A brand-new social media platform devoted entirely to community service? And starting right in my own backyard? I had to find out more!
Check out my Short & Snappy interview with the hip co-founders of "Serve Community," brothers Matt Turner and Daniel Colantonio...
CSM: WHAT IS "SERVE COMMUNITY," IN A NUTSHELL?
DC: Serve Community is a social network that integrates clubs, tribes and teams with the movements and causes they serve. The site makes volunteering and team progress fun and easy, and offers a way to showcase the work we all do and helps us collaborate to build a better community together.
CSM: WHY COMBINE COMMUNITY SERVICE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?
DC: These days community service is something that seems to be done only in our spare time or behind closed doors, and is rarely discussed in our everyday lives. If we begin volunteering out in the open and making our "service work" front and center, imagine what our community could accomplish together?
MT: It is our goal to turn service into a social and shareable thing, and put making a difference at the forefront of our daily lives.
CSM: WHAT ARE YOUR SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM GOALS?
DC & MT: Serve Community will be available to Santa Barbara campuses by spring 2016. By interconnecting the large Millennial community with the plethora of non-profits here, we can build a model that can be spread to communities nationwide and even globally. We will look to expand our platform to college campuses nationwide by December 2016. Long term, Serve Community will help communities across the world integrate voluntarism & teamwork as a way of life.
CSM: SOME PEOPLE ON A SPIRITUAL/CONSCIOUS PATH PREFER TO STEER CLEAR OF POLITICS AND ACTIVISM. HOW DO YOU SEE THOSE THINGS FITTING TOGETHER?
MT: It is one thing to become more aware and in-tune with the underlying connection of all people and the planet. It is another thing entirely to take that awareness into our every day lives and use it as a catalyst to creating lasting change. Politics and activism can be extensions of the spiritual/conscious path. The world needs more people on this path taking an active interest and engaging with others in meaningful ways.
CSM: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PARENTS WHO MAY WISH TO ENCOURAGE ALTRUISM AND SERVICE IN THEIR CHILDREN?
DC: Help them discover their greatest passions and skills at an early age, and aid them in volunteering and serving the local community. If a human being learns to serve at an early age, it’s only natural that service will become a big part of his or her life. And parents can always lead by example — volunteer together!
MT: And show them that every act of service makes an impact, and that our daily actions and the ways we treat the people around us are indeed what changes the world.
Daniel Colantonio is co-founder of Santa Barbara Hustlers for Peace & Prosperity and Serve Community. He is dedicated to transforming the world one community at a time, through teamwork and service. He was born in Boston, MA, educated at Boston University (B.A. in political science and philosophy), and lives in Santa Barbara, CA.
Matt Turner is co-founder and CEO of Serve Community. He is also co-founder of the Santa Barbara Hustlers for Peace & Prosperity, a non-profit social club and service organization whose mission is to positively impact every resident of Santa Barbara by 2020. As a business consultant and Strengths Coach, he mentors the staff of large organizations to optimize their strengths and maximize their impact on the company's bottom line.
(Get Heart-Shaped Writing delivered to your in-box weekly! Sign up for Christina Sian McMahon's mailing list here...)