By Kenny Warner, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Partner, FuzeUs
FuzeUs was ready to make its debut – all we needed was the perfect event. Enter The Dream Builders Project, an organization I’d found awhile back while searching on Twitter for philanthropic founders located in the Los Angeles area and came across Mayer Dahan of Dahan Properties. Many of the actions he took were philanthropic, and in the nature of “paying it forward”, and being personally interested in architecture as a whole I decided to look further into the properties his company building. Not only were they impeccable but also completely green and sustainably built. Beyond that they had a philanthropic division, The Dream Builders Project, which is committed to overcoming community hardships in locations around the country. As a whole Dahan Properties and The Dream Builders Project have a mandatory policy of corporate involvement, employee participation, and financial contributions, which are all things that we support at FuzeUs. Why I personally wanted to be involved with them went even further than that – their events were not the stereotypical non-profit events you think of when doing charity work. Instead they focused on quick, fun, and engaging events that allowed for whole communities of like-minded but diverse people to come together and reach a common goal. It’s an approach and belief we share at FuzeUs so I knew I wanted to get us involved.
Which is exactly what we did for Dream Builders latest event, a flash mob to feed the homeless, in early June. Not only was the format of the event perfect for FuzeUs, but the cause was near and dear to my heart because of my upbringing. It was also an ideal first test for FuzeUs to see just how well our system worked and how it could attract others.
The event itself was phenomenal. Right at 10:45am everyone started showing up, got their shirts, and mingled briefly before filling 100-plus bags full of sandwiches, fruit, shirts, windbreakers, sun glasses, toiletries, and bottled water. As with any flash mob, we were gone as fast as we arrived. The idea was to show everyone that doing good is not something you have to commit your life to but something that you can do by just taking a few simple actions everyday that take only a few minutes. That’s exactly what we did, and without a doubt everyone enjoyed it and we all felt camaraderie and community both when we first showed up together to get organized and continuing as we fanned out in separate directions to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves have just a little bit of a better day.
I know I couldn’t have been more happy that day as I saw many of my friends that I had invited show up, right on schedule, with many of their friends, and some friends of their friends. Everything that FuzeUs was built on was being proven right before my eyes. Overall it was an encouraging and energizing first showing for FuzeUs – the systems works and attracts others when built on easy, fun, engaging events to do good, people sharing in their experience with their friends, and promoting their great experiences through social media. I even met some really excellent people working on many other great initiatives in the community that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. All of which will only help The Dream Builders Project and Dahan Properties do more and more good as they continue their events in the future and learn more from the data we provide them.
Once the bags were filled everyone departed in a million different directions, many around Pan Pacifc Park in Los Angeles, some in downtown, and many others in their own respective neighborhoods. A couple of my friends and I went down to the homeless park in Santa Monica. I had known about it, but had never really been by the park to see just how many homeless individuals there were there. I was stunned by the number of people in need at that park, in many respects it made my heart sink and fully comprehend just how prominent the homeless population is in California. There we were with only eleven bags in hand, I felt completely unprepared to help everyone. Fortunately, a church group was there handing out many more meals than we could, and everyone at the park was at least satisfied for the morning and hopefully into the afternoon. We made our way through the park handing out our eleven bags, and even though I felt like this was only a small fix to a big problem, the gratitude and stories I heard from the people we were able to give bags to were profound and touching. It made all of us realize that as individuals we may not be able to make a huge dent, but as a community, together we can be well on our way to solving many of the problems we experience everyday. I left that day having a new appreciation for everything and everyone I have in my life. The 2nd annual Dream Builders flash mob to feed the homeless, and all the wonderful pictures that everyone shared, will forever be a reminder to us of the small, quick actions we can all take everyday to make an ever-growing difference in our world.