Synergy Services is the only shelter for runaway and homeless youths in western Missouri and the Kansas City area, and it serves some 2000 teenagers in need on any given night. In order to raise awareness of teen homelessness, and to raise money for its cause, Synergy Services launched a very novel guerilla/social media campaign, on virtually no budget. A series of real life looking representations of homeless teens were created using clothes bought at charity shops, which were then stuffed with newspaper and molded into forlorn looking human shapes. Each “teenage sculpture” carried a small box with a card in it that drove people to Synergy’s website to donate money to the cause.
Once complete, these real looking representations of homeless teens were placed at street corners all over the Kansas City area. They were also filmed for a video to highlight the plight of homeless teenagers, which was then distributed on social media. The video caught the attention of local and national news networks, including NBC and Fox News, who gave the issue of teen homelessness in Kansas City, and Synergy’s role in helping, widespread coverage. This enabled Synergy Services to reach millions of people with its message and contributed to a dramatic increase in donations. The campaign became the best ever fundraising campaign in the organization’s history, and more importantly helped more teens to get off the streets and on the road to a better life.