The most critical thing we as citizens can do to fight the coronavirus pandemic right now is self-quarantine and social distance. But, what if we told you there's another way you can make a positive impact from inside your home—and that wedding industry professionals were the masterminds behind the effort?
With weddings currently postponed in the U.S. until mid-May, a group of wedding professionals—including photographers Rebecca Yale and designer Joy Proctor—have banded together to find a way to give back to others and make a positive impact during this worldwide pandemic. The result? Stay In Speak Out, a social media-based campaign with the goal of turning a $5 donation to UNICEF to $5 million in just 14 days.
"We hope the campaign has the impact to empower people during a scary time where many of us feel so anxious, helpless and isolated," explains Yale. "The idea behind Stay in Speak Out is to show us that even when we're practicing proper social distancing and are isolated in our homes, we're still all very much connected and how powerful that connection can be."
How It Works
So how does it work, and how can you take part? The plan is simple: Donate $5, post the campaign graphic to Instagram, and spread the message to friends and family encouraging them to join the movement, too. The 14-day timeline isn't arbitrary either: It's the incubation period of the virus. And the $5 million goal? It is absolutely possible. The Stay In Speak Out organizers believe that if 10 people reach out to 10 people, that turns into 100 people. When those 100 people reach out to 10 people each, that's 1,000 people and so on.
"We've all seen the power of the exponential growth chart and how fast it can get out of hand, but we can use that same network to spread a message and spread it faster than the virus, which became our mission statement: Stay in Speak out. Spread the message not the virus," says Yale.
Wedding photographer KT Merry adds, "It is always my view that we all have the power to do good and it’s our responsibility to speak for those who cannot. I’m honored to have played the tiniest role in this."
Who It Benefits
You may also be asking, "Why UNICEF?" During any humanitarian emergency, UNICEF is on the frontlines. Even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, UNICEF had already deployed six metric tons of medical supplies. The organization funds health supplies like masks, gloves, goggles, and ventilators as well as providing nutrition, education and child protection for the millions of children around the world who have been impacted by this crisis.
"The opportunity to be part of a movement with the potential to save lives is humbling," shares Proctor. "There is no more important work as a human being than joining with others in protection of humanity."
How You Can Help
Want to join the movement? Donate $5 to UNICEF here then post the image above (you'll also receive the graphic in your email) with the caption below to your Instagram!
Stay in, speak out 🗣 Spread the message, not the virus 🦠 Donate $5 to UNICEF to aid in their global emergency response to #COVID19
Share this message with your network and watch the power of exponential growth. Help us reach 1 million people in 14 days and raise $5 million dollars to save countless lives. 🙌
If 10 people in your network donate & post and 10 people in each of their networks do the same and so on, we’ll reach one million people in 6 stops. Join the movement: Tag 10. DONATE NOW @stayinspeakout
Let’s spread the message faster than the virus. 🙏🏻 #StayInSpeakOut #StayHome
This movement was the brainchild of a small group of wedding industry professionals including Rebecca Yale, Joy Proctor, Vanessa Kreckel of TPD Design House, Courtney Loeb of Cecile's Paper Co, Skylar Stetten and Devin Wilson of Stetten Wilson, Rensche Mari, KT Merry, and Elaina Graham of Travel Morari, with support from countless others, including all that choose to share the message and donate to make a difference.
The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by The World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts and couples who are experiencing cancellations to give you the most up-to-date advice on how this can impact your wedding.