In 2002, I rushed out to the local Dillards and bought my very own yellow bracelet that had one word written inside the band. Yes, I spent $5 to make sure I was catching up with the crowd and getting this band that said LIVESTRONG. See, I remember my roomate coming home with this rubber band around his wrist and I asked him what and why it was. His response was so simple yet profound, “I want to help fight the cancer my dad was affected with.” At that moment not only did my heart sink just a bit because I knew someone who had a personal connection, but my mind started churning on “how can I be a part and help?”
Livestrong is one small example of how people in this world rally behind a cause. During my days at Clear Channel, Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans and destroyed thousands of homes that dotted the streets of the ninth ward. Clear Channel required all stations participate in some kind of rebuilding effort and I jumped on the first 18 wheeler headed south to help with the clean up. During the BP Oil Spill, thousands of people across the country came together to help provide for those who had oil all over their property, taking in dogs and people til the mass cleanup was underway.
As radio stations, communities, social organizations and churches we often forget and/or overlook the simple things like partnerships, charities or worthwhile causes. We see other people jumping into a cause and we either feel obligated or avoid it altogether. I admit, I have been guilty of this myself.
Speaking of churches, this is a surprising huge issue. Many think by supporting a missionary in Uganda all is good and there is no need to help a major cause. We also often run after local social justice issues because we are wired to do just that by leadership in the past. Imagine if Carolina Methodist STARTED their own “Livestrong” by raising money for a neighborhood that is in desperate need from babies to adults? They went out into the community and instead of branding it “Carolina Methodist Cares” they try “Carolina Communities.” See, this is a huge issue with most churches cause we want to slap our sticker on everything because we think it’s going to get someone to Jesus. Hmmm…maybe, but doubtful it works everytime. What if instead, you focused on your outreach project, branded your charity and movement around that and let the tribe do the building. I think you would be surprised by the number of non-christians and non-church attendees come out to support you because they see where your heart is, not your brain.
Now the challenge is in your hands. What ONE thing will you do in your radio station, news media, community program, church, parish that will change this world? If you tell me you are hosting the “FlagNaz for Kids” or “B105 Cares” then I will have to call you out. Think about what you could do that can change the world.