If you’re anything like me, you probably fall into the trap of loving the most popular song on the radio, even if it’s ridiculously overplayed. I can listen to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” or James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” on continuous loop and never tire of them. And now, my new fave (along with the rest of America) is Luke Bryan’s “Most People Are Good.” Because I think we all need to hear those lyrics right now. But what’s amazing is that although we can hear this truth on our radios, we can see it in person, too. In our teachers. In our neighbors. And in people like Erica Guido.
A mom of two boys from Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, Erica embodies what it means to be “good.” When you read about the work that her Facebook group “To Detroit, With Love” does, you’ll see why.
Erica tells Babble that last fall, she was dropping off furniture to donate when she met a woman who asked if she could have a chair out of the back of her SUV. The organization Guido was donating to doesn’t deliver, and the woman had no way of bringing the chair home. So Erica offered to simply bring it to her. But she didn’t stop there: Erica also asked the woman what else she needed and began gathering donations from her community.
Little did Erica know, she was starting a movement in Detroit and its surrounding suburbs.
“It just grew from there,” she tells Babble. “[The woman] sent her neighbors and relatives and now they send me their friends, neighbors, and relatives.”
And so, To Detroit, With Love was born.
When asked how her organization works, Erica explains that a few people in inner-city Detroit have her cell phone number. Once she’s contacted and learns someone is in need, she creates a wish list for that person or family, posts it in her Facebook group, and the items are usually dropped off on her porch or she picks them up herself.
“Then I take them straight to the family,” Erica explains.
I believe most people are good. I believe most people want to help others. But few have the willingness or means to take it to this next level — and that’s why Erica’s work is so important.
Erica also shares that she has an assistant now — Eric Haley — whom she helped once and wanted to pay it forward. He now helps her connect with people in Detroit who need assistance, and he aids with pickups and deliveries. From clothing to appliances to furniture to food, they collect and deliver it all.
“The response from my community has been amazing!” Erica tells Babble. “Everyone jumps at the chance to offer gently used goods, or run out and purchase groceries for a hungry family. It’s incredible how many people have embraced this. They want to give and love others. I help them do that.”
Such a simple, yet amazing thing Erica does. I am always filling up my car with items my family doesn’t need, wondering what is the best, most effective way to donate. Erica makes it easy for people who want to help. Rather than wondering if their donations get thrown into a giant Goodwill pile or even tossed into a dumpster, they go directly to a family only a few miles from them.
That’s how you build a sense of community.
Erica tells Babble that she’d love it if the world knew “how easy this really is, to love someone you’ve never met before, when you put all the barriers aside, like fear and judgment. Only positive things happen when you do that.”
Erica Guido is an inspiration. She shows the impact you make when you cross over that invisible line between poverty and financial stability, between your town and mine, and say, “I’d like to help you. You are part of my community. You are valuable. You deserve to be here.”
I believe most people are good. And Erica Guido does, too.