How Social Media and Hurricane Sandy Can Inspire To Rebuild
Social media and Hurricane Sandy have been the best of friends this past week as people share pictures of the devastation and charity information. As we’ve seen in the past certain people and groups are using social media to combat hurricane sandy, whether they’ve been using it professionally or not.
We’ve seen multiple funds and charities popping up across the coast in Staten Island, Queens, New Jersey, and even as far north as Toronto, and locally we’ve seen one headed by an individual to try and bring hundreds of dollars to families in need that have lost everything. Having been affected by the hurricane myself, social media and hurricane sandy really remind me that although I was (thankfully) just inconvenienced, there are people who have lost everything.
The majority of us cannot imagine what it’s like to lose everything until we’ve seen someone who has. Once you do you start to understand the severity of the situation and when normalcy starts to return you remember them. You remember that this normalcy is just a facade and only a select few get to pretend life is back to normal.
Maybe it is for them if they live in their bubble, but for the more human of the bunch the world has changed forever. A few hundred bucks, a warm meal, a few hundred thousand, or even just a bed: all of these things matter when the world is swept from under you.
Not to get too dramatic or anything, but I’m just trying to make a point. Rather than flood you with multiple examples of charities and funds I decided to select one grassroots movement that started on social media. I didn’t go after the Red Cross or Charity Navigator because I wanted you to see whats possible with social media and hurricane sandy. I have to SOMEHOW relate this to social media, right?
So here it is. Here’s Christina Mennella’s story. A graduate from Marywood University in Pennsylvania her friends and family were effected by the hurricane. Her plan is to sell wristbands that can offer a simple and encouraging message; to rebuild. The symbol can inspire others to contribute and ultimately have them realize the impact of this hurricane if somehow they haven’t already.
I’m not going to speak for her – so below is Christina’s story straight from her and information on how you can help. If you’d wish to purchase a wristband you can also do so below.
Here she is:
As I spent countless hours tuned into the news watching video footage of the effects that Hurricane Sandy had on New Jersey and New York, I found myself feeling completely overwhelmed and devastated. The pictures of the boardwalks and beaches as well as property damages were upsetting, but nothing truly struck me as hard as seeing all of the faces of people who became homeless with nothing to claim but the clothes on their backs. Those people have spent years creating memories with their loved ones, have spent their hard earned money to buy what they had, and have the safety and comfort of knowing that they had a place to call home. Too many people lost lives and possessions for me to just merely donate $10 to the Red Cross while Springsteen performed on television. I know I needed to do a lot more than that, and I wanted to do something where I can actually make an impact that I could see. Although my family is dealing with extensive damage to our beach house in Manahawkin and will need a lot of repairing,I still consider us to be very lucky. We were fortunate enough that the house wasn’t the only roof over our heads, which is why I wanted to give back to people who really need the support and supplies to get them through this. I came up with the idea of ordering wristbands that read ” #Rebuild #Sandy” and are selling them for three dollars each. As a college student I was only able to afford 600 wristbands from the start but will be able to buy more if needed in the future. 100% of the proceeds are going to those affected. The reason I chose that message is because it is something that all who were affected either directly or indirectly by Hurricane Sandy can identify with, and I think it can be used as a symbol of hope during these difficult times. We need to show our support and wear it proudly to show people that we are there for them and they are not alone. We need to wear those wristbands around town, while we are helping people clean up, while we are visiting shelters, because they need to know that this did not just happened to them, it happened to the country. I had contacted my college to ask if the Campus Ministry would ask for donations of items for me to bring back to school but after not hearing back from them for 4 days I figured I had waited long enough. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands so that is what I did. I put all of my money into this fundraiser so that I could turn it into a lot more money to give to those in need.Where are the proceeds going from the sales?When I have gathered the money from the wristband sales, I will be distributing the proceeds to Shelters and families in New Jersey and New York, specifically Staten Island. Shelter’s are popping up everywhere which is amazing because unfortunately we need so many of them. I will be contacting the shelters once I have the proceeds available so that I can see what they really need in donations. It is great that everyone is generously donating to the shelters at the moment, but often the same items keep coming in and there are others that they really need. Since I am donating items to multiple shelter’s I would see if there is anything that each one wants in particular. I keep myself up to date online with the latest on Hurricane Sandy relief so if a Shelter changes location (ex: Tottenville High School in Staten Island is going to be used as a High School again this week after being kept as a shelter), I would know about it.If you are interested in buying a wristband or a few, or would like to know about ways that you can help out around Central or South Jersey, you can contact me at email@example.com. Please keep in mind that I only ordered a specific amount thus far so if you ask for a large order it may not be available. Thank you.
Shaun is a Social Media and SEO/SEM consultant based in New York City and is the Editor of Social Marvels. He's also the Digital Director for CA Creative, a social media services agency for fashion and luxury brands. When he's not immersed as a social media consultant or a search marketing guy he's usually playing guitar and reading.