OUT for Sustainability facilitates Earth Gay service projects in regions around the country, all through the year, led by passionate OUT4S regional leads.

OUT4S works with our regional leads to organize these simple service projects for small groups of fabulous volunteers. OUT4S’ collaborative “planting” process ensures a fabulous and welcoming day of service in your community, and take part in a national (global) movement.

step one: PLANT THE SEED

  • Place: Contact OUT4S’s Earth Gay team via earthgay@out4s.org to be connected with someone in your area to help plant an Earth Gay, and/or ask a friend you already know to join you! Volunteering is a great way make friends and invest in your community, as part of a national movement. 
  • Plan: Meet with OUT4S to brief and kick-off planning to make sure you and your co-planner(s) are comfortable with the process, goals and values of Earth Gay. Along the way we’ll check in regularly to make sure you’re supported and empowered.
  • Partner: Map out the LGBTQ organizations in your community, vet with OUT4S and coordinate with one or more to co-present.
    • LGBTQ organizations have the attention of the local community. As partners they get to invest their time in environmental work without creating expensive new programming.
  • Project: Connect with a civic or environmental organization to host the service project, amplifying their great work with new audiences.
    • OUT4S has best practices to help select a project ready to host a diverse group of volunteers. For instance: do they have all the tools needed, bathroom access, insurance coverage and leaders on site to coach volunteers?

step two: PREP THE SOIL

  • Pick: Select a date/time at least five weeks in the future that works for your partners and host.
    • We’ve found the best service projects are 3-4 hours on a weekend morning, for example a Saturday from 10am-1pm including breaks, ending early enough for people go have lunch afterward, or any other social gathering.
  • Publish: OUT4S volunteers create your Earth Gay poster, event registration, event page on out4s.org, Facebook event and other tools to help build awareness.
  • Promote: Work with OUT4S, partner organization(s) and the host to get the community engaged and registered.
    • OUT4S promotes Earth Gay and other events through newsletters, social media and established partners.
    • You and other volunteers put up posters, share on social media, email friends and help other organizations share on social media and community calendars.
    • OUT4S creates a press release, when appropriate, to share with local and select national publications.
  • Prepare: Work with OUT4S to source snacks, coffee and water donations, and sponsorship if appropriate.
    • Snacks are ideally sensitive to food allergies and easy to eat with dirty hands. Vegan and gluten free snacks could include fruit, nuts and other bulk treats.
    • Water and coffee are ideally in larger reusable containers (not single use), with compostable cups to share with those without a reusable personal bottle.
    • OUT4S may have relationships with companies to provide for your area and will handle any logistics associated with donations and sponsorship.

step three: PRODUCE THE SPROUT

  • Present: Host the event! Arrive early and meet the host organization to arrange registration, tools, snacks and any other day-of logistics.
    • Set up registration (with first aid kit, your host should have one). Set up snacks and the water refill station. Put out simple directional signs.
    • As volunteers arrive, greet them and sign them in from the registration list you got from OUT4S. Welcome walk-in volunteers and register their contact information. Make sure all participants sign our liability waiver/media release.
    • Through the day check in with volunteers, take photos of the work in progress and get a couple group photos. Stay a little after to clean up the site and put away any tools, tables, tents you may have used.
  • Pass: Collect registration information, including walkins, and send to OUT4S along with photos from the event. Write a short summary of the event to turn into a simple blog post for out4s.org.
  • Pause: After the event, meet with OUT4S to debrief your experience and the project. Discuss what next step might be appropriate for your region. Pat yourself on the back, you did it!

Ready?

To kick-off planting a fabulous Earth Gay in your region, or if you have questions, get in touch with OUT4S’s Earth Gay team via earthgay@out4s.org. OUT4S programming is designed to be sexy, fun and cool, a low pressure process with high impact results. Let’s get started!