Jimmy Getting Ready to Walk

Jimmy Getting Ready to Walk
Jimmy Wayne on January 1, 2010 at Monroe Harding at the launch of MMH.

Jimmy Wayne Meet Me Halfway: a Journey to Raise Awareness

On January 1, 2010, Jimmy Wayne launched his Meet Me Halfway campaign when he began his solo walk halfway across America in Nashville, TN. He plans to walk to Phoenix, AZ. Jimmy’s intention is not only to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, especially at risk children, teens and young adults, but also raise funds for organizations that benefit homeless youth.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Create Change: Volunteer for Project Meet Me Halfway Street Teams

Yesterday, Jimmy Wayne introduced the idea of having Street Teams for Project Meet Me Halfway. I am amazed at the number of folks that are stepping up to volunteer to serve. I want to share information on how we see the MMH Street Teams working, a description of the important roles -- Street Team Member, Street Team Regional Leader and Street Team National Leader -- and to answer some questions that I've received.

What is a Street Team?
A Street team is a term used to describe a group of people who 'hit the streets' promoting an event or a cause. 'Street Teams' are a powerful promotional tool that has been adopted by entertainment companies, record labels, the tech industry, corporate brand marketers, new media companies and direct marketers worldwide. Street teams are also used by non-profit organizations to raise awareness of issues.

What is the goal of the Meet Me Halfway Street Teams?
The Meet Me Halfway (MMH) Street Teams are focused on raising awareness of the issues faced by the youth aging out of foster care, holding local community based projects to benefit organizations that serve these youth and supporting Jimmy Wayne’s Project Meet Me Halfway. MMH Street Team members must be passionate about making the world a better place for these young people. Street Teams will be connecting and partnering with organizations in their communities that serve young people. Street Team members should be comfortable working with the young people the project seeks to serve.

The MMH Street Teams are NOT connected to the music side of Jimmy Wayne’s life. Traditionally Street Teams are involved in promoting and artist and his music. This will NOT be the goal of the MMH Street Teams. Jimmy strongly believes that raising awareness of the issues should be the focus of the MMH Street Teams.

What does it mean to be a member of a MMH Street Team?
All Street Team members, including the national and regional leaders, are volunteers. Anyone can volunteer to be a member of a MMH Street Team. Members should have time, energy and creativity to devote to the Street Team. Members must be a positive advocate for MMH and be willing to engage a diverse audience in supporting MMH. Street Team members need to be proactive and willing to connect with others in their community. We need Street Team members will all skills – we need folks wanting to be out doing local events and folks wanting to do the behind the scenes work from their homes.

Street Team members will work to spread awareness in their local communities and will initiate local MMH projects. The following are examples of projects that Street Teams may initiate:
  • Developing bumper stickers for MMH and handing them out at local school events;
  • Connecting with local radio stations and asking them to play MMH Public Service Announcement on the air;
  • Partnering with local youth serving groups to hold local MMH fundraisers;
  • Recruiting others to join the MMH team;
  • Holding house parties where individual learn about MMH and how they can be involved;
  • Mailing information on MMH to local political leaders;
  • Writing articles and posts for online forums, websites, etc.
“The sky’s not the limit” when it comes to Street Team projects. 
What does it mean to be a MMH Street Team Leader?
MMH Street Team leaders must be extremely committed to improving the lives of those young people who are in foster care and will age out. Leaders must have time to invest in the success of MMH. All leaders will have to spend an extensive amount of time working on Meet Me Halfway project.

It is anticipated that the following will be the key leadership positions.  Please review these and if you have the time, the energy and the skills -- please volunteer.

National Leader
1. Communicates regularly and Supports the Regional Leaders
  • Collect master database of all volunteers and provide to www.projectmmh.org
  • Collect info on all street team projects and provide to www.projectmmh.org
  • Help regionals with advice or brainstorming regarding recruiting and projects
2. Serve as the liaison between Street Teams and Project MMH
  • Create and send regular summary report to JW/MMH on numbers of volunteers and project activities (would be nice to have creative approach here that uses maps or something)
  • Deliver messages/requests from JW/MMH to Street Team organizations

3. Send out regular (biweekly or weekly) newsletter to all volunteers that includes:
  • Updated list of Regional Director/volunteers for each region
  • Activity update for each region
  • Suggestions of projects/approaches to raising awareness

4. Ensure that the regional leaders have the information they need to be successful
  • Let the website know what information is needed;
  • Write content for the www.projectmmh.org website related to the Street Teams;
  • Motivate the Regional Leaders to do more and share their successes.

Regional Leaders (approximately 6)
1. Communicate regularly with the National Leader
  • Weekly provide names/info on any new volunteers to National Leader
  • Weekly provide info on all street team projects to the National Leader
  • Help team members with advice or brainstorming regarding recruiting and projects

2. Recruit and Activate: Recruit MMH team members from the region and give them the tools/info they need to raise awareness and hold local projects (website will provide some of this to Regionals)
  • Get the word out that street team members are needed;
  • Correspond with folks from the region who are interested in volunteering and get them engaged and on projects;
  • Organize street team members in smaller groups by state/city;
  • Be the one that answers questions of street team members/ gets them the info they need to do their work.
3. Motivate the Teams and Celebrate their Successes
  • Motivate the street teams to do projects/raise awareness;
  • Capture the success stories and share with the National;
  • Make sure all volunteers feel engaged and important.
How can I become involved in a Meet Me Halfway Street Team?
Go to the projectmmh.org website and complete the form to volunteer. Let us know the role that you would like to play. We will be in touch. If you have questions, or are uncertain if you have the time needed, then email me and we will talk. 

If you have already submitted your information, you will be getting an email from me in the near future.  I look forward to working with all of you.  

I always end these blogs with a Jimmy Wayne photo.  I had a chance to see Jimmy, Jake and Johnny last night in Hiawassee, Georgia.  It was a great show and I had a chance to meet many Jimmy Wayne supporters.  Instead of ending with my traditional Jimmy Wayne photo, I want to end with a link to a CBS News video report.  If you are wondering if you have the time or energy to volunteer to help those youth aging out of foster care, take a minute to watch this.  I think you'll realize that we must all volunteer -- if not with Meet Me Halfway then with one of the many other organizations that support youth in foster care.  We can all make a difference.  


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