BTC FAQ

1. What is Be the Change?
Be the Change is an annual national day of service coordinated by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) to inspire and foster civic engagement and stronger communities through volunteerism and community service. Every year, thousands of participants across the country collectively contribute numerous hours of community service in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

2. What are the goals of Be the Change?

  • Encourage South Asian and allies nationwide to collectively engage in community service
  • Identify and develop leaders in the South Asian community across the country
  • Foster effective partnerships with local and national organizations
  • Build unity and collaboration within the South Asian community in the United States

3. What is the theme of Be the Change 2014?
This year’s theme of Be the Change is “Stand Together, Serve Together” encouraging people of all background to establish a united front for change in their community.

4. What is the history of Be the Change?
Be the Change originated at the University of Michigan in 1998. SAALT has helped coordinate the event annually on a national level since 2000. Volunteers from universities and organizations contribute thousands of hours of community service each year.

5. When is Be the Change?
Be the Change is held on the first Saturday in October. This year it will take place on Saturday, October 5th in cities and campuses nationwide.

6. Where is Be the Change?
Be the Change takes place on various college campuses and in cities across the U.S. Participating locations are based on local interest and commitment to both bringing Be the Change to an area and coordinating efforts on the ground.

7. What is a Be the Change event?
On October 4th, each campus and city participating in Be the Change will host the following:

  • Kick-off event with inspirational speakers from your community
  • Volunteer sites and local service projects for Be the Change participants
  • Collective reflection on service, community, and civic engagement (optional)

8. What type of volunteer work can I expect on the day of Be the Change?
It depends on what campus or city you will be volunteering with. Typically, we have had volunteers working on planting trees, working at domestic violence shelters, painting schools, read to youth, rebuild homes, cleaning parks and highways, voter registration, assisting blood drives, etc… For more information, you should contact your campus or city planning team. You will be working on one activity during the day for usually 2-4 hours. Please note that service projects are generally rain or shine, so please dress accordingly.

9. How can I get involved?
There are three excellent ways to get involved in Be the Change:

  • Create or join a planning team in your area. The planning team is responsible for bringing Be the Change to your city/campus. SAALT provides remote training and support to planning teams.
  • Volunteer on the day of Be the Change and provide your time and dedication to a local service project. It can be anything from volunteering at a food bank to helping out a local school.
  • Be a local or national partner or sponsor. This means that you provide your support for Be the Change and help us advertise the event through your contacts. See below to learn how to become a National Sponsor or Partner!

10. What are the responsibilities of a Planning Team?
The planning team is responsible for planning and coordinating Be the Change in their area. Responsibilities include the following:

  • Secure local service projects for the volunteers
  • Organize a kick-off ceremony which includes inspirational guest speakers
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Plan logistics, such as finding a venue for the kick-off event, obtain food donations, maintain the budget, etc…
  • Communicate with SAALT, provide requested information in a timely fashion, and document and share photos of your event

11. What is SAALT’s role in Be the Change?
SAALT is responsible for the oversight and planning for Be the Change projects around the nation, including our Core Cities. SAALT helps ensure that Be the Change is successful nationwide by supporting city and campus planning teams as needed. SAALT can provide the following assistance:

  • Suggestions for service activities in different cities
  • Contacts for potential local partners
  • Templates for promotional materials including flyers, letters, etc…
  • Tips for recruiting volunteers
  • Suggestions for keynote speakers for kick-off event
  • Monthly conference calls to answer any questions about the planning process
  • Be the Change t-shirts (available for purchase at a discounted price)
  • Online registration tool for volunteers

SAALT will provide additional support for Core Cities including:

  • Free t-shirts for volunteers
  • Limited reimbursement for event-related expenses

12. Who are the National Sponsors and Partners?
National Sponsors work with SAALT to provide:

  • Sponsorship at $1000-$5000 level
  • A volunteer base for Be the Change service projects throughout the organization’s membership
  • Service projects through the organization for Be the Change volunteers

Responsibilities

  • Sponsorship at $1000-$5000 level
  • Designating Be the Change 2014 as a community service project for your organization
  • Encouraging your organization and chapters to participate in an existing Be the Change event in their city/campus, or joining a City/Campus Planning Team
  • Forwarding regular e-updates about Be the Change to your members (provided by SAALT)

Benefits

  • Logo recognition on official T-shirts: All Be the Change volunteers wear T-shirts on the day of service.
  • Logo recognition on Be the Change website, press communications, and promotional materials (depending on timing of sponsorship)

National Partners work with SAALT to provide:

  • Sponsorship at $250-$500 level
  • A volunteer base for Be the Change service projects throughout the organization’s membership
  • Service projects through the organization for Be the Change volunteers

Responsibilities

  • Designating Be the Change 2014 as a community service project for your organization
  • Encouraging your organization and chapters to participate in an existing Be the Change event in their city/campus, or joining a City/Campus Planning Team
  • Forwarding regular e-updates about Be the Change to your members (provided by SAALT)

Benefits

  • Logo Recognition on Be the Change website

If you are interested in supporting Be the Change by becoming a National Sponsor or Partner, please contact SAALT at BTC@saalt.org.