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Looking to ignite the fire to make a difference

I am still trying to learn about social media and the different opportunities and the value of being part of social media. So last year I signed up for Facebook thinking that my mother could use my account to see what is happening with the Grandchildren. Well of course I quickly got overwhelmed with how fast the requests to be “friends” came in to my page. And so I used it intermittently.

That changed in the past few days.

I found out about a competition at the Home Depot Foundation for $250,000 that is supporting programs in the US that help our military veterans. What surprised me was that of the programs competing, only one program included a program for helping homeless WOMEN veterans. In addition, this program is in a rural area. Of course, as I thought about it I realized that even though women have served for and in the military, the US is slow to provide adequate resources for these women. Yet there are many male veteran homeless shelters/homes.

What I am learning about social media is that if you have a facebook network established you can reach out to many people.

So I presented my network with an opportunity to make a difference for women in need just by clicking once each day in May at https://apps.facebook.com/apronsinaction/ for the Saratoga RPC VETHELP program. I discovered that some would pick up the issue and encourage their friends but many are silent. Now I know that doesn’t mean they don’t vote (although in this case the number of votes indicates that many are not voting).

So I am finding this a very interested experience and somewhat saddening too. If we can not ignite the fire to help, to make a difference, to contribute when it is as easy as clicking on a link and then clicking on the VETHELP program, what will it take to make a really big difference in the world?

I know that Margaret Mead, the anthropologist, said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” In this case however that small group must be able to ignite a much larger group to take action and vote because it is the largest number of votes that will result in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

Now I know that if each woman in my network who hears about this opportunity would reach out and vote each day and would connect to her friends, relatives, colleagues and others and they voted it would be a runaway win.

I remain enthusiastic for the VETHELP project because if women will respond to something like this, then there is hope they will step forward when even bigger opportunities appear.

And I believe that major changes in our world will come from the involvement and leadership of women. It can be as simple as women reaching out to each other, recognizing the strength and power we hold when we come together in a common or complimentary cause, and making a decision to get involved, then take the first step and then the next step, and the next.

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