We talk a lot in our work about "going where the energy is", which means harnessing the energy around you to help you achieve your vision of social transformation.
Often, we hear that organisations can't do the things they want because they 'can't afford it', but if you look around you, there are a lot of resources and goodwill that you can tap into, at no or very low cost. Sometimes it requires a bit of creative thinking, and often a bit of networking and asking around, but always remember that there are people out there who are willing and able to donate time, resources and expertise, and who get a kick out of doing so. And it makes us feel good. Three of the five ways to wellbeing are to connect, give, and keep learning - all the kinds of things that happen when you volunteer to do something good. In the words of the Mental Health Foundation , "it feels good to give and everybody has something to offer."
Our entire business model is grounded in the notion that people want to do something good, and that they have something to offer. Some people do something good for their day job (hello, lovely people that we work with every day!), and some people do it for fun.
Last weekend I was privileged to work alongside Charity IT - people who 'do' good, for fun. Over two days I worked alongside a bunch of amazing volunteers to build a website for 'Success for Little People' (part of the CEC project).
Charity IT volunteers - smiling because I told them to look like they were working. They gave up their weekend to build us a website. Trust me, they were working.
The view from my chair. I don't know how we were expected to work under such conditions...
Why were they building us a website? I like to think it's because these volunteers believe that social change is possible and they believe they have something to offer.** They gave their time and expertise to help us get information out there which will help all kiwi parents to get their kids prepared and ready for school. I'm kinda hoping that they got something out of it as well, and that they were able to walk away feeling like they gave something good. And they did give something good - they gave us something we never would have been able to achieve on our own. They also gave me a massive dose of renewed faith in humanity.
So - our work this weekend with Charity IT is a great example of going where the energy is, and utilising the energy and goodwill of those around you to achieve magic. The best thing is, any charity or non-profit out there can ask Charity IT for help - you can get in touch with them here.
**Some thank you's are in order - first of all a big thanks to the Charity IT team - Leigh, Nathan, Ross, Melanie, Hana and Ben. But most of all - thanks to the amazing volunteers who worked on our project - Clyde, Nicole, Varun, Namish, Aaron and Marty.