In honor of this month being designated as Mental Health Awareness Month, a group of Williamson, Inc. Leadership Young Professionals on Wednesday unveiled Cards of Care, a project that focuses on spreading kindness and encouragement.

City of Franklin staff and Williamson, Inc. chamber ambassadors gathered just outside of city hall to cut the ribbon on the first-of-its-kind, handmade Cards of Care box.

The mission of Cards of Care is to “encourage those in our community and those visiting to lift each other up with words of kindness and love.”

The concept is for citizens to take a note already in the box, then leave their own unique message of kindness, using the note cards and pens provided in the drawer installed on the box.

The group also partnered with the Refuge Center for Counseling for the project in the hopes that people will seek its counseling services, if needed, through literature inside.

YP group members Carmen Stanek, Brooke Wanser, Chase Harper and David Kelly all knew they wanted to do a project that would raise the sprits of people who call Franklin home.

“We first wanted to come up with a way to implement more small acts of kindness in our community,” Stanek said. “Through some research, we quickly found that there was a bigger need at hand, and that was to combat mental illness and the sigma that is around that. We believe that notes of love and encouragement can really go a long way.”

The group members met for half-a-day once a month since August to complete the project. After extensive research, Harper said he could not find anything similar in other communities.

“We never really saw anything quite like this,” Harper said.

After writing about mental health as a journalist, Wanser felt it was an important project to pursue.

“We all had that one idea that we wanted to do something that would help people feel better if they’re having a really horrible day,” Wanser said. “All of us that live here really feel like our neighbors care about us, and we just wanted to have a physical representation of that.”

Group members can agree the overall goal for Cards of Care is simple.

“To bring care to Franklin,” Harper said.

Find out more about the project on social media @CardsofCare615


Read the Williamson Herald article here.