Are you still far from convinced that social media for social good is a worthwhile thing to pursue? I get it. We’re all getting more cynical these days. Less trusting. And it seems like there is a lot of fluff out there. Sure, social media for social good. Uhhuh. Give me some proof that it works.
Well, I have some proof for you. Just a little. A short while ago I wrote a post about a project my friend Nic Wirtz was working on with photographer Jean-Marie Simon. They wanted to use Simon’s photographs of Guatemala from the 1980s to create historically accurate, high-quality textbooks for Guatemala’s use. At the time I wrote the post, Nic and Jean-Marie needed to raise about $19,500 in two weeks. Sounds pretty impossible, right? Except that Nic and I promoted the heck out of the effort via Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and, well, with a few hours left, the project is rather substantially over the goal.
Anything is possible in the online world.
With that in mind, I know four people who could really use your help. Help doesn’t have to be a donation, by the way. Help could be just spreading the word or engaging with them online so you can get to know them and maybe connect them with people who CAN help. These four people are people I either know personally or know are fantastic. I’d vouch for any of them is what I’m trying to say. And I want to see them succeed. I want them to have a little taste of what the online world can do for social good. Are you ready to meet these folks?
You’ve seen this name a lot here on my site if you visit regularly. Nancy has posted here, she often comments, and I’ve highlighted her here and there because she is awesome. Unfortunately, as is the case for so many people these days, Nancy has come under hard times. She is at risk of losing her apartment. She is facing having to find a job that would be an extremely long commute that would reduce her ability to care for her beloved son. She is facing the possibility that she may have to move to a less safe neighborhood to make ends meet. Nancy deserves better than this, as do so many people in such dire circumstances.
What can we do to help Nancy? First and foremost, I think we can help spread the word. Nancy has an amazing personality, she’s a fantastic writer, and she has all of the skills a marketing/communications firm could be looking for. Maybe you know someone who knows someone who has the ideal job waiting for this woman. Maybe you know someone who knows great apartments where Nancy lives. You never know who will read your shared content, right? Or maybe my sharing this with you has given you an idea of something that could be done to help this wonderful lady out. Read Nancy’s post about her current situation, friend her on Twitter, and let’s see what we can do.
I have known Phil since college, and for all of that time, his intelligence has been pretty darned awe-inspiring. That magical brain of his has cooked up a really fascinating idea that I think has a lot to offer. Phil wants to write a book about the history of Wonder Woman. Now I know a lot of you wonderful people are comic book nerds. I meant…fans. But have you ever wondered how Wonder Woman sort of ended up the way she did? Part dominatrix, part feminist, part superhero – she is a really weird, really interesting fictional character, and Phil wants to explore it all.
This is a passion project for Phil – in order to treat the project professionally, he needs funding. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a whole lot – he is looking for $4,000, which would help him get professional editing and which would buy him some extra time to pour into this labor of love. What better present could we give this guy at this time of year? Check out his Kickstarter page and even if you don’t want to donate, help spread the word to people who might want to support this project!
The Fugee Village
I’ve written about Luma Mufleh and her Fugees before. For all of the info you can just revisit that post, but suffice to say that her cause is absolutely amazing and to make it reach its full capacity, she needs our help. There are many, many ways that we can help the Fugees out. They need school supplies. They need money. They need us to spread the word. Check out the Fugees Get Involved page to see all of the ways you can help, and friend Coach Luma on Twitter to let her know we’re out here helping.
Last year, when I was working on some anti-bullying ideas, one of my biggest supporters and best assistants was Patrick Prothe. Patrick is a brilliant fellow, endlessly kind, and as fate would have it, he is also a phenomenal photographer. Patrick has discovered that Oregon is rich with beautiful bridges, and he would like to create a coffee table book highlighting these architectural wonders (often overlooked) via his photographic talent. Like Phil’s project, this is a labor of love, and Patrick needs our support. By the end of the year, he needs about $5,000 to make this dream a reality. Having given so much to his online community, I would love to see Patrick’s wish come true. Visit his kickstarter page, and again, remember that you do not have to donate, but if you spread the word, the idea may reach just that person who would love to support such a project. And you should friend Patrick on Twitter too, because he’s awesome.
So there you have it. These are just four of my friends who could really benefit from the power of social media. Maybe you could do a post like this highlighting four of your friends who need help. Maybe we could make a whole lot of difference in the world. Now wouldn’t that be amazing?
Let’s try it out!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrentunnicliff/4232232092 via Creative Commons