It was a year ago this month that I started Troop. The idea was simple. I believed that if more neighbours knew about the needs in their area then they would be more willing to help. I believed (and still do!) that more people want to help… not so much when they hear a knock at the door during dinner time, but on their own terms.
So that became Troop. A friendly heads up about a local need each week, vetted by registered charities and non-profits. You decide if you’re willing and able to unleash your good that week. If not, no worries, maybe next week.
Has it worked?
With little to no marketing budget, 500+ neighbours have signed up and fulfilled over 60 local needs for 25 charities valued at $20K+. We’ve pooled funds for a dishwasher, a freezer, a stroller, a mattress, a home starter kit, electronic devices, camping gear, baby gear, pet gear, Halloween costumes, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts and so much more. Remember those jogging suits for survivors of human trafficking? Or the snowsuits for refugee babies? Plus, loads of your slightly used items have found new homes – like that breast feeding chair for the soon-to-be-mom and newcomer to Canada.
We might be small in numbers but our impact is big. One of my charity contacts recently sent me this note: “We were so lucky that one day you contacted us. You have made a difference for so many residents”. She sent the note to me, but it’s meant for all of the amazing neighbours who have participated and contributed over the past year.
Going forward, I hope more neighbours like you will join in so we can fulfill more needs in more communities. If there’s one thing this pandemic has proven, it’s that local compassion is real and thriving. Leave no neighbour behind.
When we come out of this crisis, our local shelters, refugee homes, addiction centres and other charities will need our support more than ever. After doing this for so many months, I know that when the need is specific and shared with caring neighbours, we can met the needs of our most vulnerable community members together.
I also believe that for the local businesses who survive they will come out of this stronger and with a sense of responsibility to the neighbourhood that supported them in their time of need. These small businesses will operate with a much stronger sense of community at the forefront of their purpose. Troop will be here to help those businesses run local impact programs to drive their community support.
It’d be nothing without you!
And to all of the Troopers, for every email opened, every $1 pooled, every share and every like, thank you! I hope you’re getting as much out of this as I am.