10 things you can do for #MillionsMissing with limited spoons

The #MillionsMissing protest is full-steam-ahead: we’re mobilizing in Washington D.C., Seattle, San Fransisco, and Dallas; we’re revving up our engines in other cities all across the United States, our friends in other countries have pitched in, and the enthusiasm has reached an all-time high.  However, if you’re sitting at your computer holding five spoons for your entire day, you may be wondering what you can do to help that won’t put you in the red for a month.
#MEAction has worked together to come up with a list of things you can do to help the cause from home.  A few cost just a spoon or two, and others are a spoon-when-you-can. Also check out fives ways to protest virtually.
1) Send your shoes to Washington, DC!  
We are asking patients who are unable to make it to the physical protest locations to please donate one pair of shoes to the address below and we will display them in their honor at the Washington, DC protest. You can send a pair of old shoes or if it’s difficult to get to the post office, order shoes on Amazon or Ebay and have them shipped directly to us.
Try to send a pair of shoes that represents you – perhaps your personality, fashion style, age, gender, or careers and hobbies that you may not be able to participate in any longer. We welcome shoes from around the world. 
During the protest, we will post images of these shoes to #MEAction’s social media account using the #MillionsMissing hashtag, so patients can see that they are being represented during the demonstration.
Shoes cannot be returned. After the protest, we will either donate all shoes to a local charity or keep them for a future installation.
Address:  Fill out this form and then mail your shoes to: Paige Maxon, P.O. Box 26051, Winston Salem, NC 27114
The name entered into the Google Form should appear somewhere in the package you send so that we can match the data – either enclosed in a sheet of paper with the form, or if ordering directly from Ebay or Amazon, somewhere in the return address or order information.
2) Contact sociology, social work, public health, and political science departments or professors at colleges in the area, and ask if they would speak to their students about working at the protest.

Professors of sociology, social work, public health, and political science are often very interested in engaging their students in real-world political activism.  It makes a great learning experience for their students, who may end up getting a good paper topic or even extra credit out of the deal.  Remember to ask students what they are hoping to gain by participating; the richer an experience they have, the more they will learn and spread the word, and the more likely they will be to return to activism in general and to #MEAction in particular.

3) Contact fraternities or sororities in the area willing to do charity work.

Many colleges now require a certain number of community service hours to graduate.  This is a great opportunity to potentially recruit lifelong advocates.  No matter what, talking to a fraternity or sorority will spread the word about ME/CFS and the protest.


4) Place empty shoes on your doorstep

On May 25th, take a pair of shoes (or several) and put them on your doorstep, lawn, or driveway. Take a photo and post it on social media #MillionsMissing. Anyone can participate, whether you are a patient or an ally expressing solidarity.

You might pair the shoes with a sign that expresses what the empty shoes mean to you. Some examples: “I cannot walk to the end of my driveway” or “My brother should be here.”

Imagine if thousands of homes around the world put out their shoes in solidarity with the protestors in the streets. Ask friends and neighbors to join in.

5) Contact friends and family who live in the area and ask if they can help.

People are more likely to agree to a request to accomplish a specific task (i.e. ‘can you help my organization set shoes out on the 25th from 9 AM. to 10 AM?’) than to agree to a request they don’t understand.  Ask the head of your local protest what needs done.

6) Send your elected representatives the Congressional Pack from the Blue Ribbon Foundation.

The Congressional Pack includes a special version of their documentary The Forgotten Plague.  Learn more about the Congressional Pack here, or send a Congressional Pack now.

7) Design posters and images and send them to [email protected].

Skilled in art or media?  Consider creating memes, posters, and protest signs.  Print out I’m missing… signs to use in selfies and social media.

8) Post selfies on social media on May 25th; ‘like’ and ‘repost’ to promote the protest, or donate a few dollars to boost posts on Facebook.

On May 25th, post selfies on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) – in your bed, home, wheelchair, at work, wherever you live – to help us show online the millions who are missing from the protest.  Use the hashtag #MillionsMissing when you post, so that we can aggregate all the photos. In addition, you might use #MEAction, #mecfs, or #pwme.

We would love for people who can’t be at the protest to show solidarity by printing out one of these I’m missing… signs and using it to tell the world what you are missing since you contracted ME, whether your answer relates to your work-life, your home, your family… or the millions of dollars missing from ME research.

Think about what might have the greatest impact on you if you were to read someone else’s sign.  Use a thick, permanent marker so that your sign is easily readable in the photo you post to social media.

9) Change your profile picture on social media on May 25th.

Soon, we will be releasing a new #MillionsMissing phone app for Android and Apple to help you change your profile picture on May 25th, and promote ME awareness for the month of the May.  The #MillionsMissing phone app is now available!  It will place a blue filter over your profile picture with the hashtag #MillionsMissing.  Get the app for Apple products and android here.

Remember that #MillionsMissing is about those of us who can’t be there.

10) Join the virtual protest!

Promote the hashtag and shoe installation on your social media accounts. Email patients, friends, families, and allies who are in the vicinity of the satellite protests.

…finally, you can also donate to the #MillionsMissing protest by clicking on the link below:

No matter how many spoons you’re holding, we hope you can join us in fighting for a better future for all people with ME/CFS!
Note: to donate to the protest, use the donate button above.  To donate to #MEAction as a whole, use the button below.
Thank you!


10 thoughts on “10 things you can do for #MillionsMissing with limited spoons”

  1. I like the idea of changing our profile picture for the event. I’m wondering if #ME Action could provide a picture that we could all use. It would make it so much easier and the uniformity of the profile picture may have a more powerful impact.

    1. We are looking to do this via the phone application discussed above; it’s not quite ready, yet, but we are hopeful that this will be something anyone/everyone can download to make that happen.

    1. Jane, we do have Dallas under ‘locations’ on the #MillionsMissing page, but they are still hammering out the details of where/when. When more information is available, we will put it up.
      Thanks so much for your interest in the protest!

  2. I have sent one pair of shoes to NC (for the Washington, DC protest). Tomorrow I plan to send several pairs for the Seattle protest.
    Can I send a huge *thank you* to all the folks working to make this protest happen?
    Just as one example, I can only imagine the work that the “shoe wranglers” will have to do in each of the cities to collect all the shoes sent, transport them to the protest location, and put them on display. And I know there is so much other work being done behind the scenes.
    So a huge round of applause for everyone!

    1. Having never been involved in a protest of this magnitude before, the behind-the-scenes work boggles the mind!
      Thank you so much, ahimsa — I will send your well-wishes to those in the trenches. 😉

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