Last Thursday, my former virtual assistant, Christine Morris, suffered a huge loss as a fire destroyed her home. Christine and her family were away on vacation when the blaze occurred, so everyone was safe, fortunately. But they lost everything.
I learned about Christine’s situation from a mutual acquaintance who sent me a Facebook message that morning. I immediately wanted to reach out to Christine, but I knew her life had just turned into complete chaos and her focus needed to be on the investigation and taking care of herself and her family. So I used the Facebook pages of her local newspaper and police department to stay connected to what was happening, how everyone was doing, and what I could do to help.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I did a lot of cleaning and had a large amount of brand new Tupperware and other kitchen items that I was wondering what to do with. But when I heard about the fire, I knew Christine had to have them. Several members of my team also volunteered to do work for Christine and her clients to help reduce her workload. The only issue was that we didn’t know how to extend these offers for assistance. We didn’t have an address, and we didn’t want to bother Christine. So I sent her sister-in-law a message via Facebook to find out what we could do to help and where I could send my packages.
Her sister-in-law responded and was able to relay information to Christine to extend our condolences and find out how my team and I could help. Without social media, I wouldn’t have known how to connect with anyone outside of Christine’s immediate family. And I probably wouldn’t have known about the fire for days, or been able to offer Christine support so quickly.
This whole situation has given me a greater appreciation and understanding of the power and practical use of social media — it’s not just for fun, but also for getting help and resources to others in need. These social tools that we’re always talking about have so many personal and professional benefits. And it’s quicker and easier to find and share information when you know how to use them. If you’re not already social media savvy, I strongly encourage you to start learning to use these resources. They are extremely useful on a day-to-day basis, as well as in emergencies. (Read this article to learn more.)
Also, be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for lots of other technologies, including gadgets, apps and more that we’re featuring this week. They are tools that can help your admin career.
Christine’s husband is a police detective in their town, and the Montgomery County Hero Fund, which supports law enforcement, military personnel, firefighters, paramedics, and first responders and their families in times of need, has set up a donation page for the family.
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