We are in the business of moving magazines around, more directly than otherwise with our KinderHarvest programs, which recycles magazines from donors to new readers. This presents many and varied logistical challenges for our all volunteer teams. Transporting magazines demands human, transportation, and financial resources. We are blessed with many volunteers. However, their physical locations and availability vary. We are blessed with many magazine donors. Again, their locations, timing, and frequency of involvement vary. We service many literacy agents who accept our recycled magazine donations and provide them to new readers. Urban communities present different challenges than suburban or rural landscapes. So, how do we make all these pieces hum – efficiently, timely, and effectively?
We are exploring a number of ideas. One is the Magazine Bundle Relay, where a network of volunteers are connected by web and mobile telephone technology – each volunteer taking up a small part of the magazine collection or delivery – along a chain that overall gets magazines from donors to literacy agents. We’ve recently discovered and are exploring use of grassroots mobile text messaging to activate this network, using FrontlineSMS. We’ll need to understand whether SMS text messaging introduces fees that we would not want to impose on our volunteers.
Our relay system will be organized as shown in the above diagram, with donors represented by the magazine bundles; literacy agents represented by the girl reading; and volunteers by the yellow happy faces. Be in touch to join the relay.