Our Website has reached 837 different people since mid-May- just over 4 months.
We have 46 people following us on Twitter.
News item 1: We might have landed a chain for our sticker campaign. We won't know until November but they asked about becoming Patrons. It would triple our locations.
We were sent a W-9 from a store that buys our flyers because they were required to do that for every single vendor. What a nightmare for all these businesses but it was exciting (this first time lol). OK that is really silly but you all know what a new experience this all is for us. Remember our first posts? We were asking if there was anyone out there that didn't want to eat GMOs because we didn't know anyone else then that didn't or cared much. Now we have been connected with hundreds through the website and otherwise. And all those people might feel alone until they find our community. They will feel the relief we felt because of meeting you all.
We have 5 Tabling events on our calendar. We have 2 unscheduled events we've been asked to do and there are lots more we could do. The people we meet there are sharing their feelings and learning with us what is going on out there in the non-GMO world. It is the opposite of "cold-calling" where you spend time with people that you make no difference in that time. These are all people we know we have helped in some way and they've helped us. Tabling is dear to us.
3 days ago, we were featured in the facebook page for the Future of Food! We had 71 new visitors in 2 days. Thanks you guys for visiting! We love FoF too as you've read on our reply to this sweet post. I hope our readers here will look at their FB site I just linked to and see our post and others. Look for our lizard icon.
We are now the subject of a half-page story the print and online version of the Green Living Journal, page 6 Fall issue. We expect to meet people from this. They found our card we left at New Seasons. We have given away about 10 cards but what other bulletin boards around town might we use? Just another thing we could do!
You may know we are on the main links page of OSALT.org. Will Newman II met with us for 2 1/2 hours- about 2 hours longer than I realized he'd take for us out of his long day. Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust is amazing and so are their links. Don't stop at the front page links, dig deep. You will be amazed what we in Oregon and some other friends of his have going on- and how much this group is in-the-know. I flipped when I saw de-pave on there. They work like Friends of Trees as enemies of unnecessary pavement.
The Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility features us here, and you can find us here on Ken Roseboro's Organic and Non-GMO Report. We referred a business once to the non-GMO sourcebook they publish. These two organizations were our first contacts and have really helped us.
Editorialist April Scott mentioned us in an article on the wonderful GE Salmon article "Genetically Engineered Salmon... Speak Now or Forever Hold your Fish!"
One of her articles reached 8500 people. I can't get the link to her page to work. Google "Articles by April Scott www.salem-news.com." She's a very angry mom that hits hard - but she gives her sources as links so it's very powerful stuff.
We thought of 5 ways to nip GMO's in the bud. They are good ideas. But they all need money. We haven't been able to post about them because it would take our energy to write them out since we're talking about ideas involved enough to be foundations. So what are we doing about it? Talking to a lot of people on the phone. We spend hours and hours making connections and connecting them with each other. One person that heard the idea and gave me her precious time was Sara Jennings of Institute for Responsible Technology in Iowa. Jeffrey Smith reaches around the world with his message of the health risks of GMOs and this woman gave us time. It was generous, and also very encouraging. So we have someone else excited about one of these ideas we've mentioned here and there probably but barely. Sara ended the conversation, "always a pleasure." Sara, you and Jeffrey are more important to us who try to not eat GMOs ever than you will ever know. I try very hard not to take their time up so she can keep going but hey- we buy their stuff. And by the way- their outreach, as far as the materials themselves that are so key to what we do, makes no profit on them. I'm sure it sells his books sometimes but they work so hard to distribute these flyers. Did you know you can get a ton of stuff for free? Or a CD lecture for a buck? Their shipping is lower than anything I've seen. That is why we can give someone 2 brochures for $0.20 now. It was $0.40 but they made a less expensive version doubling the number we'll give away. ABless you guys.
Speaking of Iowa, I will say we have 4 (1 more pending I bet) friends in Iowa in the non-GMO scene because we are cooking something up called Land Bridge. There are farmers there that need our help that want out of the GMO business. We have stuff to offer them so we want a sister state type of relationship (non-Governmental obviously). They need our support. But there's one that is faster and stronger we hope to find a grant for. We found a list of non-GMO sympathizers and hired a friend to do an hour of screening. That money came from our business.
We have a business in order to take checks from stores that buy flyers and so on. If we ever got donations I couldn't have them taken by my creditor I'm sorry to say. For me to pay them I have to have wages that belong to me. We need to make what we do our jobs so we can keep doing it after I graduate this year and have no loans to live on. But we won't charge people for things we think should be our gift. Well, we thought of things we can charge for and now we call our whole outreach "marketing." You know we don't think of it as marketing but in order to be a business you have to make money by law. In order to get money we had to have a business bank account and we couldn't become a non-profit without a board and lots of knowledge. We've only been advocating for 5 months with no experience. A home-based corporation was the easy solution. But eventually we are sure to have non-profit groups and/or foundations in addition to possibly this business. We added a donation page. When we get some we can buy materials to give out. Currently we can't afford our farmers markets at $20+ in donated materials a pop x 5 and growing for October alone. We have no money for ourselves. So when we get donations we are going to anonymously post them on the success page here and tell what we spent the money on. Donors have the chance and are encouraged to direct what their money goes to.
Our website is behind. We try but its not what we do. What we do all day is work on stopping GMOs from taking over life on Earth by trying one thing after another. All these people we meet really really matter. A single couple gave us four restaurants that might be future Patrons. But we can't get out there if we don't have gas money. I am the worst person to keep something afloat because I don't like asking for contributions and I don't like charging for things. But what we can charge for is one-on-one help that goes beyond the hours we put in for free. On a sliding scale or in exchange for assistance we will take someone shopping and fill them up with non-GMO groceries on a budget which is easier said than done. We try to give the guidelines online and help over the phone but if a person would rather pay to just get it done and over with and learn as he or she shops we do that. Also, we put green and red stickers on cupboard food in homes and then type up a list of substitution ideas and prices/locations. But obviously those only apply to people in Portland. We have done free stuff like that over the phone with people all over though and will continue. One thing we did is make a video asking a particular business to take the non-GMO challenge. Imagine how much easier it would be if the info was passed around in the break room and the workplace was non-GMO-friendly? We'd get a phone line for $30/ month to take those calls that the work places would pay for as a new employee benefit plus a wage for doing our work for them. We will take the minimum we can survive on too- no joke. So we have one company that thought this was a cool idea. One out of one we contacted. And there are more so that is why the website although updated at least twice weekly somewhere isn't the main focus. Oh we do spend time on Facebook talking to folks and that has been a two-way goldmine of information and support. That's hard to link to in text but its on the home page- please join us! If you want to know how to not eat GMOs and its not all up on the site or you don't have time to do all that work, the call to us is free and the help we give is free unless you ask for something really intensive. So email us with your phone number and we'll give you ours and then we can help you because you, the person striving to eliminate GMOs are our most priceless resource. Finally, we've spent a lot of time talking to businesses and non-profits that are working in this battle with us as well as calling companies to make sure what we say is non-GMO really is. I just wish our Projects page and Support page was better. We need help. But until we're in a position to get help, we'll do all we can. I put in an average of 10 hours a day now. There are weeks I take 2 hours for myself and the rest of the time I do this. Ernie often puts in 30-40 here but if you count that he has assumed all of the household tasks so I can do this stuff, and I mean all of them- his time on the project matches mine easily. But please remember that although we're busy, the very best thing we can do with our time is to help you personally. Please contact us and believe that you can do it.