posted by Matthew Miller on Tue, Aug 02, 2011
Speaking to Task Force leaders over the last couple months, we are hearing a couple consistent themes come up and wanted to send some encouragement your way.
Many of you who started Task Forces since our November re-launch have seen some of your initial numbers shrink. You may have had a handful of people at your last meeting. You may be discouraged. One of the things that we have seen pretty consistently in new groups that they get smaller brefore they get bigger. Especially if your group started with an event, like Rob coming and speaking, you will gather a number of well intentioned, good hearted, people that may not be committed for regular meetings over the long haul. These people may fall away quickly or only show up periodically. Remember, it's summer and people are taking time for vacations and recreation. Numbers at almost all events and meetings experience summer shrink. It’s also possible (but not likely) that you are contributing to a shrinking group. If you think that may be the case, please reach out to the admins, or other TF Leaders here in the community for some advice or coaching. Chances are you are not contributing to your group getting smaller. Some of your early sign-ups may not have the time they thought they did, or simply don’t have the same level of passion you do. Let those folks off the hook! You can do that by sending out a TF message or email that includes something like this …
“Some of you have not been able to make our gatherings regularly. That’s ok, we understand! Please let us know if you are unable to be part of the Task Force at this time, or you want to be a part of the group but just can't come all the time. There is a place for you if you want to pick and choose what you participate in. If you need to step away for now, there will be a place for you if you want to come back later. We just ask that you let us know as it helps for planning.”
Dont be discouraged by shrinking numbers. Instead work to cultivate a committed core group of 5 or 6. As long as you can foster that core group, your Task Force is going to be ok. In fact, once a core group is well established, most of our “Active” TFs see slow and steady growth again.
Leaders are also asking for suggestions as to what groups could be doing this summer. If you are getting on the Task Force Community weekly, you should see options suggested by Love146 and your fellow Task Forces.
Here are two things we are doing in the TF that I’m part of.
S596 - The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims
Engage your Task Force and your community by advocating for this national legislation. Go here to see how our Troy, NY Task Force is doing that.
Learn from locals:
Over the next six months our Troy, NY group is inviting experts from our community to come in and help us learn what trafficking and exploitation looks like in our town. We have met a sexual abuse specialist at our local hospital who has connected us with a specialist in our local police department. We are using one connection to help us identify other connections, then inviting those folks to meet with our group as part of our monthly meetings starting in September. We are hoping to take the time between September, and the first of the year, to learn more from local experts about how our group might be helpful.
Look ahead and start planning:
September thru the holidays is probably one of the best times of the year to hold an awareness and fundraising event. If you are going to do that, now is the time to set a date and start planning. Elizabeth, our Events Coordinator at Love146 is there to help along with the Task Force Community.
Some practical steps to cure any “Summertime Blues” you may be
experiencing. We are as always so grateful for the commitment of the Task Force Community.
Hasta Victoria Siempre!