88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

"Meet The Need": Another 50 Organizations In 50 Days

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Listen: Last year, our Meet The Need Campaign featured 50 organizations working with basic and human needs in 50 days. 'Basic needs' are generally considered to be food, shelter and clothing and we thought of 'human needs' as what people need to be able to provide for themselves their basic needs. Taking into account how these notions of need fit together, our perspective on need expands rapidly -- we begin to consider, safety, mental health, medical health, independence, community, family, and a myriad of other angles.

So, how well did that conversation hold up over 50 days? Need is not one thing, so like an ever evolving advent calendar, each day we examined a different component of the very real need in our community. And having done all but two of the fifty interviews, I can honestly say the conversation never got stale. Throughout the entire campaign, I kept learning and thinking and connecting to the unique stories of these organizations. (Feel free to check out our archive of Meet The Need to check out some of these wonderful organizations).

On a personal note, as you can probably imagine, this was a whole heap of work. Not just in terms of thinking or conceptualizing, but in terms of actual doing. At the end of that campaign, I really felt as if I'd earned my job's title -- producer. So when conversations started around the office about this year's Meet The Need campaign, my first answer was "you guys can do 50 in 50 again, but I'm not gonna be involved." I mean honestly, this is a white-knuckled, teeth-clenched marathon-sprint for 50 days (actually more like 65 if you consider the planning). How could I commit myself do doing something like that again?

In the end, that question had a simple answer -- we need to do this again because there is so much work being done that's vital to our community and it's important our listeners have the opportunity to make those connections. Simple as that. To provide a platform for so many organizations to tell their diverse stories and share their unique perspective on need in our community? It's an opportunity so wonderful, no amount of work or effort could turn us away.

While you join us in this conversation, a small recommendation -- find an organization or two that you haven't previously encountered that really connect with your compassion. A story that makes you listen closely and perhaps introduces a fresh perspective. Then, think about taking the next step -- donate, get involved in a volunteer opportunity, or even pay them a visit to get a closer look at their work. Go deeper.

And so, we begin. 50 days, 50 organizations. Let's do it.