MBB Pride mentors will walk you through the entire process so please feel free to communicate with them as often as needed. You can contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Pray for guidance about participating in a Pride festival. Do an internet search for the dates of the Pride festival nearest your location. (NOTE: many cities have their festival information posted months in advance and typically offer early-bird registration specials.)
- Review the guidelines for hosting an MBB Hugging Booth at a Pride festival and then fill-out the application to represent the MBB community.
- MBB Pride mentors will review your application and respond as quickly as possible.
- After receiving approval from the MBB Pride mentors, you can join the MBB Pride Organizers Facebook group for all MBB Hugging Booth coordinators to better communicate and coordinate.
- Fill out the “BOOTH” application on your local Pride festival website. Double-check that your Booth application has been approved by your local Pride center. (Some Pride centers may be slow in responding. If they are slow to respond, MBB mentors recommend that you call the Pride center and ask for a clear response.)
- MBB mentors will assist you in creating a Facebook event for your Hugging Booth in the MBB Facebook group. You may then create a duplicate Facebook event to invite people who may not be in the MBB Facebook group. MBB mentors will provide you with generic information for the event description. The exact location and load-in time for your Booth at the festival are usually provided by your Pride center the week prior to the festival and can be added to your Facebook event as they become available.
- If needed, you may solicit funding assistance for Pride registration fees in whatever way you feel is best. MBB encourages you to solicit funds from your own local community first and then consider soliciting funds from the MBB community at-large via the MBB Facebook group. (*see notes below)
- Create an online sign-up sheet for your hugging schedule. It is important to know how many volunteers you can plan on throughout the Pride festival. You may use free online sites like signupgenius.com or others. Be sure to send the link to all volunteers and paste the link in your Facebook event. Encourage all volunteers to read the MBB Mission Statement, the MBB Hugging Booth web page.
- Keep your community engaged and encouraged in your Facebook event page. This may include posting uplifting photos and stories from other MBB Pride events that are posted in the MBB Facebook group. Share the Facebook event many times in the MBB Facebook group and encourage those who have joined the event to share it and invite their friends to participate. You can also share your event in your local Pride Festival’s Facebook event page.
- Plan how you will decorate your Hugging Booth. The only decorations you are required to use are; an MBB “FREE HUGS” overhead banner and an MBB logo table-banner (fits an 8 ft. table). You can choose to have the MBB mentors mail the two banners to you (you are required to pay for the shipping both ways) – OR – the mentors can email the PDF files for the banners and you can have the banners printed locally, allowing you to retain the banners for future use. Beyond the two required banners, you may decorate your booth as you see fit as long as the messaging is within the MBB Pride messaging guidelines found on the MBB website. MBB mentors can also provide you with PDF files of specially designed quotes that you can also print locally for decorating the booth. (See these examples of booths.)
- MBB Hugging Booth participants will hand out a sticker with each hug that says, “Hugged by a Mormon Building Bridges.” You can download the template for printing the stickers on Avery brand sticker-sheets or the MBB mentors can send you a PDF file for printing the stickers.
- Read all information and guidelines provided by your local Pride center. (These may include such topics as when and where to set up your booth, whether or not you will be required to provide you own canopy, whether or not you are permitted to hand out free water or other food or beverages, etc.)
- When your Pride festival time comes, set-up and decorate your booth and have fun sharing the love!
*NOTE: If you find that you need to solicit funds from the the MBB Facebook group, MBB mentors *must* approve of your fundraising request prior to posting in the group.
IMPORTANT: Many Pride festivals will offer substantial discounts to nonprofit organizations. MBB does have nonprofit status, so just send an email to email@example.com to get the required IRS number. You can also ask if fees can be waived or reduced.