“I Am Here” campaign via T3 sheds new light on homelessness


Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF), an Austin-based nonprofit providing food and shelter to the homeless and working poor, launched a dramatic new mobile giving and awareness campaign 4/27 dubbed, “I Am Here.”  The campaign was created by T3 in Austin, New York and San Francisco.  Along with MLF founder Alan Graham, Danny, a homeless man from Austin, has been on a 50-foot high billboard, donated by Reagan Outdoor, at Woodland and I-35 in Austin during select times. 

For a 48-hour period, Danny’s situation is being raised – literally – to a level no one can ignore.  Danny, a former steelworker, wound up homeless after losing his job and having nobody to turn to for help. For the past 15 years, he has lived on the streets of Austin with his wife Maggie, who drifted to Texas from her home state of Ohio when her mother passed away and her prior marriage fell apart at the age of 31. Maggie lived at the Salvation Army and worked as a nurse’s aide until work dried up, and she too found herself on the streets. The two are inseparable. Five years ago, Maggie suffered a stroke that left her wheelchair-bound and dependent on Danny for help completing even the simplest daily tasks.

With the help of media coverage appearing on CNN, Clear Channel Radio and other outlets, the campaign is quickly nearing its goal towards a new home for Danny and Maggie. “I Am Here” is also comprised of print ads, a website, video and mobile. Television and radio PSAs are also included, with CC Radio serving as the exclusive radio sponsor.

The ongoing campaign includes a mobile giving call to action. Texting “Danny” to 20222 provides a $10 donation to help get Danny and others a home through MLF’s Habitat on Wheels program. The billboard also drives people to the campaign site, www.iamheremlf.org.  This effort will provide homes to as many homeless men and women as possible. Each time the 1,200 message threshold is reached a home will be purchased and a life will be changed.

“We are excited to see this campaign catch fire and raise funds for this important cause,” said Ben Gaddis, T3’s director of mobile and emerging technology. “The partnership allowed us to leverage our expertise in marketing and the mobile sector to benefit an organization that we deeply believe in.”

“Our mission is about empowering people to help,” says Graham. “So what if all those people who were afraid to acknowledge a homeless person, or just didn’t know how to help, could send a text donation? They’d be empowered to act, right there in the moment. That’s pretty powerful stuff.”

Mobile Loaves & Fishes was founded in 1998 in Austin by Alan Graham. The firm provides food, clothing and dignity to the homeless and working poor. The first trip hand-delivered 75 sack lunches. 12 years later, there are 15 MLF commissaries in seven cities across the nation filling thousands of empty stomachs from the beds of Ford pick-up catering trucks every night.

RBR-TVBR observation: A good example of spreading an important message with multiple forms of competing media. T3 definitely thought out of the box here and procured donated media for its client and goodwill for those media outlets.