Leukemia Slayer Plays Santa For Fourth Year

Share

Santa Slayer at the Four SeasonsJacob Goeders, the Leukemia Slayer, may have conquered cancer and moved clear across the country this year, but he’s not about to let go of his beloved annual Santa Slayer Project he started four years ago to buy Christmas gifts for other kids fighting the disease.

Jacob, 13, announced to Facebook fans on Tuesday, Nov. 18, that he’s repeating the Santa Slayer Project, asking for only $1 from each of his more than 10,500 fans. The money will go to buy gifts for children at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) in Palo Alto, as well as on the oncology ward at the Duke University Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald House, in Durham, North Carolina. Jacob’s family moved to the southern state from Mountain View earlier this year. [Read more…]

26 Acts of Kindness Campaign Goes Viral

Share

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

Share
Jacob-Goeders-Leukemia-Slayer-Santa-Slayer-Project-Four-Seasons-Hotel-East-Palo-Alto

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!

Share

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?

Share

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

Share

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:

Search for Jackson Miller Continues With TV Show, Website

Share

The family of 22-year-old Jackson Miller of Cupertino hopes that his story on a national missing persons show, and a newly-launched website called findjacksonmiller.com, will lead to a break in his 2010 disappearance, despite no new leads in more than a year.

Jackson Miller

Miller’s story will appear on the show “Missing”, on KTVU Channel 2, at 12:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 15.

Miller left his home on May 15, 2010, at age 19, alarming parents Gina Funaro and Paul Miller. Funaro told Good Neighbor Stories in July 2010 that Miller was anxious and depressed in the days leading up to his disappearance. A current missing persons flyer also mentions he was suffering withdrawals from prescription medication.

Within two days his car—with his wallet and identification inside—was found parked in a lot near the Golden Gate Bridge. Bridge officials reported no jumps, but the family was worried because Coast Guard video from a camera on the Marin County side of the bay showed a splash around the time the car was abandoned.

With the help of friends and family, his parents launched a search in San Francisco, leaving flyers asking for information. A few days later someone reported meeting a man closely fitting Miller’s description. Subsequent sightings throughout the city convinced the family that Miller was alive somewhere on the streets of San Francisco. [Read more…]

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

Share

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…]

Social Media for Nonprofits Conference: How to Use Facebook Effectively

Share

With social media bringing a giant wave of change to society, nonprofit leaders who felt as if it was all about to crash down on them instead learned ways to ride the wave to success at the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference last Thursday.

I attended the day long event at the Microsoft Conference Center in Mountain View with about 300 others representing dozens of local nonprofits. Some of the people I spoke with before the conference said they felt overwhelmed at times by a dizzying array of social media sites, new apps and technologies.

Ritu Sharma, executive director of Social Media for Nonprofits, and Darian Rodriguez Heyman, co-founder and head of external partnerships, as well as author of Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals, brought an impressive lineup of speakers from Facebook, LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Change.org, and others, including Beth Kanter, an influential blogger and co-author of The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change.

“We didn’t realize when we started out that there’s no other conference series in the country focused on social media for social good, so there really is a gap out there that we are doing our best to fill,” Heyman said, to a round of applause.

By the end of the day, some of the same people I spoke to at the start said the conference gave them the confidence to navigate social media more effectively.

Throughout the week I’ll be sharing highlights from the conference. Today I’m featuring notes from the Facebook presentation. [Read more…]

Wow! Facebook Post Got A Lot of Notice/Welcome New Readers!

Share

goodneighborstories.com logoToday has been an interesting day. I posted about the whole Facebook “change your profile picture for child abuse awareness” issue last night. In the morning I found about 25 people had viewed the post after finding it through a search engine. And then more views started racking up. And then the comments started coming in. At one point one of the commenters said “congratulations on getting pressed.” I have to admit, I didn’t know what the term “pressed” meant right away. And then it dawned on me that the post had been featured by WordPress on their home page. A quick check, and yes, there it was, front and center.

The post has had more than 3,500 views since last night, and more than 100 comments (I think I accidentally deleted a good one I wanted to reply to; so sorry whoever you are). Plus a lot of “likes” from all over North America and four other continents. Plus some new subscriptions.

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! So glad you found me, and hope you come back often. To everyone who reads this blog, thank you! I very much appreciate your readership, comments, and supportive words. I hope all of you will also check out the goodneighborstories.com website on a regular basis.

Tomorrow I’m starting a three-part series on “30 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor This Holiday Season”.  Hope you’ll join me.