Around the country, approximately 44 million people face poverty and 550K are homeless (“The State of Homelessness”). This summer, Shaan and I decided to join Empower and Help to make a difference. We arranged a community drive with Rise, an organization based in Central New Jersey because we agreed with their message on helping our neighbors in need. Finding an organization was the first step, then we had to create a plan to stay organized, design a flyer, and conduct marketing all aimed to deliver a successful food drive.
We began by creating a schedule, on when we should create the flyer, when the drive should begin and end, the dates for picking food up, and our goals. This was extremely critical to the success of our drive because it helped us stay organized and gave deadlines for events, making sure we got everything done. Our goal was to collect 100 items during the drive. This piece of information was important since it helped us keep track on our way to surpassing it. The schedule also helped us plan out events, giving us a calendar so we wouldn’t forget the important things, like picking up donations.
After creating a schedule, we needed to create a flyer and spread awareness of our drive. For our flyer, we used a free designing website named Canva, this website gives exclusive features that made our flyer pop. Our flyer had details on what to donate, the organization we were supporting, and when we were going door to door to collect donations. We also added that people could drop donations off at our door, in case they were busy on the days we were going door to door. Before sending the flyer out, make sure to get a second opinion on it, you can ask your family, friends, and teachers. Once we completed the flyer, we sent it out on our community group chat and posted it on Facebook. The flyer was very successful in helping spread the word, and getting us more donations.
Not long after marketing our drive, we started picking up and receiving donations. At first, we weren’t getting many, but our donations increased after reminding the community about our drive. Being that Covid was around during the drive, we made sure to wear masks when picking up our donations. We are proud to say that we surpassed our goal and we received 126 items in 2 weeks. The final step was to deliver our donations to the organization. Once we emptied all the donations, we felt delighted knowing we were able to help others and make a difference. The total amount of time this drive took to organize and put into action was 4 weeks after creating a schedule and flyer, picking up donations, and dropping them off. When creating a drive, remember to be patient and organized, by doing so when the time comes for you to create a drive, you will thrive. Follow these steps, and impact the lives of others just like Simran and Shaan did this past summer.
“The State of Homelessness in America.” National Alliance to End Homelessness, 27 June 2019, www.endhomelessness.org/homelessness-in-america/homelessness-statistics/state-of-homelessness-report-legacy/#:~:text=There%20are%20an%20estimated%20553%2C742,people%20in%20the%20general%20population.
[By Shaan Singh and Simran Singh, Empower And Help Student Ambassador 2020,2021 from New Jersey]