I spent the first seven years of my life growing up in Ozone Park, Queens NY. While it wasn't the majority of my childhood experience, I still remember it vividly. Specifically one thing stood out in my memories.
I grew up in a neighborhood.
Our neighbors were close knit, mostly Italian or Irish and we came from similar backgrounds. This bonded us, we lived in connected homes with a staircase separating an upper and lower level. We shared food and household items. No-one thought twice about knocking on a door for eggs, milk, or to borrow a vacuum cleaner. When there were power outages (for some reason there were a lot of these during the summers in the 70s), we all took the food out of our freezers and prepared feasts to share with one another, knowing that since the food would spoil, we might as well enjoy it together.
Yesterday, I was literally schooled in the ways the Web can emulate the type of neighborhood I knew as a child. In marketing circles the word community has unfortunately been marginalized. What we are really talking about here is neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are digital—yes, but very real. We've seen them come through again and again. And yet, I am still stunned by the generosity, and ferocity at which the neighborhood rallied around a cause to help a single family that could not find help.
As of this moment, you the people in this collective neighborhood have come to the aid of this family, raising over $12,000.00 in significantly under 24 hours ($15,082.60, in less than 2 days). This is astounding, audacious and ridiculously hopeful. Belinda and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Right now we have a Pay Pal account set up with a card and she will use that to pay for her rent. I can't believe that you've made this possible. We are also getting an education on donations, so if you have ideas or experience in this area—leave a comment here. Let's get this straight. This is a good problem to have.
Another thing about this neighborhood who lives in the land we call "social media" is how tightly we are bound and evidence you can see all around this. Last night, all of us including Daniela sat in awe as my Tweetdeck went off all night long. Within hours, we saw her name rise to the number one spot of trending topics beating out CES and Apple's product announcement. Translation? A LOT of you were talking about this and I was at a loss for words for how to explain this phenomenon to Daniela. In short, the ripples were spreading like mad.
Thank you again for everything you've done. If you coulnd't donate, PLEASE do not feel badly. Everyone played a part in helping this spread and we are getting a lot of support in all kinds of ways. On that note, it may take a while for us to get back to you. We're a bit overwhelmed. Just know that you've done a great thing. You've touched 4 lives. You've influenced them. And we're all in this neighborhood together.