September 15th, 2011
If you’re an devoted reader of food blogs, you probably came across Bloggers without Borders in recent weeks. In case you didn’t—or didn’t notice—I want to tell you about the inspired organization behind #afundforJennie, the massively successful fundraiser for food blogger Jennie Perillo who recently lost her husband to a sudden heart attack.
Why do I want to tell you about Bloggers without Borders? Because communities are complex and ever-changing, and being part of one, the way that I’m a part of the food blogging community, can be complicated. It’s not always easy to navigate relationships, communicate effectively, reconcile shifts in personal priorities with the larger priorities of the community and generally be an active, open-spirited citizen. Sometimes the challenges make you question your place in or commitment to a community. Other times something brings everything back into focus, reminding you that the connection between you and your community are a vital life line. Bloggers without Borders is one of those things for me.
The idea behind Bloggers without Borders is simple: to harness the power of the blogging community to help those in need. Through their site, the organization offers a platform to start, manage and donate to campaigns for those in need. Plans to expand are in the works, but for now—and at its core—Bloggers without Borders:
* Promotes charitable events and projects
* Connects bloggers who want to help with projects for which they are a good fit
* Provides advice and support to bloggers who want to start projects
* Responds to needs in the blogging community by fundraising for specific causes
Most new organizations start quietly and build slowly, their effectiveness proven over time. Bloggers without Borders, on the other hand, started with a bang that reverberated across the entire food blogging community. Bloggers without Borders rallied the outpouring of good will for beloved blogger Jennie Perillo, empowering us to raise over $60,000 to help support her and her two small daughters through this difficult time. And they are ready to do it again, and again, and again, for those in need. In fact, they’re already in the process of helping others.
Bloggers without Borders recently promoted fire relief efforts for Texas and is currently facilitating Dine In Irene, a project dear to my heart started by GrowNYC. For those of you who don’t know, though Hurricane Irene largely spared NYC, much of the farmland in surrounding NY and NJ was devastated. Area farmers—many of whom supply NYC greenmarkets and CSAs, including my own—lost their harvests at the worst time, in the early months of fall when they are due to make the money they need to survive winter. Participating in Dine in Irene is as easy as hosting a potluck or supper club sometime the week of September 26 to October 2, sourcing ingredients from your neighborhood Greenmarket, and donating funds raised to the GrowNYC Hurricane Fund.
Bloggers without Borders has shown what they can do and they need our help to keep doing it. Visit the site often to see what’s going on and spread the word. Become a fan on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. This is all about community: we have power in numbers.
You can also donate to help keep the organization viable and vibrant.
This is not a sponsored post. And, though I’m friends with one of the good folks behind BwoB, I barely know the other two (I’ve met one briefly on two occasions; another just online): this is not about promoting pals. I’d be lucky to one day truly call all of the people behind BwoB friends, because what they are doing is vitally important not just to the folks who will benefit from BwoB campaigns, but to everyone in the blogging community. So for now, I’m honored to at least be able to call them members of my food blogging tribe.
PS: I’ve just learned that Food52 is offering a late auction to continue raising money for #afundforJennie! And, of course, you can still donate to Jennie and her girls directly through BwoB—just specifiy that you’d like your money to be allotted to #afundforJennie.