Instead of hitting the town this Saturday night one group is encouraging you to invite some friends over for a Boggle tournament or to pop some popcorn and melt into your couch for a night of movie watching.
“Social Media for Social Change (SM4SC) serves as an example of how social media can bring together people from all around the world together to change society in a big way. The premise of SM4SC is simple â€” to take all the connections made through social media, and put them together to host first-class fundraising events happen â€œin real lifeâ€. SM4SCâ€™s fundraisers benefit local charities in cities around the United States.” [SM4SC]
This weekend’s SM4SC event, Stay in and Help Us, will allow everyone (regardless of geographical location) to have a lovely night at home while supporting a cause in the New York area called City Harvest.
With the downturn in the economy on both sides of the border charitable donations are low, however every person can do their part to make a big difference with even the slightest contribution. SM4SC Co-Organizer Meg Fowler explains, “Many of my friends that make this complaint also go out to lunch all the time, or for dinner several nights a week, or buy multiple $20 martinis on the weekends. I definitely don’t have a problem with people going out to have fun, whether they’re doing shots of Patron, or going for cheap wings — but I think they forget that even a small portion of those expenditures could do wonders for a charitable organization. One cosmopolitan bought at a trendy bar = a few days of meals for a family of 4.”
Meg’s small idea has snowballed into quite a big deal, and thank goodness. “… I had a little mini brainwave: what if I asked people to stay home one Saturday night, and contribute their entertainment money to our cause? Or go out — but match what they spent and give it to us? We kept brainstorming, and before we knew it, we had a URL.”
You can join Meg calls a “worldwide pajama party” on Saturday March 7th 2009 by following along on on Twitter, join the event on Facebook, or stay tuned to the site for updates and Ustream video.
“I think it’s a model pretty much any charity could replicate,” said Meg. “Since it doesn’t require anyone to do anything but skip a single night out — and give some money they weren’t planning on saving, anyway! In fact, I’m sure we’ll end up doing one of these nights for every event we do for Social Media for Social Change going forward.”
In Vancouver we’ve done a few events like this, that were as equally spontaneous and effective, from Twestival to the great TweetupHeatup. Now it’s time to look at other cities, their initiatives, take part, and also see how we can bring their interesting campaigns back home. It’s easy to participate, and to find a cause to support, and things like this end up connecting us all.
“Your small sacrifices — one less dinner out, one less movie, one less concert, one less drink — can make a huge difference to people in need.”