Hi friends! If you’ve been around social media for a while you’ll know I try to do a charity campaign each year. I call it Social Media for Social Good. I don’t think I came up with the phrase, but I can’t remember who did, so my apologies. The purpose of it is to use social media to raise awareness for a particular charity, and then also to make it a group effort.
Initially, I made it a “per comment” goal and fundraiser, and people got upset about it. (Of course people get upset about everything, but who needs that sort of negativity in their lives?) It was also super depressing, so in 2015 I tied Social Media to Social Good to Ohio State Football. I (perhaps optimistically) expect them to have a winning season, so that makes things easy.
Apparently in 2016 I did everything on Facebook or Twitter – but this year I’m going to use the blog. Time snuck up on me, so I don’t have all the details ironed out yet, but the purpose of this post is to see if anyone would like to join me in this years efforts.
I’m also taking suggestions as to what charity or effort(s) you think the focus should be this year. Does anyone have ideas? Would you like to join in? Let me know please!
Social Media for Social Good, our annual charity campaign is in its fifth year. Can you believe that? I know I’ve been more absent than not this year, so unlike the previous years, SMSG14 will be more conversational. I promised Lori in 2012 that ALS would be the focus, and I’m definitely including it, but with so much else going on this year, a few months ago I decided to add Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres; MSF) because of the Ebola crisis, and then I saw a report on Syrian child refugees, so we’re adding UNICEF as well. *ETA I specifically chose to start SMSG14 on Make a Difference Day. 🙂
On ALS from Lori:
This year awareness has been increased so much by the #IceBucketChallenge. It’s awesome that so many who didn’t know anything about ALS are sharing and caring. But the real need is for donations. For research for a cure – and we are closer than ever.
I will walk this year with a mix of sadness and hope. My sister-in-law Sue lost her battle with ALS in March 2013, but I am determined to help fund research for a cure or treatment. So many more are still living with ALS, and we must do all we can to support them.
As a respiratory therapist, I took care of my first ALS patient in 1994, when the amazing Mr. Hoang and his family touched my life. Their strength, courage and humor never ceased to amaze me. I was privileged to know them and be a part of Mr. Hoang’s care team.
Fast-forward 15 years, and our own family was devastated to learn that my brother’s wife Sue was diagnosed. Her spirit and fight, and her resolve to beat this disease filled me with awe. She was an amazing woman, and together with my brother, raised two amazing daughters. I am so privileged that she was my sister for 30 years.
You can find information about Ebola and Child Refugees on both the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and UNICEF “Humanitarian Issues/Crisis” pages respectively. You might want to look and the following is why.
Some facts on Ebola and MSF:
The Ebola outbreak was officially declared on March 22, 2014.
MSF is currently active in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, with six Ebola case management centers
If contracted, Ebola is one of the world’s most deadly diseases. It is a highly infectious virus that can kill up to 90 percent of the people who catch it.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report issued October 15, 2014, the mortality rate for Ebola cases in West Africa is nearly 50%
The situation is so dire the first ever UN emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has been set up
The WHO also says the situation in Africa is deteriorating.
MSF has been the first — and often only — line of defense against Ebola in West Africa.
There is hope.
Nigera was officially declared Ebola free on October 20, 2014.
In 2007, MSF entirely contained an epidemic of Ebola in Uganda.
They need our help. You can read one MSF worker’s account here. From the beginning I’ve been hearing the most about MSF doing work on the ground, so that’s why I picked MSF over other organizations at this time.
And this is why I also decided to add UNICEF. I saw a report and just cried my eyes out.
I have a major soft spot for children, and seeing ones who are so young – 10 years old or younger – working all day out in the field, then excited to go to school … I had to help make that happen.
A UN report back from February found that more than 10,000 children have been killed.
Syrian children have been sexually abused and tortured, used as human shields and recruited as child soldiers.
As of July 7, 2014, 6.5 million Syrian children—an increase of more than two million compared to last year—now need immediate humanitarian assistance.
More than 8,000 children have arrived at Syria’s borders without their parents.
More than 37,000 Syrian babies have been born as refugees. You can see more on a UNICEF infographic here.
That is what a doctor is saying about their situation. From February. I cannot imagine the situation has gotten any better. Especially since they said they were running out of funds.
$15 can buy pencils and notebooks for an entire classroom, $4 can buy a text book for a child, $4 can buy a story book for a child
There’s so much more to say and so much more information out there, but I just wanted to share a little bit about each. If you have additional information please feel free to share. I’d love to learn about what’s going on and more charities.
I definitely understand giving, and giving quietly. I know it’s not about the adulation you get. I’m making this public though, and encouraging more to do the same because I believe it does spur people to give. (Like the opposite of public shaming!) I also explain why we’re doing a comment drive. I know it’s still tough for so many. If you can’t afford to give, you can still help! Each comment raises money, so comment away. Send your friends, family, enemies. Your pets, anyone! *ETA: Also if you donate but don’t want your name or amount given listed would you please email me to let me know so I can add the amount to the tally? Thank you! <3
I’m down for $1,130. (My break down is $500 for Doctors Without Borders, $315 to the ALS Walk, and $315 to UNICEF) Amara Royce is making a pledge of 25¢ per comment Katje is giving $25 + 1¢ per comment to Doctors Without Borders Melanie and Loupe are going in together for 25¢ per comment Lucy Monroe is down for $500, and she’ll give an additional $100 when we reach 500 comments Ayelet Waldman is matching dollar for dollar donations to Doctors Without Borders across all her social media platforms up to $2,000 Laura K. Curtis is donating $10 per comment up to $100
SMSG13 is Social Media for Social Good 2013. This is our fourth year, and the target is to stop human trafficking. A lot of these facts are alarming. And I have to let you know if you research statistics – even your state, it might trigger trauma. But I think that’s why this is so important. Some of the things I read made me a bit queasy.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sex, debt bondage, or forced labor. They are young children, teenagers, men and women. Trafficking in persons occurs throughout the world, including in the United States.
There is a total estimate of 29.8 million people in modern slavery.
Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. More than 70% are female and half are children. – U.S. State Department
1.2 million children are trafficked each year – UNICEF
An estimated 26% of all forced labor victims are children. This means there are 5.5 million child victims at any given point in time. It is also estimated that children make up 21% of forced sexually exploited labor in the private economy. – The International Labour Organisation
People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries to be exploited in 137 countries, affecting every continent and every type of economy
Estimated global annual profits made from the exploitation of all trafficked forced labour are $31.6 billion USD
In 2006 for every 800 people trafficked, only one person was convicted.
Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.
An estimated 30,000 victims of sex trafficking die each year from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect. Eighty percent of those sold into sexual slavery are under 24, and some are as young as six years old.
According to a 2009 Washington Times article, the Taliban buys children as young as seven years old to act as suicide bombers. The price for child suicide bombers is between $7,000-$14,000
Human trafficking occurs in all fifty states in the U.S. (You can check your state “grade” which might be alarming.) The FBI estimates that over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from nine to 19, with the average being age 11. Many victims are not just runaways or abandoned, but are from “good” families who are coerced by clever traffickers.
After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world.
In the European Union alone, about 880,000 people are in forced labour, according to ILO estimates. That’s 1.8 in every 1,000 persons.
Human trafficking is a $9.8 billion domestic industry, with at least 100,000 children being used as prostitutes in America each year.
They forced me to sleep with as many as 50 customers a day. I had to give [the pimp] all my money. If I did not [earn a set amount] they punished me by removing my clothes and beating me with a stick until I fainted, electrocuting me, cutting me.
The charity I settled on is Love 146. I’m still debating on how – let me know if you have an opinion re: paypal or me setting up a Crowdrise campaign. (It may also depend on the handling fees of either.) I really like that Love 146 acts to prevent, but also provides aftercare.
I’m pledging $1 per comment for the first day, maybe the first week. (I have to max out at $600. I’m hoping we hit 600 comments before the first week is over. Either way, it doesn’t matter. I’m all in.) I definitely don’t expect everyone to make large donations. Any amount is helpful. $10, $5, $1. 50¢. Whatever you can give. Or if not, hit up your rich friends to donate. Parents, relatives. Have them comment because here’s the kicker with SMSG – even a comment on this blog post helps raise money. Amazing!
Initial pledgers are:
Shiloh Walker will donate $50, and if we hit 100 comments on the charity drive post, another $50, for a total of $100. SpazP will donate $50 c² has pledged $100 once we reach 500 comments Amara Royce
Remember – every comment helps. As part of this being a fundraiser it’s also a comment drive. We want to raise awareness and spread the word. Together we can make a difference. <3
*ETA: The fundraising page is now live:
**Second ETA: I know we’ve all heard about the tragedy and devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan. It’s horrifying, so what I’ve decided to do is do a 25/75 split with the funds raised. (25% will go to Save the Children to their specific Typhoon Relief Fund.) This is because yes, aid is greatly needed in the Philippines … and I know we all want to help. But the world is watching. I asked people who had donated, and they felt it was important to also bring attention to human trafficking. And … that’s true. I personally have met three suspected victims of human trafficking the past two weeks, and learned about new recruiting places. It’s terrifying, so I really hope you’ll join me. Just the cost of a cup of coffee or lunch out would really help. Even 100 people giving $1 would make a huge different. Please consider contributing.
It’s my third annual Social Media for Social Good (SMSG) fundraising drive. Today is Make a Difference Day, and this is how I’m choosing to do it. Some of you might have heard of charity:water when Rachel Beckwith’s tragic story made the news. She was an amazing little nine year old, and you can read more of what happened here. I dare you not to cry.
I spent a lot of time researching reputable international charities, and I love that charity:water is so transparent. I think it’ll be fun to check what our little ALBTALBS drive does too.
Did you know that:
100% of all public donations directly fund water projects, and they prove every dollar using photos and GPS coordinates on a map
800 million people around the world don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water
That is one out of every nine people
More people die from lack of clean water and sanitation each year than are killed by all forms of violence, including war
90% of the deaths that result from diarrheal disease occur in children under five
About every nineteen seconds a mother loses her child to a water related illness
In sub-Saharan Africa 16 million hours each day are spent by women collecting water. This takes time away from work, school, and family.
10% of disease could be reduced with improved access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene education, and water resource management.
$1 invested in water becomes $4-12 dollars for the local economy
Communities choose a small group of people to oversee each completed charity: water project. Equal numbers of men and women are encouraged to be included. These Water Committees are often the first chance women have to take on elected leadership roles.
The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.
Feeding our world takes up to 90% of our freshwater withdrawals but many people in developing nations still don’t have access to enough water for irrigation.
Just $20 $65 can provide one person with a clean water project in his/her village
I know it’s difficult to give, but I’m asking everyone to do what they can. And if you can’t – help spread the word. This is a comment drive, so even just leaving a comment and having one friend do the same helps. Believe me – I know it’s hard out there. I know what it’s like to make well under the poverty rate. I still do. Which is why I’m doing something where everyone can get involved.
You can see who all the wonderful, generous people who donated are on the campaign page. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Won’t you join us?
And in the spirit of friendly competition … I’m asking – challenging – 50 bloggers to donate. Even if it’s $1. I think we can do it. (In fact – I’d love to see more bloggers donate than authors. How’s that for competition? But a concrete goal of 50.) And if privacy is a concern, you can donate anonymously. *coughs* Someone *coughs* already donated $50 to check that out. 🙂
Let’s do this!
*ETA: I have a specific campaign created for the romance community: http://mycharitywater.org/albtalbs if you’d like to donate. Also, if you’re donating, I would love to add you to the list, to let other people know (peer pressure! :D) and to give you a shout out. Please feel free to email me with any questions, or to talk about whether or not you want your name/amount to be listed. Thank you!!!
Also, for clarification, my SMSG drives go on for a month. I figure that’s enough time for word to be spread and people to budget what they can to donate. For all of us in the states, it’s a tax deductible charitable donation! (For our international friends, I would look into that too.)
Thank you so much, Lime, for having me here again to talk about a cause near and dear to me. Last night was the StandUp2Cancer benefit, and I find it so touching and heroic how people come out of the woodwork to support such amazing and worthwhile causes. I walked in the ACS Relay for Life for several years to support cancer research. Last year, I changed my focus to ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. I’m hoping that you will find it in your hearts to help me out just a little (or a whole freaking lot!). You can donate to my Walk to Defeat ALS here: http://webgw.alsa.org/goto/loris
A lot of people don’t know much, if anything about ALS. It’s a quiet disease, a quiet killer. Back in March, I posted about my sister in law. She was diagnosed with ALS 2 years ago, Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a neuromuscular disorder that basically paralyzes your body and eventually is fatal. You slowly lose your ability to walk, talk, swallow, breathe. Yet you remain completely aware of everything going on around you and can still feel pain. It is among the cruelest of diseases. Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. Very few people live longer than 7 years after diagnosis. The most famous person with ALS today is the brilliant Stephen Hawking.
Sue’s diagnosis took 18 months, which is sadly not unusual. Since I last posted here about ALS, Sue has lost her voice, because the vocal cords don’t work anymore. She has a tube in her stomach for medications and feeding She can’t take care of her most basic needs alone. The saving grace for my brother and sister-in-law has been our local chapter of the ALS Association. The ALS Association is there to help families in their local communities with the necessary adjustments – providing affordable equipment such as wheelchairs for patients, contractors to retrofit houses, and social services to give patients and their families the support they need. Our local chapter helped my brother find a handicap-equipped van at an affordable price. They recommended a contractor to them who works with the ALS Association to give a special break in price to ALS patients for retrofitting their home. They support a ton of research as well.
The average life expectancy of an ALS patient ranges from 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. We are now at the 2 -year mark. I know that there is quickly going to come a day when we no longer have Sue with us. She’s been my sister for the last 30 years. I hate that this is happening to her and my brother and my nieces. There is no cure for ALS. There is not even any sort of treatment yet. While I hate to say it, it’s not likely that Sue will benefit directly from the ongoing research. Where she doesbenefit immediately is with the support offered to them by the ALS Association and the community of families that reside within it. The ALS community is a tightly-kit one, and it breaks my heart every time my brother tells me that one of their friends has lost their battle.
My greatest hope is that Sue will win her battle, and be here to watch both of her daughters graduate from college, dance at their weddings, and live to see her grandchildren. I pray we find a cure for the millions of people with ALS, but most especially… and selfishly (I admit)… I pray for a cure for Sue, my brother, and my nieces. I am so very proud of Sue and my big brother – they personify grace and dignity and unselfish unconditional love.
Because every donation goes almost exclusively to the local chapters, every gift you make will go directly toward helping my brother and his family. Here is, in part, how donations help:
$25 pays for a walking cane that will transform the hope for safety into peace of mind.
$60 helps webcast an “Ask the Experts” research summit online for those who are unable to attend in person.
$100 enables repairs and maintenance of an augmentative communication device (AAC) from the ALS loan closet.
$250 funds one of sixteen monthly support groups that serve people with ALS and their families in my community.
$600 supports one day of a multi-disciplinary satellite clinic which serves people with ALS who aren’t able to travel long distances.
Money is so tight for so many of us. I’d really appreciate anything that you could donate to help fight against ALS. Even $5 or $10 helps! With your help, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of families affected by this disease. Last year, your generous donations helped to raise close to $6500 for my team of walkers. My own personal goal is to raise $1500. You have already helped me get partway there.
I only just learned it’s International Pay It Forward Day. 🙂 So… nothing hugely organized – but, I wanted to ask – is there anything I’m able to do for you?
I asked on twitter too.
If so – just let me know. I’ll do my best.
Did you know about it? Will you try to do anything? (I’m being lazy and staying in…)
Somewhat along those lines… National Make a Difference Day is coming up in the fall – and I always have a Social Media for Social Good fundraiser. I’m still trying to pick a charity. One that does something that matters, is a 501c3 (at least in the states), is well run, and ideally, international. If you’ve got suggestions I’d love to hear them.
Also – I know charities can send a lot of mail. Like a lot of solicitations. I’ve gotten so much mail from Save the Children, from last year and previous years. And other organizations. (I’m sorry about that.) I wanted to know then – if I started a collection on paypal or something – would you be more or less interested in donating? (That way you wouldn’t get the email/paper mail solicitations.) Paypal would take a slight fee, so it wouldn’t be a 100% donation – and all the other issues, but it would save you the junk mail.
Hi Everyone – I know I said I’d post this on ~August 30. Sorry. I know I should have gotten that done, but we weren’t quite done with the drive yet. It went a bit longer, but we also raised more money, so I think that’s fine. Then, my computer kinda broke, car accidents, hospitalizations, illness, death of a family friend and so on and so forth so… it’s been a bit nutty.
My apologies for the month long delay. Anyway, here are the winners! Because there were so many prizes, I’ll list the person/group giving the prize, and the winners. To make it easier and cut down on confusion, I also included the link to the comment so you can see if that’s you or not.
Christine Bell – Francesca and kiersten, please let me know which 5 of Christine’s books you’d like and in what e-format
Susanna Fraser – Brandi E. please email me which book you’d like and in what e-format
You can use the contact form and I’ll forward your information on. I think that’ll make it easier since it’s been awhile. Please get back to me by Saturday, October 1, 2011. Eastern time. (If you don’t get your information to me in time, sorry, but you forfeit your prize.) And in case you were wondering? All the winners were chosen randomly.
And um… if you said you’d donate but haven’t yet, please please do so? If you’re in the US, here’s the matching gift appeal link. Thanks! (If you didn’t before but decide to now, that’s fantastic too! And if you’d like to let me know the amount so I can add it to our total that’d rock too!)