Social media can be a tricky tool to use. The platforms that were built to bring people together can sometimes be used in less charitable ways. Like any other tool, it all depends on the people who wield it. Thankfully, people like Random Acts Writing Manager Jessica Burbridge have found creative ways to use social media to support others in their time of need.
Searching for Community and Opportunity
Jessica took to Facebook to find a group of like-minded good samaritans. Using Facebook’s search feature, she found a local helping hands group in her county. One of the conversation threads in the group asked a simple question: “If you could have just one thing, what would it be?” One person’s response caught Jessica’s eye. “When I saw a mother asking for a twin bed for her daughter, I knew I had to help. I reached out to her and made sure I would get something that the daughter would like. The mother was very grateful and informed me that she had been sleeping on a small cot as it was all they could afford right now,” Jessica explains.
Using funds generously provided by our lovely donors, Jessica was able to purchase a twin bed frame, mattress, bedspread, and colorful sheets decorated with mermaids, dinosaurs, and unicorns. Everything was delivered directly to the family in two shipments from an online retailer. Jessica maintained contact with the family to make sure everything was received. Tiffany, the girl’s mother, was very appreciative of Jessica’s help, saying, “You have no idea how much we appreciate this. It felt so good to throw the broken down cot in the trash today.” Finally, her daughter was able to get a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed, thanks to a chance encounter with a kind stranger on social media.
Find Your People
If you are feeling inspired by Jessica’s act of kindness, here are some ways to channel that energy:
- Find a group — On your preferred social media platform, search for groups in your area dedicated to supporting others. Check out groups run by established nonprofits as well as neighborhood groups.
- Start a group — If there are no local groups in your area yet, make one! We made a handy toolkit to help you start a Friends of Random Acts group.
- Be kind online — Whenever you interact with people online, treat them with respect and kindness. Take breaks from social media as needed. Follow accounts that post about kindness, like our Regional Representatives or other Random Acts staff members! We would love to chat with you!