Social media collaboration

This morning I read an article, Why Charities Should Use More Social Media.

I learn more and more during my time here how important it is for non-profits to go beyond local donations and grant money.

Due to difficulties in getting government funding for being in a rural area, La Puente has relied on donations from friends and members of the community for years…but a lot of the folks who donated are getting older. They won’t be around forever, and neither will their money. At the same time, applying for a grant and receiving the money easily takes 6 months, and many grants are running dry…

Non-profits need to stop relying on this money, and look at for-profit models of doing business.

There are hundreds of thousands of non-profits today. A person or group is impacted by an experience, wants desperately to make a change or improve a situation, and decides to start a non-profit. It’s so wonderful how many people have a service heart and value helping others in the world, but the problem is all of these non-profits are competing with each other. Resources are diluting—everyone is after the same shrinking pool of money.

Rather than allowing more and more non-profits to form, what if there was a restriction? Instead, what if there was a better way to partner with each other and work together to improve issues in the world? Similar groups of people who are working on similar issues, rather than isolating ourselves from each other and competing for our voices to be heard and for support…

We need to collaborate better to make changes in the world, and what a better way than to utilize these social media platforms—to reach beyond simply your friends, family and local community and to network with the entire world at large.

As Brene Brown said in her TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability, “Connection is why we’re here. It’s what brings purpose and meaning to our lives…”

So why aren’t we doing this better? Why aren’t we connecting and collaborating more?

After a day of paperwork at Adelante, I attended Freedom Writer’s Open Mic. This week’s open mic focused on hunger. I was asked to read a passage but unfortunately I simply did not have the time to write a story of my own. Instead, I read a poem about migrants.

I opened up my talk by saying that the San Luis Valley is a food desert with just a 90-day growing season. I went on to remind folks we have a vast numbers of migrant workers who come to work during that short growing season. They work long hours during the day and stay at the shelter each night. I’ve heard many incredible stories about this community of people and look forward to spending time with them this coming season.

But what about their children? Where do the migrant worker’s children fit into the mix?

I briefly looked up some statistics before my presentation and learned that at least 1/3 of migrant children work on farms to help their families. And according to the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, there are between 400,00 and 500,000 child farmworkers in the United States each year.

Half of them will never graduate high school.

Here is the poem I read tonight titled Migrant Children, by M. Halyard:

Dark-eyed migrant child,

rainbow in a field that stretches too long;

Monday, and you are sunburned with

hands of sandpaper,

Tuesday, no lunch and no homework.

Wednesday, you bring me a bag of strawberries

you picked yourself.

Your secretive smile

like a lily across your dark face;

on Thursday, I can only wonder

about your room, your parents.

Friday, and your spot is empty

I know, there are new harvests to work.

Here is your notebook.

Tucked inside my desk,

it is safe for when

you return.

On a final note, a personal friend of my and his foundation, Unlimited Possibilities, are trying to help a friend win an accessible van so she can attend grad school. UP has graciously helped support startup efforts for seed me and I want to help them out in return. Please take a few seconds and support their cause by voting! http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/jean-walsh-haverhill-ma/

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One thought on “Social media collaboration

  1. Pingback: Community collaboration and storytelling | The Pursuit of Meaning

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