“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
Medshare is the name of a nonprofit that connects receives, categorizes, packages, and ships surplus medical supplies from the U.S. to hospitals in developing countries. They truly live out their motto of “bridging the gap between surplus and need”. Medshare has provided millions of people with access to better healthcare and shipped more than 700 forty-foot tractor-trailer size containers to
over 85 developing countries and territories. This organization did not do all of this work with just a core group of staff. Fifteen hundred people every month volunteer at Medshare to sort, package, and ship these supplies. This is proof of the power in numbers.
You cannot do it all, but with others you can do a lot. After you know clearly what you want to fight for, and you know a lot about that issue, it is time to find others who share that passion. There are so many different ways to find others who share the passion that you do and cultivate your passion in other people. You do not need have the largest social circle or be a really talented communicator in order to find other people to work with you on an issue.
The first thing to do is to pray for people to come and work with you on this issue. Community is essential in working for God. Hebrews 10:24 says to “stir up one another to love and good works”. Therefore, forming a community with other people is essential to work on an issue.
To begin, you may not already know people who share your desire for changing your specific focus. Therefore, one way to create a group of people passionate about the same thing as you is to educate people in your social circle and ask them to help you. You could speak with individuals at work, school, or church about holding an informational meeting, or even just informally discuss helping with the issue with your close friends and family members. You will not always get a response that you want from them, but you will never know until you try.
Additionally, you can volunteer at places that work with the issue that you care about, which will automatically connect you with the other volunteers that care about the issue. Volunteering at an organization, if it is accountable and focuses on your passion has the potential to really benefit you in your endeavor to change an issue.
Trying to change something in our world can often be difficult, draining, and time-consuming. On your own, you may get burnt out. However, with a community of like-minded yet different people around you, change can and will happen.
As you may expect, there is a potential for conflict in any group, even one fighting for a good cause. I observed this among the staff of an amazing organization I interned with. Emotions tend to run high when so many people are passionate about a cause. Therefore, here are a few tips for getting along in a group setting by Phil McKinney, a well-known “innovation consultant”.
1. Think of others first
4. Give sincere appreciation.
5. Eliminate the negative.
6. Avoid openly trying to reform people.
7. Try to understand the other person.
9. Watch your smile, your tone of voice, how you use your eyes, and the way you greet people
10. Develop genuine interest in people.
You and your group will do amazing things!