Monday, October 6, 2014

Mr.Somebody Else

Here's some creativity I'm sure you'd enjoy and would want to use...

One of the biggest challenges we've faced in the volunteering team at our workplace, was in helping people break out of the notion that they did not have the time to do any volunteering or that they would not be able to do anything meaningful if they volunteered. To add to that, there were so many volunteering groups who created a bad reputation for volunteering.

So if I don't feel the need to volunteer, who is going to help those who need help? Who helps the environment? Who fulfils the little responsibilities like switching off a light, turning off the tap of water, helping an old person across the street, throwing trash into the dustbin instead of onto the road, switching off the vehicle engine at the traffic signal etc.?

Somebody Else, of course!

So I'm proud to introduce to you today (although I created him two weeks ago), Mr.Somebody Else!


Mr.Somebody Else was an instant hit with my volunteering team! The cheerful, loveable, bald-headed grandpa figure who would be happy to do a good deed any day!

What my team didn't know at that time though, is that my initial ideas for Mr.Somebody Else, were to create a person who seemed responsible and no-nonsense. A square-jawed, sturdy-nosed, bespectacled face is what came to my mind at first. But those looked too serious, so I had even tried a bean-shaped, happy face to create a character whom people would be able to relate to more easily than the strict square-jawed face.

These are the other faces:


Would people be able to look-up to any of these faces as that of Mr.Somebody Else? What background story could these characters have?

A lightbulb moment gave me the idea of Mr.Somebody Else being a jolly old man who had spent his life doing the good deeds that others were actually supposed to do. And hence came into being, the cheerful person who when he narrates his story and his message, feels very saddened.

Here's a small part of his story and his message:

Hello my dear. People call me Mr.Somebody Else. I'm a rather important person in their eyes I guess.... Everytime a little act of kindness or a small responsibility is to be done, people expect me to do it. I've been happy to do these things, but I have grown very old now. If only people knew that it was possible, and very easy for them to do these things.... If not alone, then together as a team!
Below, I've outlined some of the many things you can volunteer to do to make this world  a better place. I sincerely hope that from now on, the phrase of "Somebody Else will do it" will change to "Let's not wait for Somebody Else to do it. Let us do it together!!!"


Attribution

The idea of Mr.Somebody Else and the content is covered by the Creative Commons License.


But with attribution, do feel free to use the concept of Mr. Somebody Else, preserving the same bald-headed, moustached, bearded, grandpa.


How you can help Mr.Somebody Else by volunteering:
(this list will be updated further with time. You can add suggestions in the comments section too)

Based on time availability
  • Once in three or four months: Donate your blood. Some good people you can contact are Sankalp India Foundation, Rotary Club, Lions Club or ask a nearby hospital if they have a blood bank. 
  • 6 hours a month on weekends: Join Mentor Together to give a child the best gift they can ever receive: A good education.
  • A few hours on a weekend: Join The Ugly Indians in a spot-fix. Register here for Bangalore and here for outside Bangalore.

Based on skill
  • Software programming: Help out an NGO with creating or maintaining their website or by creating a software application that will help make their day-to-day activities simpler (Eg: My department head Yatan sir went to teach children at an orphanage, and when the Sister there mentioned how difficult it was for them to maintain records of the donations they received, sir and a colleague, Ajit created a software interface with a database that kept track of the donations. A person at ThoughtWorks created a software that helped keep a tab on child mortality rates, for an NGO in the UK)
  • Graphic design or video editing: NGO's, social entrepreneurs and volunteering teams require good graphics, good videos and plenty of creativity at their disposal. A few hours of your help will help them a lot.

More info coming in due time....


Just remember, that one thing Mr.Somebody Else expects of you, is that you volunteer responsibly. Do some proper research about the field you're volunteering for, understand what volunteering is, understand what your responsibilities are, what the NGO's responsibilities are and Mr.Somebody Else assures you, you'll have a very fulfilling experience. Family, acquaintances and good friends who join in with the effort can make it even more worthwhile!



More on Volunteering


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