Do you ever take a step back to think about the incredible relationships that began via social media? Sure, my business benefits because of social media. But, my personal life is also enriched by the relationships that began on networks like Twitter.
Take my friendship with Valerie Simon. We initially connected on Twitter, then email, then phone, then in-person. Now, I wouldn’t think of going to New York without meeting up with her. A relationship that started in 140 characters is an honest-to-goodness friendship.
So, when I received an email from Valerie explaining that her best friend from college (and mother of two young daughters) was recently diagnosed with cancer, it broke my heart. Meg’s cancer spread to her liver and two places in her bones. The terrible news really struck a cord with me … I think because I can relate. Like Valerie, I met my best friend in our sorority. My best friend also has two young daughters. I couldn’t fathom what it would be like if she faced this kind of situation, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for Meg and her family and friends.
As any good friend would do, Valerie began thinking of ways to help Meg and her family, whose medical bills are skyrocketing. And, as any good communicator would do, Valerie reached out to some of her “online” friends to brainstorm ways to leverage social media to help Meg. Out of that, #TeamMeg was born. In Valerie’s own words:
So I’d like to ask you to be a part of #TeamMeg. Here is her CaringBridge site which includes a link to a paypal account. I know that everyone has a good cause, but I hope you will consider adding $2 to the account. Why $2? Well, I seem to remember a local $2 beer night when we were in college. And we always seemed to find $2 to buy a beer. So tonight, I thought, perhaps you would buy this incredible girl a drink, and toast to #TeamMeg.
As I was launching my own company, Valerie was more than supportive. She brainstormed with me, offered advice, helped connect me with other people, and so on. But, never once did she ask for anything in return. Supporting #TeamMeg is my chance to let Valerie know how much I appreciate her and value our friendship.
On top of everything else Valerie does, she co-moderates a Twitter chat designed to help PR students connect with professionals and educators. (It’s #prStudChat on Twitter.) Valerie has helped hundreds of students grow and be better positioned for life after graduation.
How To Help #TeamMeg
With that in mind, I’m partnering with two #prstudchat participants — Brittany James and Harrison Kratz — to help #TeamMeg. Brittany, Harrison and myself are committed to recruiting 50 people to donate $2 to #TeamMeg. And, since I’m always up for buying my friends a drink, I’m going to match donations made this week. So, after you click here to donate your $2, email your payment receipt/confirmation to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll “buy the next round” (also known as kicking in another $2). And just like that, we can raise $200.
Will you join me in supporting #TeamMeg?