I used to work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). I chose this line of work because my sister has cystic fibrosis (CF). Some of you may have noticed my personal Facebook Page has BREATHE as the Cover Photo; it’s a daily reminder for me to try and give back, to breathe for those who cannot.
Fast forward four years and I am involved with the Foundation again, only this time as a committee member for the Great Strides walk here in NYC. You may be asking me what this has to do with social media. I’m getting to that, but the short answer is: EVERYTHING.
I knew I was forever changed from my three years at the Foundation; forever changed for knowing and loving someone with a terminal disease. I knew when we started B Squared that we HAD to find a way to give back, whatever that meant.
I found a way to do that by joining the Great Strides Committee and offering our social media services to the NY Chapter for free.
The power of people. The power of persuasion. The power of telling the story of the 33,000 Americans living with CF (and doing it for free), is the longer answer to what social media has to do with others; HELPING.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has used social media to spread GOOD messages, KIND messages and messages that mean less about ourselves and more about saving lives; maybe even saving humanity.
The video below with ‘Breathe Me’ is not the official Sia video, but one created by David Samuel’s family. A living, breathing message. A tribute to his life. A story about CF. A plea for help, for understanding.
I encourage you to take the four minutes out of your day and watch it. I think it may put this blog post, and social media, into perspective.
I Am Small And Needy
One of the things social media does is even the playing field for the “small guys.” No one knows, or cares, about CF. It affects far too few people to garner the support and spreading of messages that bigger, more commercialized, diseases are able to solicit.
I’m not asking you to join my crusade for CF (though it would be nice). What I am asking you to do is think about the small guys – the homeless shelter around the corner, the no-kill pet shelter in your city, the “taboo to talk about” shelter for sex trafficking victims in D.C. (Courtney’s House) – and then doing something to spread their message.
Often we are quick to share the “popular” news; the BIG BRAND messaging; the stuff we know will garner likes and shares from all. But what about giving back to others? What about the small and needy stories that need to be told?
Be My Friend
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me
Being the friend, the voice, of the “small guy” doesn’t have to equate to money. Sharing and the giving of your time to their messaging sometimes is more than dollars can ever do. At the CFF we always used to say, “every penny counts” and I think people didn’t take us, or the statement, literally.
But they should have. Pennies grow to dollars, and dollars to hundreds of dollars, then thousands, then millions. The same goes with time. Give one second, one minute, to share a “small guy” message, and watch the time grow to hours and days and quite possibly a cure, or means to an end for someone else.
YOU can breathe life into a message. Yes, just you. It starts with you and becomes a chain reaction.
Make a commitment to use your social powers for good. Find a small fry and be their friend; warm them up. Make a difference.
Go forth and share this message, or find one that means something to you and share it. And don’t stop.
*Me and my sister on her wedding day, February 2012
**For more information on how you can help fight CF, please visit Great Strides Homepage.
See you in the social sphere!
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