The question came in October.
“Would you be interested in joining a ‘social media avengers-type’ of volunteer group that would use your social media connections to raise awareness about the Foodbank?”
The proposal arrived via Twitter DM and email from Bethany Prange, communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
“No, I want to join a volunteer group actually called the Social Media Avengers!”
Volunteering for a good cause + social media + awesome superhero name?
The St. Louis Area Foodbank does amazing work in the St. Louis area. The need is staggering, and so is the effort they put forth.
One thing I know from experience: it is very difficult to run a nonprofit. There is never enough money, time or resources to do all the good you want to do, and that can weigh heavily on both the employees of the organization and the people they serve.
Nonprofits like the Foodbank need our help in so many ways: donations, on-site volunteers, great board members, dedicated employees, corporate support, and the list goes on. So what can one person do to help?
In my case, the answer was social media.
As a well-known new media strategist based here in St. Louis, I try to support all things local via my Twitter account and my blog. http://www.rizzotees.com/blog/about-chris-reimer
Bethany had likely noticed this, and instead of hoping I’d continue to retweet them, she reached out and made the ask. She told me of her plan to create a group of people like me (heavy users of social media) to help raise awareness and visibility of the Foodbank.
I can’t tell you how good it felt to be asked to help.
Within a few weeks, a group of us gathered at the Foodbank in Bridgeton. We determined our strengths, defined our mission and named ourselves the Social Media Avengers.
True, we are avenging nothing. But it does sound very cool.
Each member of the group brings their own unique talent to the table, whether it be blogging, marketing knowledge, Twitter prowess, networking skills or event planning.
Although social media is in our name, the concept isn’t just to have a group of social media mavens retweeting every time the Foodbank updates their status.
The Foodbank folks hope to build a team of creative individuals from various fields within the community. The idea is that these volunteers will tap into their knowledge, networks and talents to find new and better ways to increase hunger awareness, and ultimately, help provide more food for families in need.
The beauty of volunteering in this way is that you are contributing to a good cause from your own area of strength. And therefore, you can make a big difference in a short amount of time.
Frankly, I don’t do enough volunteering. Lack of time, focus on job and family – I have all the normal excuses. So I’m trying to find a way to help.
That’s my challenge to you. Find a way to help.
Whatever touches you in life, whether it be hunger, autism, cancer or animal abuse – start chipping away at the problem now. Once you realize that giving is what really fills up your cup in life, you will find a way to help the human race and you’ll feel more fulfilled and happy than you ever thought possible.
Chris Reimer is the Vice President of Social Media at Falk Harrison. Find him on Twitter - @RizzoTees