Monday, 1 December 2008

Facebook...And You Thought It Was Just a Social Network

I will admit that I joined Facebook just for fun and because the Jacksonville office had started a group and I wanted to see what they actually looked like. I mean, answering the phone gave me the unique capability of knowing who was calling by identifying the appropriate voice but putting faces with them was impossible. So, having only met about a half dozen of the Jax people, I finally could see who those wacky creatives were.

Another perk was that I actually reconnected with a few of my high school friends (yes, from back in the dark ages when it was still safe to go to school downtown). And I even have a Facebook friend who I went to school with (get this) back in Los Angeles from 1st to 3rd grade.

So, yes, I thought the social aspect of Facebook was lots of fun and I became addicted fairly quickly. When I started my knitting/quilting business I thought that I could benefit from having made lots of friends there - I can post pictures of my finished projects quickly and easily so, voila, instant free advertising! It's all good (as Herbal from Dark Angel would say).

So, the other day, I found someone I had met years ago when Heather was high school age and she apprenticed at the Gateway Mask and Mime Theatre down in Little Five Points. Also, Caitlin did some Irish dancing for them at an Irish Christmas party...I vaguely remember Mummers and singing What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor...weird selective memory. Anyway, who knows how anyone finds people on Facebook but I guess I just started clicking one thing which led to another and bam! there was a familiar face. I found John Jaramillo so I decided to send him an "Add Friend" request. Fortunately, he obliged and here's where the awesome Facebook perk kicks in.

For those of you who knew my mom, the fact that I inherited an entire closet of yarn from her (all acrylic) would not surprise you in the least. Right? And, for those of you who know me (and why would you be reading this if you didn't?) you know that I've been doing charity knitting since I think Caitlin was a baby. Most of my items are baby things and they usually go to Birthright as I've known Terry Weaver, the U.S. National Director, for many, many years. In fact, I have a pretty good-sized stash of things to take them this month. Mom always had a soft spot for the Native Americans and she would donate to every American Indian organization that managed to get her on their mailing list, I think. (BTW, I just visited Wikipedia and will admit that I didn't realize that Native American does not only apply to the American Indians, but also Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, and several other groups.) Now, how does this tie in with Facebook and reconnecting with John, you ask? (of course you do; inquiring minds want to know)

Well...knowing John is a performer of Aztec dances and his background is Pueblo Indian Native American (and please go to his website to check him out - he does wander back to the Atlanta area occasionally) I asked him where I could donate knitted goods to benefit a reservation that needed help. John immediately suggested that the neediest reservations were in South Dakota and the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation would be worth looking into. The description from the website listing numerous charities said: "An online group of volunteers who support the Native American community of Pine Ridge by sewing, knitting, crocheting and donating desperately needed items." I found that they have a Yahoo group which I immediately joined.

Hopefully, you have figured out that Facebook has put me in touch with a charity that will benefit from both my mom's yarn and my knitting skills, and I can donate to them in her memory, thus proving that a silly little social networking site can serve a greater purpose in the grand scheme of things. It was pretty serendipitous that I found all this info so easily and I hope this will inspire some of my readers to remember those who have less than we do (even when the budget is squeezed until it just begs for mercy). I figure that my only cost involved in this project will be my time and postage and I can certainly spare a little of that to help keep somebody warm this winter.

1 comment:

Paul F. McDonald said...

A time when it was safe to go downtown? You used to go to school downtown, and yet I'm scared to drive downtown. Something is wrong with this picture. I do my best though.

You are very kind to think about keeping people warm this winter. You have so many skills, and that is most certainly one of them.

Love and puppies.