What We Talk About When We Talk About Volunteering

Posted on by Jacob Patterson-Stein


Most people tend to think of volunteering as an activity that involves giving up precious weekend time, waking up early, and maybe interacting with people outside of your regular social circles. This kind of direct-service work is definitely important, but volunteering can encompass a lot more. You often don’t even have to go outside of your normal routine to lend a hand.

More than Me relies on our network of volunteers to win contests, organize fundraisers, write grants, and do the bulk of the day to day activities that eventually lead to girls going to school. Sure, some of our volunteers host movie nights or pick up pamphlets from a print shop. More often though, the people we might consider volunteers have helped out by forwarding a message or bringing friends to a fundraiser. Posting a link of our blog or Facebook page can lead to real results. Volunteering your clicks, as well as a few seconds of your online time, can do more than you might realize.

A lot of people hear our story, realize how easy it is to have an impact, and want to get involved. Not everyone can go to Liberia to lend a hand. Actually, not everyone should go to Liberia. Our strength is in our diversity. We have said it before, but if you can write a song, then write a song; if you work at a bar, ask your boss if you can host a charity happy hour. These creative solutions have helped More than Me get to where we are today, but, a lot of the time, the everyday things you do help just as much.

“Liking” our page is not just a way to get updates about our girls. The more people who “Like” More than Me, the better the chances that a friend of a friend will “Like” us, and the better the chance that that friend will have a friend, and eventually, maybe, someone will know someone who can donate money, help us with IT, or provide an important NGO contact. Aside from the networking aspect, simple clicks and retweets also help spread the More than Me message.

We want to give our girls a voice. We want their stories told. Liberia was in the news for a long time for a lot of bad reasons. More recently, with the election and Nobel prizes, the news has been better, but this doesn’t mean that there is not work to be done. The more people know about the progress of Liberia, the progress our girls are making in education, and the struggles that continue every day, the more difficult it is to pass off as just another thing happening in Africa. The difference between literacy and limitations is huge; knowing how to do math means more options. Showing people our Children page, sharing their stories is part of the process.

During our last contest, you probably received a message from us. Ideally, you passed that message on. I was amazed to see friends, some of whom I had not seen in years, post links about how to vote, while urging others to “Like” us. This kind of simple volunteering- posting a link, telling someone about an article you read on our Facebook page, linking to our blog- is the reason we have won contests in the past, and It is the reason we are getting stronger as an organization.

Sometimes “being involved” doesn’t require much more than doing the same Facebooking, tweeting, and messaging you do every day. The difference, though, is that taking a second, really only a click or two, can tell a story and change a girl’s life.

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One Response to What We Talk About When We Talk About Volunteering

  1. Shanna says:

    To think, I was confused a miunte ago.

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