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Joy

People were asked to share their 'most memorable moment' with a stranger. One answer jumped out.

"As I got to the checkstand with my arm full of stuff I dropped a container of sour cream and it exploded everywhere. I completely lost control of myself and started to cry. The ugly cry."

kindness; act of kindness; strangers; grief

Good grief, strangers can be kind.

Interactions with strangers can be the highlight of your day, the reason you're crying in a bathroom stall at Chipotle or anywhere in between. A user on Reddit wanted to hear about the most memorable moments people had with strangers in what is assumed to be an effort to show the good in humanity.

The question read, "What is the most memorable moment you shared with a stranger who you never saw again?" Well, leave a prompt like that and the internet is ripe with responses ready to go. This particular post has more than 11,000 comments, but it was one comment in particular that stood out and brought the internet to tears.

Reddit user misdolnurs2517 answered the prompt with a story about grief and how a group of strangers came together for a momentary act of kindness.


The user says at the time of the incident her father had passed away earlier that day and she felt like she was doing a pretty good job holding it together. Grief is a strange thing, sometimes it's delayed, sometimes its immediate and oftentimes it peeks its head up in the most unexpected moments. You never know how grief is going to affect you until it hits, and it's something you don't have much control over.

kindness; act of kindness; strangers; griefPhoto by Ben White on Unsplash

For this particular Reddit user, grief snuck up on her when she took a stroll around Target to clear her mind and buy a few groceries. The commenter recalls getting to the checkout stand with her arms full when she dropped a container of sour cream. It was in that moment, the dam broke. Right in the middle of Target for everyone to see, this grieving daughter began to sob uncontrollably.

She said, "I completely lost control of myself and started to cry. The ugly cry." Everyone knows that cry and it doesn't tend to happen over sour cream splattered all over the floor. The shoppers around her knew that something deeper was going on but no one pried.

kindness; act of kindness; strangers; griefPhoto by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The Reddit user said she was instantly surrounded by a group of women who took charge of the situation without saying a word. Connecting with someone on such a human level that words are not needed is a moment to be treasured. She said the women cleaned up the mess, someone grabbed her a new sour cream and helped her get checked out.

I'm stereotyping here, but that is some big mom energy coming from that group of women. They saw someone who was hurting and did what needed to be done without shaming, without prying and without talking. The group anticipated the needs of a stranger then anticipated the actions of the other women helping to get a grieving person home.

kindness; act of kindness; strangers; grief

Reddit Screenshot

The story garnered many supportive comments but most were speculating on if a group of moms is called a flock or a gaggle before telling their own stories of how a random mom helped them. No matter what a group of moms is called, the story is a beautiful testament to seeing one another's humanity.

All images provided by CARE & Cargill

The impact of the CARE and Cargill partnership goes beyond empowering cocoa farmers

True

Cocoa, the key ingredient found in your favorite chocolate bar, has been a highly revered food product throughout human history. It’s been used for religious ceremonies in Peru, royal feasts in England and France, traded as currency for the ancient Mayans. And considering that many of us enjoy chocolate on a regular basis (mochas and candy bars, anyone?) it seems like that love is still going strong even today.

And if you are someone who looks forward to that sweet chocolate pick-me-up on a regular basis, you likely have the women of West Africa to thank.

Women like Barbara Sika Larweh, a mother of six who works as a cocoa farmer in Larwehkrom, a community located within the Sefwi Wiawso Municipality in the Western North Region of Ghana.

care, cargillMama Cash now empowers other women to gain independence

Nearly 60% of the world’s cocoa comes from both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, where Barbara and other mothers make up over half of the labor force. These female cocoa farmers shoulder the same physical burden as their male counterparts—all while also running households and paying for their children to go to school. And yet, they typically don’t receive equal income. Nor do they have access to the resources that could help them achieve financial independence.

Thankfully, positive changes are taking place. Barbara’s story exemplifies the impact of programs offered by CARE and Cargill, such as Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), which are small groups that offer low-interest loans to individuals living in poverty, helping them to build savings without going into devastating debt.

Through these initiatives, women, like Barbara, are equipped with vital knowledge like financial literacy to improve household incomes, sustainable agriculture practices that improve yields, and nutrition education to diversify their family’s diets.

“They came and trained me on the VSLA. I dedicated myself and volunteered so that I would be able to train my people, too,” Barbara explains.

Within the first year of using the programs, Barbara and the people she trained profited—earning her the nickname of “Mama Cash.”

This is no isolated event. In cocoa-growing communities supported by CARE and Cargill programming between 2019-2022, the number of households living below the national poverty line decreased by nearly 32% in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana - as a direct result of increasing and diversifying income through using these programs.

Like Barbara, who today is an executive member of the Community Development Committee, more than 2.4 million women have used their success as entrepreneurs to transform into leaders and decision-makers within their communities. Whether it’s giving most of their earnings back to their families, reducing child labor, or exponentially increasing overall farm yields, the rippling effect is profound.

The impact of the CARE and Cargill partnership goes beyond empowering cocoa farmers. The joint initiatives have fostered progress on complex global issues related to social justice, such as gender equality, climate change, and food security. By improving access to quality nutrition, water, and hygiene, the joint programs have positively influenced the cocoa communities’ well-being.

Suddenly there’s a lot more to think about the next time you eat a candy bar.

Find out more about the important partnership between CARE and Cargill here.
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