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Welcome New Members!

Welcome to the fastest-growing grassroots effort on Facebook and the web! Since January, 2009, through Facebook, Twitter, MoveOn.org and media attention, over 650,000 people have joined this cause to make their voices heard. Our success is entirely due to the active participation of our members. As such, here's a few tips on how best to get involved:

1) The "share"  and "like" buttons are your friend! When an article or link is posted that you agree with, please like it, then share it so that it's posted on your own profile for your friends and family to see.  Share on other groups you belong to as well. The more often you share these links, the greater our ability to grow and reach new audiences.

2) Sign our latest petition in favor of H.R. 4170, The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, and invite your friends and family to do the same.

* For a plain english, easy-to-understand, 3-page summary of H.R. 4170, click here.

* To read the full bill, click here.

3) Show your support for H.R. 4170 on PopVox.com and OpenCongress.org

4) If you're on Facebook, please join the FSLD group  and stay up-to-date on the latest news, information and opinions regarding the growing student loan crisis in America. Invite your friends and family to join as well.

5) Participate in our new photo journal project, OccupyStudentDebt.com, in partnership with the folks behind the film Default: The student Loan Documentary (currently airing on PBS!  Check your local listings!).  There, we're collecting stories and photos of people buried in student loan debt.  Many are holding signs indicating the amount they originally borrowed vs. the amount they currently owe, in an effort to visually demonstrate how perverse the student lending system has become.

6) Visit Our YouTube channel, which I'm hoping will become yet another vehicle through which we can garner additional support.  Currently, some of FSLD's "favorite" videos are featured there and we're hoping to start collecting original videos from FSLD members.  If you're interested in participating, please send an email FSLDvideo@gmail.com to request instructions on how to submit your video.
 
7) Show some love for our new champion in Congress, Rep. Hansen Clarke.  Follow him on Twitter @RepHansenClarke, join his Facebook Group "Friends of Hansen Clarke", or contact his Congressional office to express your appreciation for his taking up this cause and/or to ask how you can help him (and us) make this a reality.
 
8) Take action!  Contact your own representatives in Congress and urge them to support the efforts of Rep. Clarke as well as the overall movement for student loan reform.  On both the Facebook group as well as here at the website, you'll find links and sample letters for you to write to the President, Vice-President, your Senators and Representatives in Congress. There are links to a petition and other resources as well. Make your voice heard and demand real change that will directly help the middle class.
 
9) Contact your local media and urge them to pay attention to this ever-growing crisis.  Make them aware of the true debt that's crushing American families!  Many news outlets are completely oblivious to this story - if that's the case, direct their attention here.

10) Join the conversation! Share your own student loan stories with the rest of the community. If nothing else, you'll quickly discover that you're not alone and that millions of Americans are struggling just like you. There's no shame in owing money simply because you sought to better yourself through education, but it certainly helps to know you're in good company.

11) Stay alert! If you find an article, video, news release or other information you believe would be of interest to fellow members of the group, post it! Please try to keep any such postings relevant, i.e. on the subject of student loans, excessive debt, loan forgiveness, increasing tuition costs, income disparity and the general health (or lack thereof) of the economy.

 
12) Print and distribute/post flyers. One simple, easy (and inexpensive) way for you to help the cause is to print and distribute flyers that you can either make on your own or simply download ones already made. Use the group's official logo to make it sharp & snazzy.  Be creative!  Post them in your dorm, coffee shop, office or anywhere else you think there are others in the same boat.  Or, click on the logo to the right to see signs and posters already designed by fellow FSLD members!

13) Reach out and network! As the Founder of FSLD, I have profiles set up in the following places, please feel free to join and to invite others:

*Twitter - @bobbyapples
*LinkedIn (Personal Profile): http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?trk=hb_side_pro
*LinkedIn (FSLD Group): http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2026448
*Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Applebaum/54158215949
*YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ForgiveStudentLoans (Please feel free to post video testimonials here!)

14) Visit the ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com store where you can find lots of great merchandise sporting the FSLD logo with all proceeds going towards the fulfillment of the goals of this organization.  Get your FSLD Stuff today and help spread the word!

Thanks again to everyone who's joined this cause to fight for the middle class! Your participation is the key to our continuing success!

Robert Applebaum
Founder & Executive Director
ForgiveStudentLoanDebt.com

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