“If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”
Lisa Truong and Rachel Fudge created “Help A Mother Out” (HAMO) to share information, network, and inspire action. It might take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one of you to point, click and give to “help a mother out.” Truong and Fudge aren’t asking for thousands of dollars from the recession weary. Rather, they’ve streamlined giving into something that any Internet savvy wanna be philanthropist can do. Go to the website, point your cursor at any of the non-profits listed under “Amazon Wish List.” Click on the link, look over the list and give. Point, click and give, it’s that easy.
The friends were motivated to start HAMO after they attended a benefit knitting class at a woman’s daytime drop in shelter. A passionate appeal from the center’s volunteer director for basic things such as diapers and personal care items stayed with the friends after the event was over.
Lisa told Recession Daily, “I had no business starting this blog/campaign. [My] husband works a lot and I have minimal childcare. I work on HAMO stuff during nap times, after bedtime, on the weekends, in between family chaos.
Lisa, a stay-at-home-mom with 2 small children candidly shares that she’s been, “laid off so many times in my career I can’t even count…” She and her husband (who is employed by a small business) have learned to live frugally.
Rachel chimed in, “The creation of HAMO was pretty off the cuff, although I think both Lisa and I were itching to have a project to work on outside of family/paid work. We did not, however, anticipate things taking off like this! We’re just two friends who’ve called in a lot of favors and networked our butts off.”
Rachel works full-time as a freelance editor. She also worked as an editor at the nonprofit, small-budget magazine, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, and served on its board of directors for 7 years. “My parents founded a nonprofit 25 years ago, so I grew up with the idea, volunteered, etc. I know my way around nonprofits and fundraising, but I’m no expert.”
Microphilanthropy is a burgeoning movement in which donors make small gifts to a specific cause or action. It’s a paradigm shift in giving, from an emotional appeal to major donors, to a proactive request for everyday people to play a part in philanthropy and in this case, simply meet basic human needs.
Lisa talked about the creation of HAMO. “A year ago I was ‘off the grid’ with social networking. I was anti-social networking. Using the blogosphere, we have been able to meet and tweet some really interesting and like-minded folks. We have utilized Gmail, Google apps, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Amazon.com and WordPress.”
Microphilanthropy works in conjunction with the wealth of information available on the Internet and the prominence that social networking has gained. By using charity information sites like Guidestar and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter microphilanthopy leverages available information and the connectivity of an individual as a force for good. Simply, you choose your charity, you give, you ask your network to give and all of a sudden there’s a movement going on. A response to a cause.
“HAMO was started less than 3 months ago and has grown organically. The only expectation we had in the beginning was to get our close friends and family to buy some diapers and personal care items and share news with them about tent cities. After starting HAMO and contacting agencies, a world has opened up to us that we think others should know about.” Lisa explains.
“Right now we are focusing on our May Donation Campaign and getting the word out. Aside from donation bins we are not asking for cash donations for HAMO. We want to show people that they can make a difference in their OWN community and give them easy steps to do it by way of the Amazon.com wish lists or by donating extra supplies they already have.”
Point, click and give, it’s that easy. No one said you had to give until it hurt, just a little bit, enough to help a mother out.
Something spectacular is just around the bend…