By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
For more than five years, Chad Wick has spread the love in Atlanta with his organization More To Love. What started as fundraising at parties and events has grown into international outreach initiatives and now the Love(seat) Project – and online platform where the love can be spread virtually.
First, give us the background on More To Love.
More To Love (MTL) started five years ago as a yearly event focused on love, charity, inclusion, and diversity. It has transitioned over the years and has grown into what it is today. MTL has four foundational pillars:
Love Yourself (we are a big advocate of self-care and mental health. We believe love starts from within us and from that overflowing we can better love others)
Love Your Neighbor (those that are closest to us)
Love Your Community (get involved – giving back)
Love Beyond (help those that are in need outside our community)
We try to live by the motto ‘do what you can, where you can.’ We organize Community Care Days, where we give back to our community to help in various ways. We host an annual, immersive experience charity event, where we give back to a local charity. We take a team and do a global outreach project every other year. More To Love is open to anyone and everyone.
The next More To Love endeavor is The Love(Seat) Project. Tell us about the idea for it and what it entails?
More To Love has wanted to have an online platform for a while now. A way that we can be inclusive and diverse, a way that no matter who you are or where you are, you can feel loved, accepted, and proud. It was always in the back of our minds, but once COVID happened, we thought there is no better time than now. A time where many are discouraged and afraid, and a time where we are physically distant from the ones we love. We need something to unite us, to help us feel and express love, to be hopeful and proud of who we are, where we are, and excite us about the future ahead. The Love(seat) Project wants to be just that. The Love(seat) project is a space where you will hear the heart of others within our community. Everyone has a story, and everyone’s story is completely different. We are giving space to those stories. To the Atlanta legacies, the Atlanta newbies, the ones in the spotlights, and the unsung heroes. We are all unique individuals, and together we are Atlanta. A loveseat is a place where you can have an intimate conversation with others. We need to talk during these times and create spaces for love and intimate conversations. It’s a love letter of sorts written from our community to our community.
Since The Love(seat) Project is a love letter to Atlanta and its inhabitants, what is something that you love about Atlanta?
There is so much that I love about this community; It is very difficult to pick just one. I love the location, the trees, the seasons, the history, the platform for proper diversity and inclusion, the food, the potential, the artistic vibe, but above all, I love the people. There are some good, amazing people here.
Who are you working with on this project?
The Love(seat) Project is a complete collaboration effort. Miko Evans from Meak Productions, Lynn Barfield from Atlanta Pride, and Mikkel Hyldebrandt from Peach Media are all coming together with More To Love to make this a reality. Each has been doing some amazing work already, and I could not be prouder of a team that simply wants to give back and help our community.
What are your hopes and aspirations for The Love(seat) Project? Do you want it to continue in a non-virtual, in-person world post-COVID?
Absolutely, I feel like we as a team provide something that is very much needed within our community, especially during this time. We are basically giving space to this, and I, for one, want to watch as it unfolds into whatever it needs to grow into. But yes, the loveseat will make its way into the physical world and not just online. I want the community to feel proud of Atlanta and feel loved and accepted whenever they see the Love(seat) Project, whether online or in person.
Switching back to More To Love: Can you tell us about any future projects for MTL?
We just had our Community Care Day with the mission of helping Lost-N-Found Youth and Thrift Store. We will continue to have Community Care Days moving forward, so continue to be on the lookout for them. We still have plans for our yearly local charity focused event at the beginning of next year. Before COVID, we started the process of our next global outreach in Peru, 2022. Exciting stuff ahead.
How do you think the landscape of the Atlanta LGBTQ community will look after this global pandemic is over?
For me, this is a tough question; part of me feels like this pandemic has brought some of our community together. We will have gone through this crazy time, supporting and loving each other. However, at the same time, I have seen some surprising and sad behavior within our very own community towards one another. Increased stress, loss of income, loss or change of career, frustration, confusion, anxiety, fear – many of us have experienced it all and react differently to it. I just hope that because of this global pandemic, we come together, realize our own faults, and where we could have done better, could have been better, and that we unify stronger and better than before. This will require us to be understanding, selfless, openhearted, and good listeners. I hope it puts things into perspective for us. I hope that we cherish more and love even harder. By being different and identifying as LGBT, I think we all have something in common. We have all felt the desire for others to try to understand us, to open their hearts and minds, to extend love no matter what. I only hope we can now do that for each other, for our own community. Loving Is easy when you are on the same page having fun on the dance floor, but how about now? When we disagree with each other and feel so strong that we are in the ‘right.’ We need love now more than ever.
Tell us how we can support More To Love.
Follow us and share on social media. Come to and promote our events. Have ideas on when, where, and who we can love? Please Share! Talk with us about how we can do things better. Get Involved in your own unique way. We all have different skills, stories, platforms; let’s join together to do good in our community and the world.