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#HashtagLunchbag - A Little Help Adds up to a Lot

Social media activism is a difficult beast. A lot of it can be boiled down to mere 'hashtivism' whilst in other cases it can seem like means for pressuring people into signing up to a cause they don't really know anything about. Every once in a while though it's implemented in a way that encourages people to make a meaningful gesture, raise awareness and genuinely throw their weight behind an important cause.

#HashtagLunchbag started out life in LA, but now it's moving all across the United States as it trends online and catches the attention of more and more homeless aid charities. How it works is simple - the hashtag acts as a banner for donation drives, people are encouraged to make one sandwich, hand-write a personal message to go along with it and then send it off to be given to someone less fortunate.

The ethos

This seems to be combining a positive gesture with a positive attitude, since the homeless are in need of psychological support as well as food and shelter. Obviously it's being offered in tiny increments here but anyone will tell you that one nice word from a stranger can elevate a day from an average one to a great one in the right circumstances. The group behind it uses social media to organise and promote events nationwide. They assert that anyone can organise an event in their local area with relative ease, and that when they do, it's guaranteed to be promoted.

The movement led to the creation of a non-profit called Living Through Giving, granting even more reach to fuel this laudable initiative. It's a lesson that could be well learned by other charities, it's one thing for people to do something silly and utterly irrelevant to pay some vague lip service to a cause, but another to use the power of social media to spur people into doing something simple, but undeniably effective on a large, consistent scale.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#HashtagLunchbag - A Little Help Adds up to a Lot Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, October 29, 2015 Rating: 5

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