This is not like any project you’ve ever worked on!
Project Elf MN has no annual budget, no office, no staff, we are not a nonprofit, and yet we still manage to gift into the community about $100,000 of value and property annually. (We do have a sister project in Texas that does things differently than we do, but they are based on our ideas.)
This website is filled with real lives and real stories that showcase the way a community can reach inward to create a better outcome for everyone.
I would like to introduce myself – my name is Mickey Mikeworth and I am the brainchild behind Project Elf. I am also someone who has chosen to dedicate my life to teaching the concepts of prosperity and am actively engaged in showing a community how they can deliver real change.
Three things that my students have heard over many years that might be new thinking to them (coming into this project), are founding ideas and everyday thoughts that drive this community:
1.“Money only has one purpose – it can buy you some choices.”
2.“Money is one of the least valuable forms of capital that we have to exchange.” There are actually 10 different types of capital that we can exchange. Other examples would be emotional capital or spiritual capital – if you’ve ever been low on either one of those you know how you can feel bankrupt.
3.“There is actually enough!”
Right now there are enough resources in the United States to feed, clothe, shelter, and provide basic transportation for every human being.
Our problem with thinking in a prosperity mindset comes with rearranging resources and gaining access to those resources on a regular basis.
This is a project that I created more than a decade and a half ago to try a new way to deliver change. The reason I have kept it as a project is that projects have the ability to morph and change as the needs of the community change. The reason that Project Elf is so crazy and dynamic is that it is the first organization of its kind that completely uses individual face-to-face resource exchange to end poverty.
I am a normal person and I am an executive with a full-time job, a family, and this is a side project.TThat’s why the drop-off times and the email and text interface is so specific.
My role is to utilize time and talents to create a community that can bridge itself to prosperity. I focus on partnering with projects that have the highest chance of magnifying in a prosperous way, and I encourage our community to look at their resources and how they can also help push those tools forward.
We have a support system community that can now support many individual nonprofits, and we open our donation pile to many nonprofits as a secret that they can access. Community leaders can literally send a text and ask if we have any of the resources that they need, they can drive through on a Saturday, have it loaded into their car and they’re off on their way. If they do not have transportation, then they can pick one of the Saturdays that we will deliver.
There is no form to fill out, no proof of identification needed, just a clean transaction. If you need a mop, and we have a mop, you can just take the mop, and we will ask our community if they have another mop.
This idea that you don’t have to prove that you are poor enough is outdated and does not actually build prosperous mindsets.
Imagine, if there was a place that you could go to that might have the thing you need and you could get it for no cost. Plus, if they didn’t have it you could put a request in for the next one, and you can use that resource for the rest of your life.
We have that space.
Not only does this idea cut down on the amount of waste in our dumpster, but it also increases the amount of joy that people can access. It’s fun to have something new, or to have something more functional.
With all of that, I invite you to be part of a wave of sharing wealth in a community in a way that is efficient and allows people to get to know each other. What we need is your great ideas and talents to be part of our brain trust.
Together is always better.
Everyone has a gift to give.