really just getting my feet wet. But my plan is not to build something that I’m going to suddenly turn into a cash cow. If I did, I would likely just take the resources and funnel into some other not for profit or enterprise that needs the support. It’s not something that’s funded by any outside organization.
I’m spending my own money to produce it and my own time and then ultimately giving a little bit of airspace to the stories that I think need to be told. One of them that I am very passionate about is actually another not for profit that got their start to support refugees in need out of Greece in particular. And so, you know, 10 or 11 countries have sent refugees there that are ultimately living in camps and in many cases without a lot of hope.
You know, Kyra Martinez, the founder of this particular not for profit called Love Without Borders for Refugees in Need.
She’s a flight attendant and she was flying all over the country, all over the world for her work and in her travels, knew she wanted to give back to a community when she saw what was happening in Greece. She said, this is it. This is what I want to get back to. And so every time she was able to, she just hop on a plane and go visit Greece, fill suitcases with things to support those in need, and ultimately figured out how she could help.
And she did so through the arts.
She brought art supplies in that enabled these people to express themselves in the trauma that they’d experienced. You know, kids in some cases had stopped talking from their trauma and now suddenly were able to speak again and find their voice through these visual means, through expression. Right. And so now what she does is she still supports them by bringing in art supplies. She sells them through her Etsy shop. And then also when we were in pre covid times was doing art galleries and gallery shows to showcase their art.
Every art piece that has sold 100 percent of the profit goes to the individual who painted it. And so ultimately, she’s been able to help thousands of people and many of them successfully re-enter society, not necessarily only in Greece. Some are living in Germany or Canada or Australia. I mean, they get, you know, basically to wherever they were able to land. Right.
So then with all this work that you’ve decided to do, why then did you think, you know what? Let’s put out a podcast.
I’m a mom of two boys. I’m in graduate school. I balance working for three clients and I don’t have a lot of time. I do this because I feel like I have to. And if I’m not giving back in some small way every day, then I’m not leading by example the way that I want to in my everyday life.
What were some of the big challenges you faced in launching a podcast? Like did you have any media or technical experience? Where you learning as you go? Are there still things that, you know, you get to do the podcast? Like I what am I doing?
Well, I think everybody goes through a little hurdle, right? Even if it is something you’ve done before. I have been a guest on radio shows for years talking about health and nutrition, so I had some comfortability with that. I’ve spoken at many different sorts of media events in my time as well in front of crowds. So I’m not too shy that way, which is helpful, I think.
And I had a little bit of experience back in college working as a technical director and sound technician, doing some film work. So it wasn’t like it was completely Greek to me, but I will say I’m still learning every day.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge then for someone who has had some of the technical expertise, has comfortability behind a microphone? Clearly, you know, what? What would you say to someone else who’s listening? Like, well, this is the thing you have to watch out for. This really threw me for a loop.
I don’t think I realized when I started how much time it would take me. So there are simple things, right? Like I tend to write out a bit of an opening script for the shows that I’m going to record. Sometimes I’m sharing particular news notes, things that are happening in communities that I think need a little bit of air time that relate to the topic I’ll be covering that day. And that takes some prep time. It’s not just like you hop on the microphone and start write another piece, I think is just understanding that the time I have to dedicate to networking is something I will have to do in an ongoing way and make space for this.
So there are so many stories that ultimately need to be told and that I want to tell that I’m now having to prioritize almost the order in which I record them or. Which ones I want to tell first versus which I’ll tell later, and so I think the big challenge I’m facing today is making sure I keep those parties interested that I might not have time to record right now because they don’t want to lose them off the hook, so to speak.
So we’re also today supporting a charity that you are fond of, Love Without Borders for refugees, dotcom. And before we jumped on, you were mentioning that this is something that your friend is doing. Tell us about what they are doing and why we care so much.
As I mentioned briefly earlier, they have helped thousands of refugees re-enter society and ultimately handle some of the trauma that they have experienced en route to Greece. Right. And living there in camps isn’t necessarily the most beautiful thing either. If you listen to my first podcast, you’ll hear the story directly from Kyra. And she talks about the fact that she would witness people waiting in line for an hour for a cup of orange juice and, you know, a bagel, a sad existence that most of us are never exposed to.
And so her interest is in really just helping these people re-enter society in a healthy way. She’s recently started a project where she’s even working to buy an apartment in Greece so that she can help these families re-enter. It’s something they’ve piloted with a rental already, and they’re putting families into a 10 month to a year program that assists them in ultimately re-entering society. And I think this is something that we all need to be concerned about. It’s a community issue.
I mean, if you are accepting in refugees from another country who these people don’t have anywhere to go, they’ll live on the streets if you don’t supply them with some sort of support. And so she is both fundraising for them and she’s also selling art that they have created. I have actually a painting on my wall that I’m looking at right now. I purchased from their Etsy shop, which is linked from their website Love Without Borders for Refugees. And that’s the number four for refugees.
We’ll put a link to this in the show.
Notes folks will be able to find. It is like there is some surprisingly beautiful art in there. There’s also some cute little art projects that kids did, too. But each piece comes with a story and it ultimately helps to support people that are in the direst of need. And so I just have appreciation and love for what she’s doing. Again, it’s one of the many, many stories that I’m working to tell because there are so many like it where an inspired individual is putting all of their free time, their love and their effort into helping others.
And that’s the whole purpose of this podcast, is really for me with CareMore be better inviting people to care a little bit more so we can all be a little better.
And like we said, we will put a link to their website, Love Without Borders for Refugees, dot com. And on that site, you know, we were talking earlier about best ways to get involved. You can find a link to buy a piece of art. You can find a link to donate directly to help them out. You can offer to host a show and contribute that way or just volunteer your time to, you know, help him make a difference in the life of people around the world.
So, you know, going back to the idea of launching a podcast to support your favorite cause, what would be your one piece of advice for other folks who are on the precipice of launching or have just launched and could use a hand up? What would be your advice to them on what to do?
I think the first step is just to get started. I know that may sound like it’s a little trite, but, you know, you get in front of a microphone and get a little comfortable, perhaps even just to record a few Zoome sessions so that you’re really comfortable with the technology, since that’s what a lot of podcasters uses are getting started. And I think really, even if you can just do kind of fake run or a trial with a friend or two over the Internet at a different space or whatever, just so that you, again, are getting really comfortable and familiar.
I personally chose to interview people first that I was familiar with who were doing great things, and I think that helped me to get my sea legs.
I also knew they’d be a little forgiving if I stumbled, which is actually the exact kind of advice that I give so many clients as those first couple of interviews. Talk to people who, you know, will allow you to be comfortable, allow you to make some mistakes with some latitude and allow you, you know, God forbid, if you forgot to hit record, allow you to do it again, because it happens so often to so many people.
We have been chatting with Karina Belleci. She is the host of the CareMore Be Better, a podcast for social good and sustainability. We will have you can find more care, more better dotcom. But of course we will have a link to her website, her show on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as the link to Love Without Borders for Refugees Garena. Thank you so much for joining us here on CausePods today.
Thank you. I so appreciate you giving me a little space. I look forward to perhaps even coming on again if you’re open.
Thanks for listening to this episode of CausePods. If you’ve been inspired by the work of our guest, please check out the show notes of this episode in your podcasting app or at CausePods.org. There you will find links to their show, their website, their podcast, links on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as a link to support the charity that they highlighted here. In this episode, you will also find a CausePods.org Barletta subscribe to this show on your favourite podcasting app, How to sign up to be a guest on this show and a link to our Facebook group, which is going to have special resources just for the folks who are podcasting for a good cause.
And I can tell you right now, we’ve got one great deal from our friends, a pod page. But you’re only going to learn about it and get that special deal if you are a member of the Facebook group for CausePods. And before I go, I should say thank you in particular. The show is edited and produced by Ben Killoy of the Military Veteran Dad podcast and what a great job he has done. And all this is made possible because of the great support that I received from Shannon Rojas here at the podcast.
Consulted Dotcom once again.
If you want to learn more, go to CausePods.org. Thank you so much. And we will see you next time on CausePods.