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Mobile Loaves & Fishes campaign moves homeless couple into new home

May 4, 2010

danny1Nonprofit organization Mobile Loaves & Fishes created a campaign where Danny, a homeless man, was on a 50-foot-high billboard with a mobile call-to-action for two days to raise money for Danny’s home.

The campaign turned out to be successful and Danny and his wife Maggie will be moving into their new home next week, thanks to the text-message donations the couple received. For every 1,200 donations received, another individual or family will be taken off the street and into a home through MLF’s “Habitat on Wheels” program.

“The strategy was based on the idea of literally elevating the issue of homelessness,” said Ben Gaddis, director of mobile and emerging media at T3, Austin, TX. “We wanted to create something that people couldn’t ignore.

“By humanizing the homeless population, we caused people to have a different reaction—one that made them stop and take notice and that compelled them to take action,” Mr. Gaddis said. “We put a face to homelessness with the help of Danny and raised him to a place where he couldn’t be ignored.”

Mobile Loaves & Fishes is an organization that provides food, clothing and dignity to the homelessness and working poor.

T3 is an agency that specializes in innovative marketing campaigns that cut across all media channels.

Lend a helping hand
The billboard, on which Danny stood at Woodland and I-35 in Austin during select times of the 48-hour period on April 27 and 28, was donated by Reagan Outdoor.

“The target audience was very broad for this campaign—essentially anyone who might interact with the homeless population in the U.S.,” said Mr. Gaddis.

For the past 15 years, Danny, a former steelworker, wound up homeless after losing his job and having nobody to turn to for help.

Danny has lived on the streets in Austin with his wife Maggie who lived at the Salvation Army working as a nurse’s aide after her marriage fell apart and her mother died.

When work dried up she too found herself on the streets.

Five years ago, Maggie suffered a stroke that left her wheelchair-bound and dependant on Danny for help.

Here is a picture of Danny and his wife Maggie:


Photo Credit (Patrick Bresnan)

People who want to donate can text the keyword DANNY to short code 20222 to make a $10 donation.

The short code was provided by the Mobile Giving Foundation.

“The idea of putting a homeless man on a billboard is unique in its own right, but the really unique aspect of this campaign is the combination of a live event, outdoor and mobile media, with a sustainable social component,” Mr. Gaddis said.

Currently, MLF is in six cities and will continue to expand its mission to more cities this year.

Visitors can learn more about Danny and his wife Maggie on the Web site

“Mobile Loaves & Fishes is an organization focused on providing much needed food, clothing and shelter to the homelessness across the nation,” Mr. Gaddis said. “Providing the homeless, like Danny, with a hand-up, not a hand-out, is what the organization does best and this campaign truly reinforces that mission.

“And at T3, we are driven by the smarter way to connect brands with people, and in this case, people with a cause,” he said. “This unique use of multiple mediums, mobile, outdoor, TV, radio, print and social, shows our understanding of how those mediums work best together to drive results.”

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