Just because I haven't been writing doesn't mean I haven't been reading. In fact, I think I've been reading more. As blogs grow, I feel like they've moved from simply updates to annoyances (why do I need to know this?) to, generally, vehicles for good. Good news. Good ideas. Good will.
The last one is what gets me today. Multiple times lately I've seen blogs do good-- real, tangible good.
This family of 6 went suddenly to a family of four over the course of four months. Her blog friends sent up a fund to help her the blogging mom cover the cost of the headstone from her son's dead four months earlier and her husband's more recent funeral expenses, plus basic things, like groceries. The goal was set for $35,000. So far, over $31,000 has been raised., according to the fundraising page. A modest goal? Sure. A noble effort? Definitely. The best part, at least to me, is that you can see all the donations (and kind notes), which show that the largest donation was $1k, followed by 2 at $200, and all the rest were $100 or below, with the majority around the $20 mark. Most people start their notes with "you don't know me". How amazing is the internet?
The Bloggess, a favorite of mine, got press attention for the giving, which was deemed The Christmas Card Miracle of 2010, she orchestrated, which was so simple it was genius-- match people who want to give with people who are in need. She offered 20 gift cards to people who posted that they were in need. She received over 500 responses, some in need, some wanting to give. What started as a happy lark steamrolled into $40,000 of reader-to-reader exchanges of gift cards and straight-up cash donations.
This sweet family lost their son in a freak flash flood incident this fall and struggled to fit their newly-shorn family of three into the life they'd built for four. As the worried about their daughter, friends rallied around the girl's fanciful Christmas wish; on her list, underneath seeing her brother again,was "Meet Justin Bieber." And you know what? She did. Through the power of PR, Twitter, friends, sorority sisters, and hope, she and her parents were flown to a music awards show (gratis), given tickets, and allowed in to hear his sound check. The blogging mom never asked for this; people simply realized, "this is how I can help" and did it.
Don't worry, I'm not turning my blog into an aggregate for hope and causes, but I am mindful now of being more involved. This posts, these people inspire me and remind me that there is an overwhelming amount of great and good in our world, sometimes it just needs to find its mate for that perfect match.
If you're up for being inspired, read the stories above. Good prevails!