Transformation at a Coldplay concert
Here is a guest Blog for a Oxfam volunteer Kelsey from Foods Resource Bank, an Oxfam grant receiving organisation. Here she provides an amazing insight that change can be big or small.
On Wednesday 8th August in Chicago, I went through a transformation and became a giant corn cob. Not only did I go out in public, but I went, to a COLDPLAY CONCERT, as a giant corn cob.
It sounds ridiculous but I had a lot of fun and even more importantly I discovered that even at something as big as a Coldplay concert at the United Center in Chicago, you find small transformations happening around food, farming, hunger and finding people who care about changing injustice around the world.
Officially I was there as a volunteer with Oxfam America to help promote their GROW campaign, and yes I admit I was lured by getting to see Coldplay perform. But I also had a less obvious reason to be there. During the day, when I am not volunteering as a corn cob impersonator, I work for an organization called Foods Resource Bank (FRB). FRB works to grow lasting solutions to hunger by connecting communities, churches and farmers in the US to small-holder farmers and their families around the world. Currently our volunteers in the US are supporting 57 agricultural development programs in 34 countries around the world.
This year FRB received a grant from Oxfam America to bring FRB volunteers, especially US farmers, overseas to see firsthand the transformation happening through agricultural development. So, I decided to volunteer to lend FRB’s support and to learn more about what Oxfam does.
When the doors of the United Center first opened, I was unsure about how my five minutes with Coldplay fans was going to transform many hearts or minds. But as I and the other Oxfam volunteers started chatting to fans I remembered that change happens on a continuum.
My antics as Kelsey Corn Cob was what was needed to get someone to sign up for Oxfam updates, it would also be the transformational spark needed to get some one more involved in the issues Foods Resource Bank and Oxfam are working on. Some of these people could even be inspired to volunteer, to travel overseas, to become empowered and energized and ultimately work toward change on Capitol Hill, around the world or at home in their own community.
Change happens through all types of actions and FRB and Oxfam are two organizations working toward transformational change, both in people’s minds and hearts, but also on their dinner plates, in their fields and within the global food system. Sometimes it takes vegetable costumes and canvassing a crowd, sometimes it takes direct advocacy, sometimes it takes celebrities, sometimes travel, sometimes blog posts, Facebook, brochures, videos and tweets and sometimes a personal connection with someone you don’t know.
How will you transform the world and GROW lasting solutions to hunger?