In the early days of American farming, most farmers couldn’t assemble a barn themselves. Building a barn took more labor and expense than one family could muster, but having a barn was critical for a farmer to keep animals and grains safe. To solve this problem, farming communities engaged in barn raising: members of the community came together to help each other build their barns. They relied on each other for help, knowing that by working together all farms would be better off.
Our success stories at Magnify all come from barn raising. Instead of building a barn, though, we are building stronger neighborhood, community and government. Here is an example: Jamie asked Kaldi’s Coffee to start composting their coffee grounds. She rallied her network to join her project. Before we knew it, Kathleen from Kaldi’s agreed — and she started her own project, asking customers to come help collect the grounds she was now accumulating in the coffee ground “free compost” bucket. Kathleen shared her project with her network — and one local St Louis farmer from Here We Grow Foods was able to add the grounds to his compost. It turned out that Jamie, Kathleen, Kaldi’s and Here we Grow Foods could all raise each other’s barns (along with their project teammates). Whether it’s Pi Pizzeria helping Josh make it easier to change his baby’s diaper or volunteers helping staff the Missouri Civics Project candidate debates, at Magnify we are seeing people come together to successfully complete projects.
The next time you drive across the country and see a big red barn standing tall and sturdy in a field, think about community and the tremendous capacity we have to help each other build better lives together. You have a good idea for how to make your community better. Your neighbors have ideas too — and they’ve posted some of them on Magnify. If you can work together, you can build that barn.
Join us. Magnify Your Voice.