Over the last 11 months, I have personally witnessed the power that lies in what Mark Zuckerberg calls ‘very meaningful’ Facebook groups.
Have you ever joined a group on Facebook before? I’m probably in about 20, but there’s two in particular that fall under the definition of a ‘very meaningful’ Facebook group. In these groups, members are highly active and engage with content regularly, whether they’re creating, viewing, commenting, sharing, or polling; their audiences engage with content more effectively than viewers engage with Super Bowl ads and here’s the proof…
The Power in ‘Very Meaningful’ Facebook Groups
Barrie Families Unite (BFU) is one of these ‘very meaningful’ groups I’m talking about and this group has nearly 17,000 members now. Nikki Glahn founded BFU back in March 2020 and I believe the founders of these ‘very meaningful’ groups are key to their success.
Facebook group founders - or administrators as Facebook calls them, are responsible for managing the ebb and flow of conversation, tone of voice, language and the overall “vibes” in the group. Group moderators also help with this as well.
Back when I joined BFU in July 2021, I had just launched Fresh Food Weekly a month prior. I remember posting and asking people if they had any extra fridges they could donate to my new food charity. In half an hour, four people commented saying I could have the extra fridge in their basement if I could get someone to come get it. So then I posted asking for volunteers with a truck to come get them, and that’s how I kept the donated produce refrigerated all summer long. It’s also how I got all 20-30 volunteer delivery drivers to deliver free food to 267 low-income families each week for 16 weeks that summer.
Once, I remember going to donate blood at the local blood clinic here in Barrie that summer and the lady drawing my blood asked me what I was up to for the rest of the day. I mentioned my food charity and she told me she heard about it through BFU. Of course I didn’t think she meant my charity, so I said “Oh really? Can you tell me about it?” And then she started telling me all about my charity - she had been following what I was doing online for weeks!
In fact, these types of conversations with total strangers have continued to happen ever since, and every time it does happen, I’m just completely blown away.
What I’m trying to say is that without BFU, Fresh Food Weekly wouldn’t exist and now Fresh Food Weekly is evolving thanks to another ‘very meaningful’ Facebook group called Farm-to-Family Local Fare Barrie.
Easter Dinner Meal Boxes
Lisa Peterson of Stone Horse Farm, is also the organizer of the Thornton Farmers’ Market, as well as the administrator of the Farm-to-Family Local Fare in Barrie, which consists of nearly 5,000 members, and includes 19 local farmers and food businesses.
Interestingly, both BFU and Farm-to-Family both started BECAUSE of the pandemic lockdowns.
Lisa partnered with Kari Madden, the owner of Thorganic Farms, just like they did at Christmas, to create 50 Easter dinner meal boxes for 50 low-income families on Good Friday. Fresh Food Weekly was able to provide these meal boxes to recipients who were previously signed up through the summer delivery program, as well as new recipients who signed up through the website.
Each dinner meal box was worth more than $100 and sold for $45 each, and could be purchased on behalf of a low-income family. Each meal box included a six-pound roasting chicken, a pound of butter, a jar of homemade cranberry sauce, broccoli, rainbow carrots, potatoes, onions, bread and various desserts.
Food suppliers of these boxes included Cookstown Greens, Alliston Creamery, Grandma’s Farm, Integrated Farms, Dominion Farm Produce, Don’s Bakery of Barrie, Grodzinski’s Bakery, Caldense Bakery, SophistiCakes, CupCAKE, The Vegan Pantry, The Sweet Oven, and Grandma’s Goodies.
Children’s Easter Gift Baskets
In addition, Fresh Food Weekly collected gift-in-kind and cash donations for 62 children’s Easter gift baskets, which were estimated to be around $2,000 worth of children’s toys, crafts and Easter candy.
The reason this children’s Easter gift drive was such a success was because of all the amazing donors who found out about it through BFU.
On the morning of Good Friday, around 15 volunteers showed up to help pack and deliver these Easter dinner meal boxes and Easter baskets to low-income families living in Barrie, who signed up to receive them in advance.
Social Media is Shifting Power
Social media is absolutely changing the way we communicate with each other, and it’s changing the way we see the world and now it’s giving people the opportunity to rise up, become leaders and create real change in a very dark world.
As horrible as the lockdowns were, social media is shifting the power from the traditional, self-serving, narcissistic politicians and chief medical advisors and placing it in the hands and voices of ordinary people who actually CARE about human beings.