Have you ever come across something in your life and thought ‘that’s crazy/sad/wrong I should do something about that’, but then you never actually end up doing anything?
That’s been me, a lot.
I could say I was busy, or that I was tired, or that my kids take priority right now, and all those things would be true, but none of them actually stops me from doing something, big or small, to help others. I want to change that.
A few weeks ago an idea was floated… an idea to start a group, to create a website, to put on an event and to bring bloggers together to support and work with not for profit groups in our local community. Last Friday night we held our first Community Blogging event and I met many people who were standing up and actually doing something.
I was inspired by Jessica from St Kilda Mums who who collect and organise donations of babies and children’s clothing, toys, books and equipment and work with various organisation to get these items to those in need. Jessica didn’t just say ‘I should do something about that’… she got out there and did it. To date St Kilda Mums have rehomed over 2500 items that otherwise would have gone into landfill and helped countless families in need.
St Kilda Mums would love to see other groups set up in other areas, and they are happy to share all their knowledge and processes with anyone keen to start up a group. You can also donate to St Kilda Mums (after Jan 13th as they are taking a well earned break over Christmas), follow them on their facebook page to keep up to date with their work.
Robyn from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) also spoke, with such passion and integrity it was impossible not to be impressed. Robyn spoke about the human face of asylum speakers, she told us about the work that ASRC does and the community education and involvement. So often all we hear are sensationalised news bites, with negative messages from a vocal minority, it was fabulous to hear such positive stories of asylum seekers and about the community stepping up to help in so many ways.
You can volunteer at ASRC, (for more information visit their volunteer page) and you can also donate food and other goods via the survival network, another branch or ASRC, or find out other ways you can support ASRC here.
It was not just the Not For Profit groups that attended the event who were standing up to do something to help others. The event would not have been possible without sponsors…
EcoStore is an inspiring company with their commitment to health and the environment, and they impressed me yet again by attending the event and donating essential items such as laundry detergent, shampoo etc.
Christie from Kids Business organised toys to be donated and also spoke about a new project being unveiled in 2012 involving sponsoring Mums to blog about inspiring and helping other mums. A great community building idea to watch out for next year.
Colourific also donated craft items, Maclean Mums donated toothpaste and Bundaberg supplied the delicious drinks for the event. We were also supported by the Public Records Office Victoria who allowed us to hold the event at The Archives Centre free of charge and thanks to their catering service who supplied the yummy finger food.
And of course there were the bloggers who attended. All of them who made time at a super busy time of year, to stand up and do something. To use their voices, their influence and their twitterings to support others in our community.
They say that as a ‘mum blogger’ I have ‘influence’. I am not so sure how accurate that is, but I am acutely aware that what I write on my blog may influence someone. With so much talk about bloggers ‘selling out’, and about bloggers and brands working together, I find it hard to know if I am always doing the right thing when accepting a sponsored post or working with a company. But today, writing this post, I am not second guessing myself, I am not worrying about selling out or making the wrong choices. I am standing up and doing something… however small that may be… to help someone else, and it feels GOOD!
Many thanks to Nicole who, in true ‘Planning Queen’ style, got us all together and organised. And to Kathy, Shae, Marita and Amanda for all putting in time and effort to get the idea of Community Blogging off the ground.
We hope that this event is only the beginning and in the future there will be many different ways bloggers can get involved and support community groups. If you are interested in being a part of this (and geography is not and issue as we’d love to see events run in other areas too) please pop over to our web site and fill in the ‘get involved’ form.