Friday, May 24, 2013

Barbara Garcia: Meet Erin DeRuggiero - When Social Media Works

Many of you have been following the aftermath of the EF-5 tornado that wreaked havoc in Moore, Oklahoma this past week. A CBS TV interview with one of the survivors, Barbara Garcia, went viral when her dog, Bowser ("Bowsey"), was rescued during the live interview.

The story doesn't end there.

One of my friends on Facebook, Erin DeRuggiero, felt compelled to do something. So she started a campaign called Home4Barbara on the crowd-funding website gofundme.

She contacted CBS asking how she might contact Barbara. She wasn't the only one.

Yesterday, Erin's campaign had collected $1,500. This morning, after this story aired on CBS This Morning, the word really got out and money is starting to flow in.

It restores my faith in people because we all want to help somehow. And by Erin taking the initiative to just do something, she's making a difference.

When I watched the story on television this morning, two things struck me. The first, Barbara doesn't have homeowners insurance. This campaign was built to help her rebuild before that fact was known. And second, she said "I didn't know that I was that important." I wept. We are ALL that important.

I happily shared Erin's campaign when she first asked me to on Facebook. It took thirty seconds of my time. I'm sharing it again now.

Today is one of those days when I'm grateful for social media. For forming connections with "strangers" who are anything but. Someone I met on Twitter (posting one of my silly jokes, I'm sure) became a friend on Facebook, and made a difference. And allowed me to help make a difference, too.

I've never met Erin in person. But when I do, she's getting a big ole hug.

1 comment:

One Wink at a Time said...

Give her a hug for me, too. That's hero material in my book :)