Early this fall, my colleagues and I were told that our co-worker’s little girl had been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer and had spent her sixth birthday receiving chemotherapy at CHEO. She is one in 35 out of seven billion people in the world with this form of leukemia. In the weeks to follow, we received little additional information about her condition or how we could help. We felt frustrated and helpless.
How one Facebook post changed everything
One night, I came across a shared post on Facebook for a t-shirt fundraiser in support of this same little girl. I quickly did a Google search and discovered that other fundraising efforts had been taken up by neighbours in the family’s community and their community newspaper provided information on other ways to contribute, such as donating blood. I immediately shared the post with my Facebook friends and others at my work. Sales for the t-shirts shot up and we began planning our own fundraising activities in our workplace. A the same time, we connected with our co-worker’s neighbours. In late November, we held a silent auction of over 30 holiday wreaths at our workplace and raised over $2,000.00. Many of us also donated blood. Donating blood is a great way to help
Social Media is an effective way to galvanize a caring community
My point in sharing this story is to underscore the power of social media in bringing about real action and change. In general, people want to feel some sense of control in a world that often feels out of control. We crave community and we want to make a difference. Social media helps us meet these needs. For this reason, I am grateful for networking sites like Facebook.