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american red cross

Sleeves Up. Hearts Open. All In. Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later

On anniversaries of national-scale events, people always talk about where they were, what was going on in their lives. Today is the same.

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall and changed the Gulf Coast as we knew it. As a North Texan, we watched with tears in our eyes as homes and people were swept away by the storm. We took in those who were left with nothing – many never went back.

Photo Credit: money.howstuffworks.com
Photo Credit: money.howstuffworks.com

When it happened, I was visiting my dad in Raleigh, NC. He was the regional VP for the American Red Cross at the time. As you can imagine, he was busy coordinating help for the disaster.

Both of my parents have been avid volunteers. It’s been ingrained in my existence. They always made me feel like I could save the world; and it’s my duty to give back for all the wonderful things I’ve had in life. They’ve always been right.

So, I rolled my sleeves up, opened my heart, jumped in and took calls from those who wanted to help or needed help.

It was before the days of disaster operations via social media, otherwise I would have been tweeting with the best of them. But, in some small way, I had the privilege of helping to make a difference.

The funny thing is: A decade later, I work for a nonprofit. I’ve never been able to get “doing good” out of my system.

It’s something I hope to instill in my children. It’s not always the big things, sometimes the small things can make a difference in people’s lives.

Kindness with no expectation of reciprocation is the best gift. Always.

—–

I’d like to share a post from a friend of mine and Red Crosser, Anita Foster, as she remembers Hurricane Katrina. Much has changed, and we have much to look forward to.

Social Media 4 Nonprofits: The Recap

Holy cow! A social media conference in my own backyard: Dallas!

Here’s the deal: To Dallasites, we love our city. We rag on the weather, the sixty-thousand-dollar-millionaires and trophy wives, but deep down we think we’re awesome.

Because we are.

And here’s why:

  1. Dallas is the home to the first two seasons of Halt & Catch Fire – also the tech boom of the 80s.
  2. You may see Erykah Badu… naked… walking down the street. Because that’s normal.
  3. Two airports and lots of flights in case you need to get out of town quickly.
  4. You’ve heard everything is bigger in Texas? What is a 200 sq. ft. rental in San Francisco, is a 4,000 sq. ft. mortgage in Dallas.
  5. One (compound) word: Tex-Mex.

So when something about tech happens in my hometown, I must be involved.

Social Media 4 Nonprofits hosted a conference today. About Social Media. For Nonprofits.

Let it sink in for a moment.

Even better – an old friend and mentor, Anita Foster from the American Red Cross – Dallas was there to speak about turning over the keys to volunteers.

Despite the fact that I felt like I was recovering from tuberculosis and sneaked out a little early (after people starting reaching for hand sanitizer around me), it was a good day.

Apparently, this is what I look like when I speak.

me

But here’s the full recap:

 

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