Now is the time for the United Way #everyonein projects to have more of everyone in-volved

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the culmination of #everyonein, a United Way collaboratory, that brought together folks from nonprofits, tech, and startups to work on addressing the problems of underserved communities. It was a great event. But like so many things in startups, this apparent finish line was, in reality, a starting line for the next phase of the project.

Over the course of the last few months, the #everyonein effort has helped four projects—based on the concepts of the sharing economy—come into being. But they’re still very much at the idea stage—with implementation waiting in the wings. That’s why I’m sharing them. Because they could all very much use the assistance of more tech and startup folks to help these teams realize their vision. And in so doing, provide any number of communities with greater support.

  • Friends First: “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it” is the motto for this effort to align mentors and mentees in underserved communities, thereby helping promising young people realize their potential through the assistance of mentors who look like them, talk like them, and share common experiences.
  • PRO$PER: Dealing with financial matters can be intimidating and demoralizing. That’s why PRO$PER is working to build a means of educating and guiding folks through financial challenges, in a respectful and caring environment that empowers them—rather than intimidating them.
  • Refugee Food Access: Many refugees who settle in our region bring with them a rich history of farming. So why—especially in a region that celebrates farm-to-table—isn’t there a way to make it easy for these would be farmers to find the land to farm farm, and in so doing share the amazing and unique organic products they know how to grow?
  • Suma: We’ve seen the power of collective buying in everything from co-ops to Costco. What if we took that thinking and leveraged it for underserved communities by allowing them to use the power of their community to decrease the costs of the items they most need?

For more information or to propose helping these projects realize their vision, visit #everyonein.