Blog Action Day – 100 Ways You Can Eliminate Poverty in Minneapolis

One of the most frustrating things about living in the modern day age is poverty. In real terms it means that in my own city someone is hungry, abused, ill and unable to afford medical care, hurt by strangers or homeless…on top of that they’re having trouble getting help.

Being poor in America sucks. Being poor in Minnesota in the winter sucks even more.

By doing just a little bit, you can help change this. Small things help break the cycle of poverty. Children who grow up poor become poor adults more often then not. Hope goes a long way to teach them a different way of life that they can integrate into their own experience.

With that said, no deed is too small. A smile can turn someone’s day around. Initially, it’s hard to be generous with time and resources. Once you start connecting with people, you will feel your life change for the better and that’s what keeps people involved and passionate about helping –

  • You give to get
  • By teaching; you learn
  • The best way to stop complaining is to start doing
  • Volunteering is the opportunity to see beyond your own needs

100 Things You Can Do

  1. Stop watching television
  2. View current volunteer opportunities at Goodwill Easter Seals
  3. Join the walk to end hunger in November at
  4. Mentor a kid in Hennepin County
  5. Be a volunteer at a parenting class to break they cycle of poverty
  6. Be a volunteer cooking instructor because health is important to fighting poverty
  7. Buy the next person who asks you for money a full meal. I did
  8. Provide a foster home for rescued cats so people can get their pets back
  9. Like to play video games? Wii volunteer needed
  10. Volunteer your Graphic Design skills for Camp Get-A-Well-A
  11. Give $10 to the Red Cross through an online donation
  12. Take your children when you go to volunteer
  13. Help a homeless person get connected with life changing advocates
  14. Encourage someone to get a SCORE business mentor
  15. Share David Allen’s GTD methods as you understand them
  16. Get rid of your television
  17. Help someone get their taxes done by going with them for moral support
  18. When people complain, stop them and direct them towards action
  19. Hand $20 to a stranger who asks you for money; no questions asked
  20. Volunteer to help battered women on the road to recovery
  21. Ask your company if there is a mentoring program and join it
  22. Educate yourself on why there is a gender gap in salary
  23. ….Then inspect your own company policies
  24. Help women and children lead better lives
  25. Don’t look away. Make eye contact with the next person who looks homeless
  26. Give a job offer to someone you normally wouldn’t
  27. Start reading to your children at birth
  28. Children + money + math – Have them bring along a small wallet to the grocery
  29. Give 1 employee another chance before firing them
  30. Teach children that credit cards are bad
  31. Call the police if you see or hear domestic violence
  32. Talk about television and media messages with your kids
  33. Have your children volunteer at an early age to teach compassion
  34. Learn how to interview to negotiate the best salary possible
  35. Give 1 compliment to 1 stranger every week.
  36. Surround yourself with positive people and good things will happen
  37. Volunteer to speak about wealth building to young people
  38. Think on this – Do famous people watch television?
  39. Explore the benefits of meditation
  40. Figure out what you’re doing with your free time each week
  41. …Then stop watching all that television and get off your butt
  42. Buy locally from a local company rather than online
  43. Use Craigslist before you surf to Ebay to keep wealth in Minneapolis
  44. Sell your television on Craigslist
  45. Join your local rotary club to find others who want to help
  46. Explore micro-lending as an investment option
  47. Get 2 friends and go volunteer instead of seeing a movie for a Saturday afternoon
  48. Remove the word, “They” when blaming others
  49. …Stop blaming other people; you’re not God
  50. Sponsor a child for daycare
  51. Block off time every month to volunteer
  52. Tell people you want to help eliminate poverty in Minneapolis
  53. Watch a video on writing a good resume and then do it
  54. Get highspeed internet from Comcast for $20/month, dialup is dead
  55. Volunteer if you’re multi-lingual

One Person Can Make A Difference


He was one my technology students. He’d made it into the first class of 25 adult students selected to participate in the A+ hardware certification program offered by the Minneapolis Urban League. When I met him in January of 2007, I thought, “He’s outspoken and outgoing. He’ll be able to get an IT job in a few months”. Shawn had been in the military. Shawn also hearing and sight problem. He was a hard worker and knew quite a bit about microelectronics, voltage and wiring. What I didn’t know was that Shawn was homeless. Long story short, Shawn had the best attendence over the next 10 weeks. We all pitched in to give him rides. I advocated to get him a bus pass.

To Be Continued…

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About Adria Richards

Adria Richards is a developer and entrepreneur focused on digital equality. She has been involved in more than 35 hackathon events in the Bay Area and abroad. Embracing her inner nerd, Adria moved moved to San Francisco in 2010 to pursue her passion for technology. Previously she has worked in technical and training roles for enterprise, nonprofits and startups; from Apple to Zendesk. Adria has been teaching technology and developing curriculum since 2007. Adria is a popular speaker at major tech conferences including SXSW, O’Reilly Web 2.0, Launch, The Lean Startup Conference and TEDx. She speaks at startups and coding boot camps about culture, communication and diversity. Adria has attended TED, LeWeb and MLOVE. In her free time, Adria enjoys snowboarding, yoga and bacon; not necessarily at that order. Her Twitter account is followed by President @BarackObama. She blogs at and is a YouTube Content Creator.

3 thoughts on “Blog Action Day – 100 Ways You Can Eliminate Poverty in Minneapolis

  1. Dan Bassill

    I wrote about blog action day on my own blog and have been focusing volunteers on tutor/mentor programs in Chicago neighborhoods for the past 13 years. I’ve led such a program since 1975 so I’m a big believer in the things you’re suggesting.

    I encourage you to visit to see how we’re using maps to focus attention on all of the high poverty neighborhoods in Chicago, so that resources will distribute to the programs in all of these areas, not just to brand name programs, or high profile neighborhoods.

    If other cities adopt similar map strategies, and we link to each other in blog action events, we can increase the number of volunteers and donors who support volunteer-based tutor and mentor programs across the country.

  2. Mauro Toffanin

    I hope you'll be able to help Swan and the other homeless person too; thank you Adria for making the world a better place and to hand over your free time for the homeless cause.

    p.s.: Adria++ for having mentioned the Rotary Club, few people know about it and the importance of its role in the world.

  3. Mauro Toffanin

    I hope you'll be able to help Swan and the other homeless person too; thank you Adria for making the world a better place and to hand over your free time for the homeless cause.

    p.s.: Adria++ for having mentioned the Rotary Club, few people know about it and the importance of its role in the world.

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