Photographer Sharing Stories of Human Kindness with "More Good" Project
Traveling more than 19,000 miles across 25 states, while staying in more than 80 strangers' homes; one photographer is on a mission to spread 'more good.' t's more than just a road trip, though. Mary Latham aims to collect stories of human kindness across the country.
Traveling more than 19,000 miles across 25 states, while staying in more than 80 strangers' homes; one photographer is on a mission to spread 'more good.'
It's more than just a road trip, though. Mary Latham aims to collect stories of human kindness across the country. This week, she's visiting right here in northern Nevada.
Mary's journey of hope was inspired by advice from her mother, who comforted Mary when she was overwhelmed with sadness after the Sandy Hook shooting. Mary says her mother told her, "'There's always gonna be more good out there, you just have to look for it.' So I started looking for it."
Her mother passed away just a few weeks later and Mary started a Facebook page to honor her memory and spread hope. It turned into something much bigger, about a year and a half ago when she set out on a road trip in her late mother's Subaru.
She's hit 25 states so far, seeking out stories of kindness. Mary says, "I believe that there are a lot of really good people out there and that's what kind of carries us through the bad times."
Currently, shes staying in Sparks with her former high school teacher and her family. Her host's husband, Michael Kwasna, says he's inspired by his guest, "I'm hoping to learn from her, I'm hoping my kids learn from her."
She's met people along the way with monumental acts of 'doing good,' like a teacher who gave the gift of life to a stranger. Mary explains, "She got tested, was a match and donated her kidney to her student's aunt--who she didn't even know at the time."
The stories also include the most simple gestures, like the customer who noticed her bank teller was having a rough day. Kwasna says this is one of the stories that stuck out most to him, "[The bank teller] jokingly said, 'It's nothing a bag of M&M's cant fix. So about an hour later, that lady came back with a bag of M&M's and made that girls day."
All the while, Mary does her own good deeds for strangers, like when she gave a deserving family a special gift for Christmas--a free holiday photo shoot. Mary recounts the experience and the surprise she saw afterward, "We took a picture of me and the whole family and there was this rainbow orb in the corner of the photo and it was just like....I don't know, maybe mom is there, too."
She says theses are signs that her mother, the one who inspired it all, is with her, on her journey. Just like Mary was right by her mom's side during her final days in the hospital. Mary recalls, "We were just sitting there, it was the worst time in my life."
That's why shes compiling all of these stories into a book that she will donate to hospitals, giving a little bit of hope to patients and their families, during a time they'll need it most.
Mary says, "It's really our only option. I mean, you can go into this negative dark place, but it's not going to get you anywhere. Turn it into a positive if we can."
Mary is hitting California next and then she'll be headed to Oregon.
If you'd like to submit a story of kindness (she says no story is too big or too small), donate gas money, or even offer up a guest room for Mary on her journey, visit her website, here.