The other night I was watching TV and saw a commercial for State Farm Insurance. And no, it wasn’t the typical “Jake from State Farm” spot that makes you giggle, or the “Like a Good Neighbor” spots where agents magically appear to rescue you from a flooding kitchen—this commercial had a purpose. The commercial, which was created for State Farm by the advertising agency DBD, shows how a man is faced with different social issues as he goes throughout his day: a poster for pet adoption awareness, a Facebook post about veterans needing help, homeless people on the street, a polar bear, and other issues that are facing members of society.
Each of the issues becomes a person or animal that follows him everywhere he goes; the crowd grows and you can begin to see a feeling of despair overwhelm him. It brilliantly depicts the exact feelings many of us are experiencing, especially right now. There are so many causes that need help—so where in the heck do we even begin? At the end of the commercial, he ends up walking into a youth center to volunteer as the voice-over says, “You can lift the weight of caring by doing.”
I went to State Farm’s Facebook page and watched the full version, which impacted me even more. It was perfect timing considering we had just had a class discussion about our community organizations and ways we use communication to evoke emotions that make people want to get involved.
For those who haven’t seen the commercial, you can check it out on YouTube, where it’s been viewed more than 5 million times. It’s a great reminder that while we can’t fix everything, we can do little things to make a difference. Yes, it really is that simple.
Inspiring People to Make a Difference
Perhaps this commercial struck me so hard because I, like many others, feel a bit overwhelmed right now. I care deeply about animals, our environment, and human rights, and I find myself shaking my head almost daily as I scroll through posts about budget cuts to programs, the approval of projects that will damage our environment and the denial of climate change. When I read the comments on these posts, it’s obvious that others are just as frustrated as I am.
But what this commercial shows us is that we don’t have to take it all on ourselves. Yes, it’s certainly okay to worry about several different causes, but instead of feeling overwhelmed we should focus on what we can do to make a difference, whether it’s donating money or signing up to volunteer for a day.
Growing concerns over the state of, well, basically everything in the U.S. seems to have inspired people show the world (and our current Administration) that we are ready to stand up and support important causes and organizations. Organizations like American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood have been flooded with donations, and it’s my hope that people are also taking the time to spread a bit of monetary love to the smaller nonprofits in their community, because it’s not just the big organizations that need our help.
One example of a community coming together to support a local organization occurred on March 15, when a group of local restaurants and businesses in Minnesota held “Restaurants Rising” day. On this day, they all pledged to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. As a result of their efforts, they raised over $30,000 for the organization. That’s pretty incredible, right? It’s my hope that we see more of this in the future, and that people will continue to rally for the causes that are important to them. Its’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, but little by little, we can all make a difference.