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Home » The Heartbreaking Text That Inspired a Crisis Help Line: Nancy Lublin at TED Talks (Transcript)

The Heartbreaking Text That Inspired a Crisis Help Line: Nancy Lublin at TED Talks (Transcript)

Nancy Lublin

Nancy Lublin – TRANSCRIPT

A girl I’ve never met before changed my life and the life of thousands of other people. I’m the CEO of DoSomething.org. It’s one of the largest organizations in the world for young people. In fact it’s bigger than the Boy Scouts in the United States. And we’re not homophobic.

And it’s true — the way we communicate with young people is by text, because that’s how young people communicate. So we’ll run over 200 campaigns this year, things like collecting peanut butter for food pantries, or making Valentine’s Day cards for senior citizens who are homebound. And we’ll text them. And we’ll have a 97 percent open rate. It’ll over-index Hispanic and urban. We collected 200,000 jars of peanut butter and over 365,000 Valentine’s Day cards. This is big scale. OK —

But there’s one weird side effect. Every time we send out a text message, we get back a few dozen text messages having nothing to do with peanut butter or hunger or senior citizens — but text messages about being bullied, text messages about being addicted to pot. And the worst message we ever got said exactly this: “He won’t stop raping me. It’s my dad. He told me not to tell anyone. Are you there?”

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