I created this concept map to show the many different problems that face all people, both rich and poor.

race-povertymap

My goal was to emphasize that while wealthy people do face many of the same problems as do poor people, they have more resources to help them deal with these problems. In addition, people living in high poverty areas face many problems that people living in affluent areas do not face.

ENOUGHI created this ENOUGH graphic in the late 2000s to show steps people could be taking to become involved in helping communities overcome these problems. I’ve used it in many articles. Take a look.

I led a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago from 1975 to 2011 and spent time every day reaching out to recruit volunteers. Once we became a non-profit in 1990 I added outreach to donors in my daily menu of activities.

It was one of the most frustrating parts of the work I did. On one side I knew how much help kids and families needed, and the limited ability of my organization to provide that help, because of my on-going inability to attract consistent funding and volunteer/paid talent to help me do all that needed to be done.

On the other side I received more “negative” responses to my appeals, for many different reasons, than affirmative responses.  I’m not alone.

When I formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 we created a four-part strategy.  It was intended to collect and share information that would help every tutor/mentor program in Chicago get the ideas, resources and talent each needs to constantly improve and stay connected to youth for multiple years.

Step2-1

I’ve followed this every year since then. Step 2 focuses on generating public awareness and a growing number of people who use the information I collect to support volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in many places.

While I’ve generated many media stories and more than 1.4 million visits to my web sites, too few have responded. Too few who did respond stayed involved for multiple years.

I was thinking of this today and took another look at the “race poverty” concept map that I posted at the top of this article.  While people above the poverty level all the way up to the 1% of the top 1% face many of the same problems and have resources to deal with them, they still only have 24 hours in their daily lives to deal with these problems.

And many of their problems, like caring for ill children and aging adults or finding and keeping jobs are full time challenges.

Intermediaries-needed

Thus, how do we find ways to help people on the list shown on the right of this graphic engage daily with issues that affect people on the left side of this map?

I wrote several articles describing the four part strategy. I still believe in this. However, without more people adopting and supporting this, using their own time, talent and dollars, it is not ENOUGH.

What’s your strategy for doing this?

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