By: Gina Katz
Ever wanted to make a difference but then thought . . . I’m just one person, what can I do? Too often we see or experience situations that move us and we want to make change, but we just don’t know how. The problems seem too overwhelming. Well, if you’ve ever thought or felt this – read on!
Three months ago, I had a chance meeting with a very special person who had spent some time in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and so desperately wanted to help the children there but just didn’t know how. I was embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Pine Ridge and had NO idea that it is the poorest county in our nation with a high school dropout rate of over 70%. The more I learned, it was clear that the children of Pine Ridge need help.
The passionate person who brought Pine Ridge to my attention is @davidabwilliams. I immediately made a call to Michelle Costa, GO Campaign’s head of Programming. Michelle connected with an organization in Pine Ridge dedicated to helping children who are victims of physical and sexual abuse, which is sadly rampant there. The organization fit GO Campaign’s criteria and within a matter of days, GO helped @davidabwilliams and her friend, @itsmeleighton launch an official campaign to raise the funds needed to help child victims. As dollars were raised, real change started to take place in Pine Ridge.
Using social media platforms, we were able to quickly raise awareness and funds. GO Campaign made Davida’s desire a reality – just like that. GO Campaign was there to do the research, vet the organization, create and launch the campaign and help in sharing the story with GO’s vast network of passionate donors. A single conversation with the right organization was all it took for Davida to make the change she was longing to see!
And the ripple effect didn’t stop there. Grace Fohrman, the 13-year-old daughter of GO supporters, was inspired to join Davida & Leighton’s movement. When Grace learned the furnace at this Pine Ridge center was broken and that children were without heat in the most frigid months of the year, she set out to raise the money to fix it. In less than 48 hours, Grace did just that! GO Campaign was able to get the money to Pine Ridge and ensure that the furnace was fixed!
Bella Baskin, founder of Bless It Bag (an organization that sells specially curated bags for the homeless) and a friend of GO, was also inspired when she learned about the ripple effect of a single conversation and joined the movement. Bella launched a campaign donating every Bless It Bag bought in a 48-hour window directly to the children of Pine Ridge.
There are no words to express the beauty of the ripple effect, or as I’m now naming it, The GO Effect. It’s proof that one person can make change –real change and immediate change. There are no hurdles to jump over or red tape to cut through. A young woman wanted to make change but didn’t know how. GO Campaign was there to help her make that change and in doing so, inspired SO many others along the way.
I share this story because it is the perfect example of why I believe in GO. It’s why I took on a full-time role as the Director of Development with an organization whose mission I believe so strongly in. This story is proof that with GO any ONE person, anywhere, has the power to make change.
So, I ask you to ask yourself, what change do you want to make to improve the lives of children? As a mom, I want my children to grow up knowing that they too can make a difference in the lives of other children. Just like 13-year-old Grace, my 10-year-old son worked with GO to help bring the holidays to children in Peru, and I look forward to seeing which part of the world his younger brother chooses to help. I want both my boys to see, feel and touch the impact they’ve learned they CAN make. My hope is for all kids, and adults, to experience this.
No one has to question how just one person can possibly make a difference. No one has to walk away from poverty or injustice and feel helpless. I’m here to say, you can be the person who drops the first pebble in the water and create the first ripple, you can be the person who tips over the first domino creating quick and powerful change….
Decide what change you want to see in the world and watch as The GO Effect unfolds before your very eyes . . . and let’s have a conversation!
Want to be a part of The GO Effect? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation!