How to Gather People Around a Cause

In leading a movement of doers, we want to equip you in how to create your own movement or how to bring awareness to an issue close to you.

The world changes and problems are solved through communities of people coming together to commit to the change. Love Beyond Walls would not have any impact if it weren’t for our volunteers, followers, partners, and everyone who engages with our story and mission.

The same goes for every cause. If you’d like to gather people around your idea, solution, or mission, here are some first steps to follow.

1. Identify With It

The cause needs to be something that you personally identify with it. It ties into your story. That doesn’t mean you have had to go through it but it has had to have an impact on you.

For example: If you overcame an illness, you might find joy in working with people who are also overcoming an illness. Or, you could have had a friend that was touched by this, and you were affected as a result. 

Whatever the cause, it should burn in your heart. It’s not a hobby or trendy topic but something that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.

2. Get Involved

In order to make an impact towards the cause you’re fighting for, you’ll need to become familiar and knowledgeable about it.

Maybe there is an organization or group already doing something in this area you could learn from.

Take time to volunteer, do research, and hear speakers. Engage with the community that is already working towards making a change.

3. Listen

In developing your own idea, never bring a solution or prognosis to a community without first hearing the symptoms from the people you plan to service.

You wouldn’t have a doctor who prescribes medicine without listening to the symptoms, the same goes for this. Out of the need comes the prognosis.

If you are going to be a social scientist, you can never meet the needs of the people you’ve never met. Additionally, you’ll find out how to tailor your idea to meet the need you found.

4. Get Active

Once you have listened and become knowledgeable, this should provoke action.

You will begin to give your time to it. Create a rhythm in your life where this time is ongoing. Most people normally ask how to do a one-off event but if you are really committed to cause, you need to make service a lifestyle and consistent rhythm in your life.

How often are you going to make sure people have blankets? What days? It’s easier to invite others into the cause when you’re consistent in your idea and service.

You’re applying the knowledge, serving the burden, and actually figuring out the need.

5. Invite others

Start with those who are closest to you. People will believe in you before they believe in the mission or cause you are fighting for. You will become the bridge needed to connect people to your cause.

Try to gather them in a social setting. For example: If your idea is to provide blankets for the homeless community, then you need to invite 5 or 6 friends around an actual activity.

Instead of just collecting blankets and dropping them off, have the people serving with you do something around the blankets. Tell them, “we’re going to write notes.” Or, create tasks that educates those who are donating the blankets. This will help your audience understand why they are needed more than just one time, and must give a part of themselves to the cause.

6. Distribution

Begin to match the people who are giving with the people who have the need.

Help forge relationships between people who have resources relationships and time and those who need them.

Storytelling

While you begin to bring people around a cause, the leading factor should be storytelling. Everything you do should fall under this umbrella.

The need may be blankets, but what story inspired you to want to start collecting blankets? Ask yourself questions like these. This is what will bring people along the journey.

There are 4 P’s to tell a great story: person, plot, place, purpose.

Instead of, “we need blankets for the homeless!” Try and tell a story like this:

“Yesterday, I met John. He sleeps outside and it’s 15 degrees. He was behind a building downtown trying to take cover from the wind. We need to ensure that if he is sleeping behind this building he at least has these blankets.”

We always try to tell stories in this way because it’s indirect asking. It’s a way for people to get involved without directly telling them what to do.

Leave enough space for people to find out that they’re the extra character in the story. Once they figure that out, they’ll come through in even bigger ways than you might have initially imagined.  

We try to create “low hanging fruit” where anyone can see themselves as the hero of the story because the level of entry is so low. Don’t exclude people by asking for a blanket factory or people that can only donate $10,000.

This way anyone can get involved because the premise is not based on material but rather involvement.

Podcast Interview on Voting Conditions, Systemic Oppression, and Hope for the Furture

This month we had the opportunity to talk to Wanda Mosely from My Vote Matters GA.

The political climate lately has been difficult to navigate.

It’s hard to believe that there are still systemic conditions that keep people from voting. The most underrepresented group are the marginalized and vulnerable. Minorities are still struggling to make it to the polls.

What consequences does our country see when voices are not represented? And how does this affect the policies in place?

More importantly, how can we help create change?

Wanda offers a uniquely hopeful position on what we can do to make a difference.

Listen to the full episode here.

MAP18 BOOK LIST

Looking to learn more about the topics we’re creating awareness for? Here are some of our most recommended books on racial division, poverty, and Christianity and poverty.

 

RACIAL DIVISION:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Is God a White Racist?: A Preamble to Black Theology by William R. Jones

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson PHD

Embrace by Leroy Barber

Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race. Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us by Benjamin Watson and Ken Peterson

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Christian Smith and Michael Emerson

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill

POVERTY:

The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto by Travis Smiley and Cornell West

The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear by Paul Rogat Loeb

99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality Is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It by Chuck Collins

So Rich, So Poor: Why it’s so hard to end poverty in America by Peter Edelman

The Life You Can Save: How to Do your Part to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America by Alex Kotlowitz

Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K Shipler

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

A Place at the Table: The Crisis of 49 Million Hungry Americans and How to Solve It by Peter Pringle

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

CHRISTIANITY AND POVERTY:

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How You Can Reverse It by Robert D. Lupton

The Justice Project by Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla, and Ashley Bunting Seeber

Make Poverty Personal: Taking the Poor as Seriously as the Bible Does by Ash Barker

How Much Is Enough: Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture by Arthur Simon

The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted by Obery M Hendricks

There Shall Be No Poor Among You: Poverty in the Bible by Leslie J. Hoppe

The Upside-Down Kingdom by Donald Kraybill

Jasmine Shepherd – The Doers Podcast

We are often asked, “How do you really get someone off of the streets?”

It is probably the most complex question we are asked because everyone experiencing homelessness doesn’t arrive at the experience the same way.

Some people experience job layoffs, some people lose family members, some women experience abuse, some teens find the experience because they timed out of foster care, some people use drugs and addiction to cope with life, and many other reasons.

We’ve come to find out that many people experiencing homelessness have several challenges, but the one of the greatest challenges is community.

Having community and people to catch you when you fall is important. If you could point to one person that has helped you through a difficulty—you will automatically know what I’m talking about.

This week we get to share the story of community with Jasmine Shepherd.

She’s a young lady that instead of talking decided to take a step to help a man (Mr. Philip) experiencing homelessness reunite with his family after 40 years.

When I asked her what pushed her to serve in this way, she responded with these words,

“My greatest desire is to travel to the ends of this earth serving the overlooked, the underprivileged, and spreading the Gospel. The Spirit led me to #lovebeyondwalls with Mr. Philip. After watching the documentary “Voiceless” and praying for God to use me to reach His people, I became intentional about making a difference in my community. Shortly after, our paths crossed and I saw a need. Once I got to know Mr. Philip, something about his story and genuine personality tugged at my heart and I just couldn’t give up on him.”

From her story, we’ve learned that sometimes getting to know people, and taking a step can transform someone’s life.

In the words of Jasmin, “to me, #lovebeyondwalls means to love one another just as Jesus loves us. It means we are responsible for meeting people right where they are, looking past their circumstances. We must build one another up, provide support, hope, and the greatest of all-LOVE.”

Check out her incredible podcast interview above.

Terence

Benjamin Graham – The Doers Podcast

After two years of college life, Ben decided to try his luck in Atlanta, GA.

Living a successful but fast life as an up-and-coming entrepreneur, Ben begin experimenting with crime and drugs which landed him on the streets experiencing homelessness for many years.

He says, “I was hopeless and weighed 140 pounds. Childhood trauma played a factor.”

After 17 years of addiction, battles with mental health challenges and homelessness, Ben credits God and a program for helping him to beat the addiction and depression.

Years later, Ben and his wife have now opened a convenient store on Auburn Avenue just two blocks from the same bridge under which he once slept, and one block from the birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you’ve ever wondered if it was possible for someone battling mental health challenges to overcome homelessness, listen to his amazing story on our “Doers Podcast.”

Check out his story above on our podcast.

LBW Team