FM-31 had a meeting with the Invasive Hitlist task force November 9th, 2016. The date is significant because I remember the frustration on Noah’s face before we headed to Virginia. I remember him telling me that he stayed up most of the night watching election night coverage as I glanced at the bags under his eyes. I remember thinking this could be the end for FM-31. After all our first product was edited and purchased en masse by organizations under the purview of the EPA, and we assumed it would be gutted.
We persisted in our work, and even wrote two more editions to the series. Then the responses from our government contacts slowed. We talked, and we worked, and we planned, but it all felt wrong. The project we had been pouring effort into suddenly felt like a house of cards propped up by chopsticks. We found ourselves talking more and more about others being adversely affected by the budget, policy, and social media decisions of our leaders.
We initially crafted the Helping Hands Journal Series as an instrument of brute force. We wanted to sell something and make an impact with some of the money. Simple. Specific. Straightforward. Then we started talking to people in our community. In particular, our current partners at Sarah’s Circle and MLK elementary. They really opened our eyes to the vast potential for positive social impact. Then came the insights from our inner circle.
People wanted to do more than buy notebooks. They wanted to be part of a communal social good. We received offers not just to buy notebooks, but people offered their time, energy, and resources to help make a difference. In short, they were quick to offer a helping hand. We couldn’t be more grateful for those early conversations because they showed us a better way. The notebooks are still being sold, and money and/or resources will still be donated, but that is just a gateway. Through that gate is a tribe of people that want to do more for the people in their local, regional, and global communities. We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder and offering our hands side by side with our tribe.
As we proceed we will be sculpting the typical traits of for-profit companies into our own image. We will be organizing community events and seeking, offering, and creating volunteer opportunities. These aspects of FM-31 exist as part of our DNA. They are part of how we think and interact with the world. We will simultaneously be pursuing opportunities to increase revenue generation, but all of our products will also serve a social goal. We thank you all for joining us on what is sure to be a long, difficult journey and for being a part of our ever expanding community. Without your support and guidance, we would be a rudderless ship. Until next time friends!