Help Each Other Out: Share What Works

Help Each Other Out empowers neighbors, colleagues, friends to reach out to someone in a rough time by sharing gestures that work.
Kelsey Crowe
Email Verified
299 Facebook Friends
San Francisco, California
United States
11 Team Members

Short Summary

Dear Friends, 

You can be a part of building Help Each Other Out's capacity to Share What Works. We build community and online platforms for people to share and discover gestures that get people through a personal hardship, empowering all of us to support a neighbor, a colleague, a friend we know struggling with illness, loss, divorce, and more.

I’m Kelsey Crowe, and I founded the Help Each Other Out project because of a deep pang of guilt I felt for not being there for others during a difficult time. Whether it was a mom I knew whose baby was born with special needs, or an acquaintance I had whose parent had just died, I found myself shying away from people experiencing something difficult because I didn’t know what to say. I also experienced my share of isolation in hardship, and knew how badly it felt. With a PhD in social work from the University of California, Berkeley, I now research and write about the ways we can be there for our neighbors, our colleagues, and our friends in a difficult time like loss, illness, divorce, and more.

We often don't pitch in not because we’re bad people, but because we fear our feeble, uninformed efforts will only make a situation worse. At some point in our lives, however, we realize that running away is the worst thing to do. But what does one do instead? 

It's easy. Share What Works. Help Each Other Out wants to build community and online platforms for people to share and discover what gestures small and large by all kinds of people in our community really make a difference to ease someone's suffering. 

You could be a person with a question on how to help. You could be a person that has vented on your issue-specific list-serve about how idiotic your community is. Or you might have bursted with love at a surprising gesture in your life that you wish could be passed on to others. Help Each Other Out wants us to get proactive and do something constructive about this communication gap. Again, it's simple. We want to Share What Works with people looking for answers. 

You can help us with our first public awareness campaign to reach people who don’t yet realize the value of this kind of connection. To do this we will Portrait Bomb several neighborhoods in San Francisco with hundreds of posters that pair arresting tintype portraits of young women with breast cancer with the stories of support that got them through treatment. These posters will live on with interested parties anywhere in the country who'll help us portrait bomb any city, office building, or lobby that will carry the story. 

The campaign will inspire, but it is only a part of the story. The campaign is a springboard for media outlets to talk about our mission and our Share What Works platform on the Help Each Other Out website. And herein is the second part of our ask: help us benefit you directly by letting us develop an online gesture library accessible to anyone in the world. It will enable anyone to share a gesture that worked for them in a rough time and make it searchable for anyone looking for ideas on how to help someone they care about. 

Even if you can't see the campaign in person, or you don't actually care about breast cancer, you will still have an online resource that will work for you no matter what issue. And you will have invested in our capacity to publicly and beautifully campaign about other difficult experiences that you can relate to, always with our hook about how community gets you through.  Loss, Suicide, Child with Special Needs, Gender/Sexuality, Fertility Issues. At Help Each Other Out, WE LOVE YOU ALL. 

Help us make a lot of difference in the world with a very simple premise: Share What Works. 

What We Need & What You Get


200 Posters: 50 Copies of each poster design X 4 total portraits. They vary in size depending on public space. Cost includes an 80% discount from ARC printers in San Francisco. $3,500
Project Coordination for portraits, volunteer coordination for portrait bombing, media outreach and gesture collection for the website.  $5,000
Website Design for Online Gesture Library to facilitate Sharing Gestures That Work.  $6,000
Indiegogo promotional items, indiegogo transaction fee, mailing items, etc.  $1,500
TOTAL  $16,000
Six more portraits + posters to diversify faces and languages represented in current campaign.  $5,000

If we don't reach our funding goal, we will have fewer portraits to start portrait bombing with, and use the media outreach from that effort to fund raise again for an online gesture library. 

  • See Some Perks:

"Thank You, Friend" card to thank someone for a gesture that mattered on behalf of your donation 

Help Each Other Out Mug 

Come to an In-Person Workshop 

Sponsor a New Campaign Portrait 

Sponsor a Workshop for Low-Income Families 

Get Your Own TinType Portrait 

Sponsor a Share What Works Online Experience of Your Choice 


The Impact

A time will come in the not to distant future when a neighbor, a friend, a coworker or family member you care about will experience some kind of hardship. You can sit alone with your quandary, or plug into a trusted online community of experts- which in this case simply means people who’ve been through an experience that you want to understand- and find what gestures of support from a neighbor, colleague, or a friend worked for them. You'll get ideas and inspiration on how to be there in way that suits the demands in your life, and who you are. And if you're in a rough time yourself, you can feel assured that it's out there for them to find, or even pass it on. 

Since starting in January 2014, we have accomplished:

1)  Thousands of visitors to our site from all over the world who spend on average 15 minutes reading and learning.

2)  We conducted our first workshop “Being There” at a Tri Valley Homeless Shelter in San Jose as requested by a shelter resident struggling with supporting another resident through the loss of her child.

3)  We have launched our first Share What Works community event where over 250 gestures were collected among 130 people who came to inaugurate our poster launch campaign.

4)  We will exhibit our existing portraits at SF Camera Works in December 2014.

5)  Several doctors affiliated through the Bay Area Young Survivors network have committed to exhibiting these posters in their office and we want to expand this partnership more formally to hospital lobbies around the country.

Your contribution will 1) Inspire people to value reaching out to friends, neighbors, and colleagues in times of difficulty, and 2) Provide a commercial-free go-to online resource for you, or the people around you who have questions about how to be supportive in areas with which we have much compassion but little experience. Whether it’s illness, miscarriage, divorce, loss, and so many other things that happen that can be hard to talk about, this website will make us feel better prepared to make a positive difference in each other’s lives through gestures small and large.  

Other Ways You Can Help

·  Connect with us at and volunteer to help portrait bomb in San Francisco, or to help coordinate a portrait bombing effort in another city.

·  Until we have our online gesture library up, we want you to email us  a gesture that mattered to you at 

·  Share this campaign with a network that you know gets it- networks that deal with illness, grief, special needs, and more.

·  Explore if an organization you’re affiliated with wants to sponsor a campaign with us or have posters in their lobby. 

Find This Campaign On
raised by 163 people in 1 month
101% funded
0 time left
$16,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 26, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Daily Gesture in Your Inbox

    You, along with everyone who donates, will regularly receive gestures in your inbox about what worked to get someone through a difficult time for the length of the campaign. They are handwritten and unique from people who attended our first Share What Works community event.

    14 claimed
  • $20USD
    "Thank You, Friend" card

    In honor of your donation, we'll mail a hand made silk-screened card to someone you want to thank for a gesture they made for you in your rough time.

    8 claimed
  • $50USD
    "Being There" Online Seminar

    Our 1.5 hour online "Being There" webinar will ground you in the basics of "being there" and it will be fun.

    13 claimed
  • $75USD
    "Being There" workshop + perks

    Our in-person 3- hour workshop in the Bay Area will ground you in the basics of "being there" and it will be fun. Plus three "Thank You, Friend" cards (see $20 perk) and Help Each Other Out mug (see $40 perk)

    12 claimed
  • $125USD
    Poster Sponsor

    You can sponsor a poster that will be printed and displayed for thousands to see in the streets of San Francisco and everywhere it travels in the country. Your name or someone you want to honor will be written on the back and you'll receive a picture of it's first portrait bombing location. Plus three "Thank You, Friend" cards (see $20 perk) and Help Each Other Out mug (see $40 perk)

    9 out of 300 claimed
  • $250USD
    High-End Poster Print

    Receive a high-end quality print from one of our portraits with or without logos that is sized to your specifications. Extra cost for framing. Plus up to five "Thank You, Friend" cards (see $20 perk) and Help Each Other Out mug (see $40 perk)

    1 claimed
  • $500USD
    Adopt a portrait

    You can sponsor a portrait that will be honored on the back on behalf of someone you care about, you miss, or who you thank for being there along with a love letter from you. Receive photographs in every location it travels. Plus: "Hugger" producer status on the website, and up to five "Thank You, Friend" cards (see $25 perk) and a Help Each Other Out mug (see $35 perk)

    0 claimed
  • $500USD
    Workshops for All!

    If you want to spread inclusion of the Being There message to all people, sponsor a workshop in a public housing development in the Bay Area. You'll receive photos of the event. Plus: "Hugger" producer status on the website, and up to five "Thank You, Friend" cards (see $20 perk) and a Help Each Other Out mug (see $40 perk)

    3 claimed
  • $600USD
    Your OWN tintype portrait

    If you live in the Bay Area you can get your own Tin Type portrait by Michael Shindler with yourself or your family. Plus, "Hugger" producer status on the website.

    2 claimed
  • $1,500USD
    Your Gesture Bookshelf

    Our website addresses experience with several hard times. Adopt an issue for our website to "share what works" and we'll name it after someone you want to thank or memorialize on the producer page. Plus: "Life Save" producer status on the website, and up to five "Thank You, Friend" cards (see $20 perk) and a Help Each Other Out mug (see $40 perk)

    0 out of 15 claimed
  • $15,000USD
    Create a Campaign!!

    If there is an issue that you alone or several people in your community care about, come together and partner with us to create a whole new campaign that profiles a particular difficult time and the gestures that get people through. We'll brand your organization or nonprofit.

    0 claimed
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