Unlike self-care, does not place the onus of compassion on a single individual. In a phone interview with Mashable, Valerio defined community care as “People committed to leveraging their privilege to be there for one another in various ways.”
Yet this form of care isn’t entirely selfless, at least not in the long run.
“They (the care providers) know that when they will also need care in the future, others will be there for them,” Valerio says.
Community care involves more than one person. It can include two, three, or possibly hundreds of people. You can practice community care in your personal offline life or even in digital spaces.
“Community care can look like a lot of different things,” Valerio says. “It can be as simple as reaching out to somebody over text when you just need someone to talk. It can be someone grabbing groceries for you or … somebody coming and doing your dishes and watching your kids while you’re grieving.”
Valerio compares community care to an extended family, where members are intimately connected to and routinely perform acts of compassion on behalf of one another.
“It’s more than going to someone’s art opening. It’s about being committed to being there for people,” Valerio says. “It’s about being there for people without them having to take the initial first step. It’s about adopting an ethos of compassion and very intentionally applying that.”
While sustained, interpersonal acts of kindness are a critical part of community care, there are also more structured versions. They can take a number of forms: neighborhood groups, communal homes, support groups, and community-based nonprofits.
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