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.