26 Acts of Kindness Posts Address for Letters to Boston

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From the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page.

Just hours after two bomb explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line today, killing at least two and injuring dozens of others, the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page posted an address where people can send notes of support and encouragement to victims and the Boston community.

The page was launched within days of the Newtown shooting massacre in December 2012, to honor the 26 children and adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The movement—to perform 26 acts of kindness in honor of each victim—grew organically through social media after NBC News anchor Ann Curry tweeted the initial idea.

Within a short period of time after the news of today’s Boston blasts broke, the 26 Acts of Kindness page posted a photo of candles and asked for a moment of silence for the victims. About an hour later it posted this:

“The Boston community is in need of signs of love and support, and that’s what we are all about. Please consider sending a card or hand written letter showing you care. These letters will be reviewed to make sure they are appropriate and then forwarded to the Boston community to pass out to whomever wants them. Do not send any donations at this time, this page is not authorized to collect on their behalf. We only want to show support and love through words and kind acts.

26 Acts of Kindness
PO Box 185083
Hamden, CT 06518

Together we can stand up for one another and spread love, not hate.”

Anyone looking for information about a Boston Marathon runner is encouraged to visit  Google Person Finder. Another  source for information is the official Boston Marathon website. There is also a hotline for inquiries about individuals: 1-617-635-4500.

Are you going to send a letter? Tell us about it.

 

Writing to Change the World: The South Bay Blogging for Good Meetup

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South Bay Blogging for GoodA few months ago I started The South Bay Blogging for Good Meetup in Cupertino. We’re an eclectic bunch of bloggers coming from different perspectives, but with one goal in mind, to make the world a better place through blogging.

Making a positive impact has always been the foremost interest of this blog, Good Neighbor Stories. I launched it to share inspirational stories and helpful information for anyone wanting to contribute to the community.

It has been a wonderful experience getting to know so many awesome people and organizations through reporting for this blog, but it’s also a challenging one. Although blogging has been around for about two decades, it’s still an emerging medium, with lots of different ways to go about it. Starting a blog and maintaining it can lead to a lot of quandaries and questions.

I thought it would be helpful to bring together bloggers like me, folks who wanted to make a difference, so we could encourage and support one another in our blogging efforts. So far it’s been a great experience, and I think we’ve been able to share good information about blogging with each other.

The group is open to anyone in the South Bay who is blogging, or thinking about blogging, on topics that seek to make a difference. We meet the first Monday evening of each month at a Cupertino restaurant. Our next meeting is at 7 p.m., April 1. To find out more, join the meetup. It’s completely free.

If you know of anyone who might be helped by this group, please send them a link to this post.

 

26 Acts of Kindness Campaign Goes Viral

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A grassroots wave of people across the United States are performing millions of acts of kindness to honor the memory of the victims of the Dec. 26-acts-of-kindness-facebook-page-ann-curry-nbc-news14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT., after a single tweet by a national journalist.

“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I’m in. If you are RT #20Acts,” was the tweet NBC News’ Ann Curry sent out soon after the shootings.

Within hours, thousands of people had tweeted in response; it quickly grew into 26 acts of kindness, to honor both the children and adults who died at the school. In a blog post, Curry said that there was some debate to make it 27 acts, to include Nancy Lanza, shooter Adam Lanza’s mother. Some even suggested making it 28, since Adam himself was struggling with mental illness.

The popular sentiment of 26 acts of kindness stuck, however, and over the last couple of weeks has gained in popularity. Besides the official 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook Page, many more unofficial pages, or pages for specific communities, are springing up. A Twitter account was also established, @26acts.

All over social media people are reporting their acts of kindness, from handing out cash to strangers, to paying for people’s coffee or meals, to baking cakes and cookies for others, to donating money to organizations, and much more.

If you’re feeling motivated to get involved in the 26 Acts of Kindness campaign, Good Neighbor Stories has a large number of ideas for you to choose from. Check out our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas or More Ways to be a Good Neighbor pages, or consider helping out one of the many organizations listed on our Be a Good Neighbor Page.

What acts of kindness will you perform to honor the children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary? Tell us in comments!

 

‘Leukemia Slayer’, Age 11, Plays Santa for Fellow Kids With Cancer

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Jacob Goeders, a.k.a. The Leukemia Slayer, a.k.a. Santa

Imagine being a kid stuck in a cancer ward at Christmastime, getting poked and prodded, feeling sick, and very often bored waiting for the next test or blood draw, while missing out on all the magic and fun of the season.

Jacob Goeders of Mountain View, CA., 11, doesn’t have to imagine, because he’s lived it. And because he knows what it’s like, Jacob is in his second year playing “Santa” to dozens of children at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto this week, delivering presents he purchased after raising money from Facebook friends, and friends of friends.

Two years ago on Dec. 2, Jacob was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, landing him in the Packard cancer ward during the holiday season. Christmas was suddenly upended for Jacob, his mom, Sherry, his dad, Todd, and his little brother Jordan, then age 4.

As the one-year anniversary of the diagnosis approached last year, Jacob got an idea: what if he asked all his friends to donate $1 so that he could buy Christmas presents for the other children on the cancer ward and bring them a little holiday cheer?

“I wanted to make other kids feel good, and I wanted to do something,” Jacob told me recently. “I felt good because I was helping other kids who were stuck in the hospital like I was.” [Read more…]

Tell Friends About Good Neighbor Stories, Enter to Win a 2013 Datebook!

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You could be a winner in our end of the year promotion contest! To enter, ask your friends on Good-Neighbor-Stories-2013-Datebook-inspirational-calendar-contest-Pam-Marino-Reach-and-TeachFacebook or Twitter to “like” our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Make sure you tag us (@goodneighborstories for Facebook; @gnstories for Twitter). Double your chance to win by doing both! The contest ends at 12 midnight, PST, on Friday, Dec. 28.

For helping introduce us to more new neighbors, you’ll be entered to win a copy of the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook! The datebook features uplifting stories and photos from the Good Neighbor Stories website, as well as inspirational quotes, and reminders for all the major holidays. Use for yourself as a calendar, or perhaps a gratitude journal, or give as a gift to make someone’s New Year bright.

Been Missing Our Facebook Page Updates?

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Oh, Facebook. That social media giant we love to hate pulled a bit of a fast one earlier this year on anyone with a Facebook Page.

You may have noticed you started seeing less posts from people, organizations, and companies you’ve been following, having “liked” their pages sometime in the past. It turns out Facebook found a new way to make money, playing with algorithms so that posts show up less, then turning around and selling the chance to “promote” posts for a fee.

While large corporations with big advertising budgets will find a way to pay, nonprofits and small operations are left out in the cold.

If you want to keep up with Good Neighbor Stories’ posts in the future, try these steps for creating a Facebook Interest List. Thanks to San Francisco Writers Conference for the first three:

1. Visit the Facebook page from your computer (it won’t work from a mobile device).

2. On the right side of the page, next to the “like” and “message” buttons, there is a drop down box (looks like a gear).

3. Click the drop down box and click on the “add to interest list”.

4. Create a new interest list.

On your Facebook homepage you’ll see your interest lists on the left-hand side of the page. You can click on the desired list anytime to see the latest posts. Reportedly the posts will also show up more often in your main news feed, but I have not been able to confirm that yet.

 

How to be a Good Neighbor at Election Time, Online and Off

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In my last post I looked at why being a good neighbor/citizen means exercising the right to vote. Today I list ways to be kind to others during the election season, when emotions may run high.

There’s that old admonishment to “never talk about religion or politics,” but during a highly contested election it can be difficult to sidestep the topic of politics altogether. Especially with how interconnected many of us are on social media, we now find our news feeds filled with well-meaning (or not) family and friends expressing themselves with frequent clicks.

Here’s my list of  ways to be a good and kind neighbor in the public space (in person and online) during the election. It’s not always easy; I admit it’s challenging for me to follow my own advice, and I’ve stumbled a number of times. Here’s to all of us elevating civility and focusing on the greater good at election time.

During an election a good neighbor:

Social Media for Nonprofits Conference: Final Takeaways

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I’ve shared some of the things I learned from attending the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Mountain View on July 26, like how nonprofits can best use Facebook, Eventbrite, and LinkedIn. There was plenty more info jam packed into the conference, but here’s one of my final takeaways: nonprofits have to get good at social media.

As the editor of Good Neighbor Stories, I’m on what I affectionately call the “do gooder beat,” because I talk to numerous nonprofit leaders who are doing good in the world. One of the consistent threads I notice between all small nonprofits is that the leaders are overwhelmed, and often social media is at the bottom of the to do list.

But the numbers are clear, social media engagement is only going to grow, especially since children and youth are growing up embracing the social media lifestyle. Meaning, future volunteers, supporters and leaders are hanging out in the social media space, so if nonprofits aren’t hanging out there, too, they’re missing out on a  huge segment of the population. [Read more…]

Social Media for Nonprofits Conference: Leveraging LinkedIn for Good

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You’re probably aware of how LinkedIn can help you advance professionally, but did you know the social network platform can advance your philanthropic efforts as well?

And for nonprofit organizations, LinkedIn can become an invaluable tool to find skilled volunteers, board members, and resources.

That was the message of Meg Garlinghouse, head of Employment, Branding & Community for LinkedIn, at last week’s Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Mountain View. All this week I’ve been highlighting speakers from the conference, including Libby Leffler of Facebook, and Dawn Andreas of Eventbrite.

Garlinghouse leads LinkedIn for Good, which has as its mission to “connect the talent and passion of professionals with opportunities to use their skills to make a positive impact in the world.”

Here are some notes from her talk:

  • LinkedIn wants more nonprofits to get on its platform.
  • There are 160 million professionals on LinkedIn and they are “at your fingertips,  and they want to help you; that’s the extraordinary thing, you just have to reach out and ask,” Garlinghouse said.
  • By popular request, last fall LinkedIn added a “Volunteer Experience and Causes” feature to profiles; when you add organizations you support and volunteer for, that information gets pushed out to the network. [Read more…]

Social Media for Nonprofits Conference: Leveraging Eventbrite’s Free Tools

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For hard-pressed nonprofits in tough economic times, “free” is always a good word. So it was encouraging for nonprofit leaders at the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Mountain View to hear about the free tools available to help them expand and strengthen their connections with supporters.

The day-long event on Thursday, July 26, at the Microsoft Conference Center, was organized by the group by the same name, Social Media for Nonprofits; it included speakers from Facebook, LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Change.org, among others.

All this week I’m posting highlights from the conference. Yesterday was all about how nonprofits can effectively use Facebook. Today includes helpful information from Eventbrite, the online service that enables event creation, promotion, and ticket sales. The site offers free tools that will help any nonprofit plan and host any type of event. [Read more…]