Connecting Minds, Changing the World

For some, Facebook is no longer the social media medium of choice. Admittedly, I fall into this category, yet I still check the site (more than once) daily to see what’s going on in the lives of people I have befriended along the way.

Yes, Facebook is a fun way to stalk pictures of people and to, as my friend Julia says, “see who from your high school is pregnant and how pregnant they are,” but it can also be a catalyst for doing good.

My friend Reed is a perfect example of how people can leverage social media to better the world. Reed is a fun-loving senior in college who describes his athletic abilities as “nonexistent.” However, when his uncle was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia after living with Myelodysplastic Syndrome for six years, he knew he wanted to help in any way he could. So, Reed decided that on March 9, 2014, he’d run the L.A. Marathon and gather donations in support that would go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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He set a goal of $5,000 in five weeks, and in less than nine days he had reached this goal – simply amazing.

What really helped Reed spread the word, though, was creating a Facebook event for his cause, which he, being the witty guy he is, called I Run This Town (For Leukemia Research). By sharing the page with all of his friends, who could then share it with their friends, he connected the event “attendees” to his online donation page, where one can simply enter their credit card information and send the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society a donation through Reed with the click of a button. It doesn’t get easier.

Social media gets a bad rap as being an avenue for young people to waste time and kill brain cells. Social media is about connecting people to one another, and through those connections, people, like Reed, can change the world.

We can all take a lesson from Reed and use our social media in a more positive way, to influence others to do good and to help change people’s lives for the better.

So far, Reed has raised more than $6,700, and with your help, he can raise even more. Visit his donation page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/la14/rsemcken to lend a helping hand. Good luck, Reed!

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