We just wrapped up the Los Angeles concert series. Despite being exhausted after working five sold out shows, we couldn’t be more thrilled with our 4,500 new ONE members!
Ever wonder what it is exactly that makes someone join ONE? What makes someone go one step further to recruit others to join ONE? Longtime member and #ONEonTour volunteer Kirk Anderson sheds a little light on this for us:
“I joined the ONE campaign ten years ago while volunteering at the Creation Northwest Christian music festival. In those days I did a lot of work at music events, enjoying the camaraderie and frenetic pace, but didn’t (and still don’t) consider myself an activist. I usually got the whole family involved which meant the wife and four teenage kids. At this particular festival, contemporary Christian singer Michael W. Smith had brought a special message via ‘Jumbotron’ from Bono regarding the newly launched ONE campaign.
I was immediately drawn in. Not just because Bono was speaking to us on a gigantic screen, but because what he was saying about made sense. Two things appealed to me about the ONE Campaign:
First, they didn’t want my money! (Good for me because I had none. See reference to wife and four kids above.)
Second, and more importantly, I saw an opportunity to participate in something tangible. Something that could literally change people’s lives. By making our voices heard through petitions and other campaign activities, we were changing the conversation about poverty and aid. They always say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Well, I was more than happy to squeak if it meant more attention and resources, like food, clean water and medicine, would go to those in need.
Fast forward to today.
I live in Los Angeles now, and a little over a month ago, I received a pretty cool email from ONE. Would I would be willing to help them by circulating the current the Poverty is Sexist petition at the U2 shows in L.A. ? Um, is the sky blue?
June 3rd was the last night of the run, and what an experience it has been. I want to say a huge thank you to all of the amazing people who organized this, and the thousands of U2 fans I saw sign the petition and join the ONE family. Most of the time people would just see the black ONE shirt I was wearing and call me over to where they were standing in line so that they could sign the petition.
I rarely had to use my well-rehearsed “recruitment pitch” because people were so supportive that after they signed the petition, they passed it around to their friends making sure they put their name down as well. It probably didn’t hurt that co-founder Jamie Drummond joined us on Saturday. Grabbing an iPad for the online petition and a handful of white ONE wristbands, Jamie was a force of nature, inspiring anyone around him to sign up.
This matters. It may seem a small thing. On it’s own it probably is but we aren’t on our own. There are over six million members of ONE, from all around the world raising our voice and speaking out together. We are influencing our leaders to make the choice to end extreme poverty in this world and it is working.
I will keep reading my emails from ONE, and keep signing petitions to make my voice heard. But if I could ask anyone who reads this to do something, it would be this:
Invite your friends who don’t know about ONE to join. Tell them why it matters to you and how easy it is to support something so important.
Together we can end extreme poverty by 2030. In the words of Bono, “every generation gets a chance to change the world”. Let this be your chance.”