Miami, by guest blogger Julian Gomez
Last night will be a night I remember for the rest of my life. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to volunteer with Oxfam, an organization I have been learning a lot about in the last few months and that has given me the chance to bring my ache for acting to end injustices in the world to good use.
I first learned what exactly Oxfam and the GROW campaign is all about a few months ago when a non-profit I work for, The Harry Potter Alliance, partnered with Oxfam for our “Hunger is Not a Game” campaign. The Harry Potter Alliance tackles real world problems using analogies from the Harry Potter series, to fight the Dark Arts in our world. ‘Hunger is Not a Game’ was our first non-Harry Potter based campaign as part of our Imagine Better Project. We got Hunger Games fans and Harry Potter fans working together to raise awareness about GROW, get people to sign the pledge, and donate foods in dozens of food drives held in theatres by our local chapters all over the United States.
Yesterday I was able to directly affect the GROW movement and become part of the wonderful Oxfamily. All of the volunteers were very excited and incredibly friendly! It was great to see how quickly total strangers united by one excellent cause could become friends, exchanging numbers and promising to find each other on Facebook at the end of the night.
My sister and I volunteered together, she was very excited to dress up like a corn and take pictures with Coldplay fans supporting Oxfam, she’s now famous on the Oxfam facebook page. It’s fantastic to see fans that simply came to enjoy the show come across us and be fascinated by our cause to make sure everyone has enough to eat. I know we’ve made a lasting impact on many of these fans and hopefully next time a volunteering opportunity arises here, I’ll see some of them again, this time donning a purple Oxfam shirt!
Miami is such an incredibly diverse city, so we spoke with Coldplay fans from all over the world; Brazil, Costa Rica, Venezuela, even Egypt! My sister and I were lucky enough to see Coldplay backstage when we were putting away all of the Oxfam equipment with Rachel. They were casually playing a game of ping-pong only minutes before playing a show in front of 23,000 fans and Chris even looked over at us, smiled, and thanked us! It was a perfect ending to my volunteering experience last night. The show itself was literally the best concert I have ever been to, it was more of a giant party than a concert. Coldplay has such an amazing ability to make their audience, no matter how large, part of the show.
I can’t recommend this experience more, if you have the chance to volunteer for Oxfam in your area, go for it! I guarantee it will be a day to remember.
If you want to find out more about volunteering with Oxfam and our work with The Harry Potter Alliance check out this video. That’s enough from me, Julian Gomez, thinking so you don’t have to.
For volunteering opportunities with Oxfam America click here