RELATE TO THIS BLOG

 

Hello, R2T friends! We came across an interesting article that has given R2T a terrific review! Here is the reprint of the article which features reviews of several social media sites. Sara P. is a Social Media consultant. The Blog was posted and then updated the following week when EP made their closing announcement. Enjoy and share the great news with your friends. We are excited RelateToThat is getting noticed and the comments we are getting from all of you are very positive. We have much to do but we are off to a good start! 

Here is the link to the blog: Blog Link  Posted on 03/24/2016


 

 

10 Social Media Site Reviews

Why Some are Right On and Some are All Wrong

By : Sara P.

Many of us have been so involved with social media for the past few years that it seems as though these social sites have been around forever.  Social media has been an entertaining companion for me when I needed it, has allowed me to connect more often with people I dearly love and, as the owner of a digital marketing company, has even paid my bills for the past 6 years.

 

As a person who’s worked on social media sites for hours-a-day and witnessed the evolution of the majority of the most popular social media sites from ‘infancy’ to what they are now, I wanted to share and rate some of my favorite tried and true sites, and warn you about other sites that are really missing the mark. Some of these sites are very popular and you’ve probably used a few of them, and maybe one or two fairly regularly. Some of them are specialty sites focusing on a certain niche. One site in particular I was quite impressed with and have even inspired people I know to join and give it a try.  Before we get to the specialty sites, let’s start with the big daddys.

 

 


 

 

Facebook    Rating - 4 Diamonds ♦♦♦♦

 

Facebook (www.facebook.com) is, by far, the most popular social media site, with close to 1.6 billion users as of January, 2016.  I would have to give Facebook, on a scale of 1-5, as a user for both personal and business, a very solid 4 stars.  Facebook allows us to connect on a level that couldn’t have been fathomed 10 years ago. 

 

The fifth star is being left out for a couple of reasons.  While Facebook is a terrific place to stay in touch with existing friends, acquaintances, and family, it doesn’t offer many opportunities to meet new people. 

 

Also, there is no anonymity on Facebook.  Everyone is all up in the business you choose to post, and depending on friend and family dynamics, this can leave some folks vulnerable and uncomfortable sharing certain sensitive topics.  Whether it be a health issue, a death in the family, something about your job, someone in your family that you’re having a hard time with; these are the things you can’t share on Facebook openly.

 

Lastly, Facebook has gotten so large that monitoring it has become quite difficult. After all, in any society, whether it be ‘in person’ or ‘online’, overseeing your audience is an important aspect so that people can feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings.  And sensitive topics like life events, milestones and even controversial opinions, which are shared very often on Facebook, often times get ‘out-of-hand’.  Bullying and cruelty have abounded on Facebook in recent years. Perhaps part of this is because there has been a societal shift and as a reflection of that, social media is one of the more obvious places you can witness and feel it because, unlike when you’re conversing face to face, most people are far more brave behind a keyboard than they are in person and will, therefore, express themselves more freely and with less consideration for their actions.

 

The world has become volatile and there is something fundamentally ‘off’ with the balance of things.  Fortunately, positive begets positive, however, negative also begets negative, and when you have more of one than the other, the balance is thrown off and it does something to us collectively.  There are few places that this is more obvious than on the comment sections of Facebook accounts.

 

 


Twitter.com    Rating - 3 Diamonds ♦♦♦

 

Another popular social media site is Twitter (www.twitter.com). It’s a nice place to find out about people and to research businesses. There is limited engagement, so no real depth to it, but it serves a purpose and does a great job as a quick point-of-reference tool.

 

Other than that, the general opinion of Twitter, for many people, is that it’s a super way for celebrities to either communicate with each other or bash each other.  It’s like the TMZ of social media.

 

Twitter is surprisingly good for business, as it does serve as a great way to connect with businesses large and small by observing, monitoring and networking.

 


 

LinkedIn.com    Rating - 3 Diamonds ♦♦♦

LinkedIn.com is a site used for business professionals.  It serves as an online resume for individuals, a nice way to create some buzz about your business and, it’s got a nice feature that allows you to join groups of like-minded business folks so you can share your knowledge with other professionals and ask opinions, in return.  It’s not so much ‘social’ as it is business casual.  

 


 

Google+    Rating - 3 Diamonds ♦♦♦

 

Plus.Google.com is basically Facebook that recognizes and uses hashtags like Twitter.  I will tell you that when Google+ first came on the scene, I thought it was going to be absolutely huge. I figured Facebook was done for, because it’s Google for crying out loud! Who can compete with Google?  Well, I guess since it’s launch in the summer of 2011, the answer is ‘pretty much every other major social media site.’  Google+ is decent for business, but has never really taken off as a ‘social’ site.  You don’t really hear many folks saying, “Did you see that article on Google+ this morning?!”, “I get most of my news from Google+.” or “Add me to your Google+ page!”  It’s changed quite a bit over the years and who knows, maybe it will become something big in the future, but in 2016, it’s just plain old Google+. 

Of course, there are other social media sites that are extremely popular.Instagram.com and Pinterest.com among them. They all have their place and are ‘fun’ to hang out on, but they're about as deep as a puddle.

Now, let’s focus on something fun… social media sites where specialized socialization is a key element in the mission of the site. Some of these sites have a genre or even an age group they’re trying to appeal to.  One site, in particular, seems to cover the gamut by appealing to everyone and capturing the essence of social media to what, in my opinion, it is supposed to be. 

 


 

RelateToThat.com   Rating - 4 Diamonds ♦♦♦♦

 

RelateToThat.com is a new, anonymous social site which seems to have it just right. It’s engaging and interesting, as it comes with a plethora of built-in content written for and by its members. There are groups you can join ranging from a focus on family to entertainment to health to the arts to philosophy. Are you a writer? You can share stories and get feedback on your material. Do you have a parent that’s struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s? You can speak to other people all over the world who are dealing with the same issues you are. Do you have something on your mind that you can’t really share with anyone, but just want to get it off of your chest? There is a Secrets section and a Venting group.  Or, you can peruse the Q and A section where people offer questions and feedback on recent events, opinions on life experiences, dealing with difficult situations, sharing a funny event from your day, and pretty much anything else you can think of. It’s like having a bunch of really good pals you can talk to almost anything about. Anything goes, as long as it’s done respectfully and sensitively. And the best part is that it is completely anonymous. You can feel comfortable sharing your life’s experiences both tremendous and tragic without feeling uncomfortable or intimidated.  

 

I witnessed several times where the relationships built on RelateToThat, for many members, hold a special place beyond current friends and family.  If you’re having a rotten day, you can go in and discuss it with a friend. If you just want someone who you know is there and will miss you when you’re gone, it’s a great place to find good people who do just that. It’s mutual support at its best.

 

The site is very closely monitored to wean out bullying and negativity. That’s not to say you can’t express yourself on the site, but if you can’t communicate respectfully, you’re not welcome to use the site. It’s the first really SAFE social media site I’ve found.  I like the fact that RelateToThat uses a verification email sign-on process to limit troublemakers hiding behind bogus email IDs. Just another reason to feel safe on RelateToThat.

 

You will laugh and you may cry on this site. It’s humanity engaging with one another. It’s really something special. 

 

To top it off, RelateToThat.com offers free advertising for all national non-profits, which is just amazing. Their goal is to bring non-profits to the site to advertise and to offer a section where people affiliated with the non-profit and their audiences can share the specific topic relating to the non-profit.

 

The only reason why I didn’t give RelateToThat 5 stars is simply because it is brand new and doesn’t have enough people on the site yet. I joined several months ago and a couple of my friends also joined, so we contribute (and look around) regularly.  There’s always something fun to read about and there’s enough information on there to really spend some serious time on the site. Once more folks join, and more seem to be joining more and more every day, I can see the site picking up speed and really leaving a solid, positive mark on the world of social media.

 


 

ExperienceProject.com     Rating - 1 Diamond ♦

Update: Closing April 21, 2016 (**see update at the end of this Blog)

This massive, widespread territory of confusion at www.experienceproject.com is the closest thing I could find to RelateToThat.com.  It’s borderline ridiculous, and is completely overwhelming from the get-go. Right away, I noticed quite a few inappropriate ads from around the world wide web that made me feel really uncomfortable, especially with my kid standing next to me.  Lots of breasts and insinuated sexual content.  Also, the ads are smack dab in the middle of the page…on every page!  You have to scroll through ads about buff beasts taking legal steroids and Disney stars gone bad to even get to the majority of the content.  The setup is really quite awful in that way.  Within 30 seconds (no kidding) of joining the site, I had a dude ask me if I wanted to accept a message from him.  His profile picture was an extremely creepy clown.  They say it’s a safe site, but I felt terribly uncomfortable between the borderline porn and unwanted attention from Sir Clowns-A-Lot.  I decided not to judge the book by it’s cover and delve deeper into this world. I felt dirty and confused and almost dizzy.  It’s not relaxing and pleasant.  It’s chaotic and in complete disarray. 

 


 

AgingHipsters.com    Rating - 2 Diamonds ♦♦

 

Hey Daddy-o!  If you’re a hep cat who digs a twitchin’ and bitchin’ time on the world wide web, this site at www.aginghipsters.com is a gas. If you want to discuss 8-track players, Hall and Oates and retirement parties (literally), this social site is the cat’s pajamas. The aesthetics of the site alone take you back in time.  This place looks like it jumped out of 1997 and desperately needs an updated design. I can see where the site could be interesting to some of the Baby Boomers that it’s trying to attract. The vast majority of the topics look like they could have been newspaper stories from 25+ years ago.  I am all about nostalgia, but holy cow! Some variety on this site would be terrific. How about we not fit every Baby Boomer in the box of wanting to reminisce about ‘the good ole days’.  Watching Paint Dry City.  Also, there has been very limited activity in the past couple of years. While I can see where they were trying to go, and respect their vision, it’s just missing the mark. I burned rubber outta there.

 


 

DailyStrength.com       Rating - 3 Diamonds ♦♦♦

Started in 2007, www.dailystrength.com is an impressive site aiming to support anyone having issues with health or wellness in almost any topic, literally from A to Z.  There are hundreds of support group forums to go to on the site to express your concern and get feedback from others who have either been in your situation or who are experiencing it presently. I really like the vibe on this site. It’s low-key, which is important when you’re feeling vulnerable enough to seek refuge on the internet for an issue you or a loved one may be having.  It’s easy to navigate around in and the people on the site seem to be friendly, gentle and compassionate.  It’s organized nicely and doesn’t require vast internet navigation skills to use it and get the most out of it. However, if you’re looking for deeper online friendships, this may not be the place for that. The focus of the site is sort of like a tunnel.  Once you’ve engaged in a forum, the conversation pretty much stays on that topic and rarely sways. If you want to have more ‘good days’, perhaps a rounded focus would be better than just that black hole many of us find ourselves in when facing and working through adversity. 

 

There is one large problem with the site itself. I tried to sign up on the site two times so that I could share some of my own experiences and get a better feel for the site, and both times never received a confirmation email so that I could verify my account. I checked in all the usual places (junk, spam, etc.). Nothing. So, I couldn’t share anything myself, but still enjoyed using the site as a resource and can see how almost anyone could find something on the site that could help and support them in a time of need, confusion or just to not feel alone in their current situation.

 


Final Thoughts:

There’s no telling what the future of social media will bring. There have been so many unimaginable advances in the way we communicate just in the past few years. How and why we use social media has changed exponentially, as well. It’s exciting to think about and one can’t help to imagine how communication advances can get even more exciting, open and engaging.

 

Here’s to the future of social media and continuing to find new, responsible, remarkable ways to connect with one another.



* Blog Update:

An interesting development has come to my attention which directly impacts my blog.

 

While reviewing the content for the blog one last time, I came across this notice from 'Experience Project' which can also be found here on their website: Experience Project Announcement

 

Until We Meet Again...

 

Nearly a decade ago, we started Experience Project with a mission of harnessing social media to bring empathy and understanding to all, through the power of anonymously shared human experience. Since then, tens of millions of experiences have been shared by hundreds of millions of people. Users have gotten married, saved each other's lives, and entertained and comforted each other late into the night. Every single day, we've been privileged to see community members find connection to ideas, feelings, and people that changed their lives.

However, many important things have changed since 2006 that risk both our ideals and our ability to deliver on them.So, it is with heavy hearts that we have decided to pause this chapter in Experience Project history and regroup for the future , rather than risk our beliefs, and more importantly, our users' trust. We've struggled mightily with this decision for a long time, and pursued every reasonable alternative, but we are confident that it is the right thing to do at this time. For details on what this means for your account, please see Next Steps below. To read more about the factors leading up to this difficult decision, please continue reading below.

We created EP to provide a safe, private place online to share the experiences that mattered most, and to deliver it fairly and reliably to every user, however and wherever they were comfortable. Doing good for the world was not a side effect, it was the goal.

 

Over the last decade, while social media has evolved from Blogger to Snapchat, and become increasingly focused on pictures, short text, and individual popularity, EP remained focused on anonymous, long-form text stories from everyday people who were recognized for their experiences above all else. From day one, privacy of our users has been paramount , and we have never allowed names, phone numbers, or addresses. This approach bucked every trend, and challenged our ability to build an advertising-based business, but we passionately believe it provided the foundation for some of the most meaningful relationships imaginable. And you are proof that we were right! But there is no denying that the way people expect to use social media today is markedly different than it once was, and as the primary use has moved from web to mobile, our hallmark attributes like long-form stories are not aligned.

 

But, there are deeper, and more troubling trends than formats. Online anonymity, a core part of EP, is being challenged like never before. Governments and their agencies are aggressively attacking the foundations of internet privacy with a deluge of information requests, subpoenas, and warrants. We, of course, always support proper law enforcement efforts, but the well-documented potential for even abuse, even if unintentional, is enormous, and growing.

 

At the same time, scores of new laws require compliance with intricate, sometimes contradictory, data privacy regulations for each country, territory, and even state. For example, today there are nearly 30 different agencies that can decide whether sending data, for example, a private message from your inbox, between Europe and the US is "proper."

 

Finally, the sophistication of "bad apples," as few as they thankfully are, has increased dramatically. They are better able to cover their tracks and evade user bans by using mobile and encryption networks, and they use information to exploit the trust of others through social engineering. These advances, of course, relate to the first point about increasing government information gathering, in an ever escalating game of cat and mouse.

 

None of these are insurmountable problems, but they require immense resources to address reliably, effectively, and safely at scale. Those are outside the reach of all but a tiny handful of massive companies like Facebook and Google.

So it is with these themes in mind that we have come to the conclusion that it is better to freeze what we have today, instead of letting it erode, and affect our ability to deliver value, safety, and to respect our users' trust and expectations. 

 

What does this all mean? In practical terms, this means that on April 21st at 4:00 pm PDT , we are going to be pressing "pause" on the site. At that time, we will not allow new registrations or the posting of new content, instead freezing the current library of experiences. We have built tools that will enable you to export your contributions , or delete your account , and will leave those tools up for the foreseeable future. As it should be, what you want to do with your content is up to you. Most stories on EP are timeless, and if you leave yours up, they will undoubtedly help countless others. Over time, we hope to determine how to better realize our mission in the future.

 

Experience Project is a very big idea that you have made a reality. The need for it -- for empathy, for comfort, for making sure no one ever feels alone -- is as critical as ever. Thank you for being part of this journey with us, and we hope that we can say "welcome home" again in the future.

 

With love and appreciation, 
Your Experience Project Team

 

As a result of Experience Project closing, this blog has adopted a secondary benefit to its readers.  This can now serve as a great point of reference for all those 'EP' users who are looking for a new place to set up social media shop. Enjoy perusing the reviews below and giving each site a shot till you find your new 'home'. 


Posted 01/19/2016

My Resolution Journal

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blueHR

January 2, 2016

Fitness Journal
Entry 1

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I am completely motivated!  It’s a new year and I can’t wait to get moving on my new year’s resolutions.  I decided to start a journal to keep track of each one, which will keep me motivated and going strong. I am going to kick some serious butt this year.  My first and most important resolution; lose some weight!  Sure, I may have put on a few extra pounds over the holidays, but I am getting ready to kiss those bad boys goodbye!    Off to the gym to do some squats and get 3 miles in on the treadmill.  By my birthday in April, I am going to be down 15 lbs. and will fit into the jeans I bought 2 years ago.  I repeat…I WILL GET INTO THOSE JEANS!

WOOHOO!  I’m off!


blueHR

January 3, 2016

Fitness Journal
Entry 2

I didn’t write yesterday because I couldn’t lift my arms to type on the keyboard.  I did 6 squats and got to .8 miles on the treadmill before I started hyperventilating from dehydration and exhaustion.  It seems, according to the handsome trainer who picked me up off the floor after I got dizzy, tripped on my shoelace and fell off the treadmill, that I hadn’t completely recovered from an evening out on new year’s eve and overdid it a bit. I won’t let that deter me! I shall not give up!  I am heading to the gym again to pump some iron, as they say.  My jeans are hanging up on my door to offer a gentle reminder of my weight loss goals!  I won’t let you down, jeans!  I’m outta here!

 

blueHR

January 7, 2016

Fitness Journal
Entry 3

I went back to the gym the other day.  It was horrifying. I stepped in front of the giant mirror with my hand weights and when I spotted myself in my daughter’s yoga pants and a sports bra in the beastly fluorescent lighting and aforementioned extra biscuits overflowing over the waistband of the pants, I started sobbing hysterically. I felt like a human version of one of those stackable donut baby toys.  I left shortly after my personal horror show was over, and went out and had a couple of glasses of wine with some dear friends to drown my sorrows. Then, the rest of the week, I had meetings at work until late and couldn’t get to the gym. It’s alright…getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint! I am dedicated, but I have a feeling my jeans are mocking me a little when I walk by them.  I am a rock!  I will not get discouraged. My resolutions are non-negotiable this year.  I will succeed!!! Cue Rocky theme.

 

blueHR

January 10, 2016

Fitness Journal
Entry 4

Oh yeah!  I did it!  I got three miles in on the treadmill and lifted for 15 minutes.  I am on track and ready to make this happen!  So proud of myself.  I may have started a little shaky, but I’m steady as a rock now.  WATCH OUT!  Here I come!

 

blueHR

January 21, 2016

UnFitness Journal
Entry 5

I haven’t been to the gym since the last time I wrote in you, you stupid journal.  I see you on the nightstand and feel you staring at me, expecting me to write an entry about my productive fitness awesomeness. I’M BUSY, OK???!!  The most recent season of Walking Dead was on and I DVRd a few episodes. I had to catch up.  And then, my car broke down…well, it needed an oil change, so I had to get that done.  And most importantly, I have been quite busy with meetings and proposals at work. DON’T JUDGE ME!  I have been using Pinterest as a motivational tool by looking at yoga poses and pinning fitness tips.  I may never look like those young women, but I will not give up.

 

blueHR

January 23, 2016

Sucky Fitness Journal
Entry 6

I am currently dipping giant marshmallows into a jar of Nutella. I have shredded the mocking jeans and will be using the pieces to make a no-sew blanket I saw while perusing workout tidbits on Pinterest. 

 

blueHR

January 24, 2016

Pinterest Journal
Entry 1

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Oh Pinterest, you have so many wonderful ideas!  While my fitness goals may be on hold, I shall now concentrate on an another goal; an amazing project I found on Pinterest. I have my jean shreds and also grabbed those dreaded yoga pants and a couple of skirts that must have shrunk in the dryer and made shreds of those too; all in the name of reducing, reusing and recycling. I can’t wait to get started on the blanket I saw, and get those creative juices flowing.  If all goes well, everyone will be getting these recycled beauties for Christmas.  Nothing wrong with saving money and helping the environment and it gives me something fun to do all year long!

Great goal!!!  Off to Pinterest…

 

blueHR

January 31, 2016

Pinterest Journal
Entry 2

The blanket started off a little shaky, but I think I have the hang of it now.  I am about 1/3 of the way done.  It’s a little crooked. I showed the husband and he laughed until some of his drink came out of his nose. He doesn’t understand.  The finished product will look excellent.  Nothing can get me down about this project!  This will look great.

 

blueHR

February 2, 2016

Pinterest Should Have It’s Own Voo Doo Doll for people to PIN on it Journal
Entry 1

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Stupid Pinterest.  Looks like everyone’s getting a Target gift card…again.  Oh, and my husband is a jerk.

 

blueHR

February 21, 2016

Investment Journal
Entry 1

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OK!  I have had enough feeling sorry for myself.  So my first two goals of the year didn’t work out…it’s early!  I have plenty of time for a successful resolution.  I received my tax return and it’s a pretty good amount of moolah, so I have decided to invest.  I may spend a little of it on new jeans and then…invest!  I am currently researching the best way to make my money grow. I have narrowed it down to mutual funds, money market and 401K.  More to come…

 

blueHR

February 22, 2016

Investment Journal
Entry 2

I ended up spending a little bit more than I expected, but I found some great clothes and a deal I couldn’t pass up on a laptop, which I can use it for work.  SMART spending, as they say.  I am still trying to figure out how to invest the rest, but never fear…it’s snug as a bug in a rug in my checking account.

blueHR

February 24, 2016

Keep in Touch with Family Journal
Entry 1

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I have made a commitment to myself to keep in touch with my family more.  I miss them so much after the holidays, even though my brother-in-law got a little tipsy after we all went to bed and threw up in one of the stockings and couldn’t remember which one in the morning.  Family is what it’s all about, after all!  So, instead of texting them and emailing, I am vowing to call them more and plan more in-person lunches, dinners, family picnics, etc.  It’ll be fun!


blueHR

February 26, 2016

Keep in Touch with Family Journal
Entry 2

I called my mom and dad and left them a message telling them about my intentions to keep in touch beyond texting.  They haven’t called back.  I talked to my brother who was watching ESPN and just kept saying ‘yep, yep, yep’ to everything I said, even if I didn’t ask him a question.  I emailed my aunt to plan a dinner out and she emailed back saying she could do sometime toward the end of April.  woohoo.

 

blueHR

September 13, 2016


Recycling Journal
Entry 1

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HEY!  I just found you mixed in with a pile of old People magazines under my bed!!  I forgot I started a Resolution Journal!  After my failed attempts to get in shape, canceling my Pinterest account, spending all of my tax return on shoes, jeans, a laptop and a great deal I got on a Caribbean cruise, and miserably failing my goals to keep in touch with my family, I frustratingly tossed you under the bed.  After all, you were a constant reminder of how I failed time and time again at completing my stupid resolutions.  And for that, you completely suck.  But, never fear!  There is a bright side to you, journal!  You’re giving me a priceless opportunity to follow through on one of my resolution, which was to recycle more…starting with you.  WOOHOO!

 


Posted 11/07/2015


Give a Little Bit

Did you just sing that?   It is a great song.  It’s a great message; one to live by really.

Give a little bit of your love to me

I’ll give a little bit.

I’ll give a little bit of my love to you

                                                                         There’s so much that we need to share

                                                                         So send a smile and show you care

     Anytime is a good time to give a little, but there’s something special about this time of year.  The giving spirit is strong, and the ability to accept help is better embraced at Thanksgiving time.   Both giver and receiver feel that special magic that's in the air.  In fact, for many, the spirit of Thanksgiving has transitioned into a month-long celebration which is dedicated to giving to others and feeling gratitude for what has been received throughout the year. 

Many of us commit to giving and making a difference in the lives of people in our communities or even throughout the world.  There are so many opportunities to help, but some of us just don’t know exactly what to do to make a difference. We’re here to give you a list of resources that you can use to give your time, food to food banks, cash donations or to donate goods like clothing, coats, boots and shoes.

But, first, we want to share a couple of stories of those around us who have benefited from the spirit of giving and love:

 


See the Woman with the Lonely Eyes

There weren’t very many people like Nina. She was vivacious and lovely and had an infectious energy about her. She loved life and loved people. The place she lived was not consistent with Nina’s personality. She was happy and this place was filled with sadness, sickness and fear. She fought the surrounding energies every moment of every day. Her family came to visit her in this place a few times a year. Otherwise, she was there…listening to the Rockies games she loved and always looking at the bright side through eyes that had long since failed her. Regardless, she had this magical way of seeing the sunrise in every situation. Even when her son physically abused her and her daughter ignored her and she sat in the place she called home that smelled like urine and Lysol. Nothing broke her. She found a dear friend who would visit Nina every Thursday. She confided in that friend and they exchanged life stories. Nina’s vocal cords were paralyzed, so she communicated with grunts and by straining her throat to form words with air. Didn’t matter. They found a way. This friend was 40 years younger than Nina, but that was neither here nor there. They laughed and cried together. The friend would feed Nina and be her eyes when she needed her. They loved to sit outside in the garden area, or sit where the birds were caged and listen to them scamper about and sing. They exchanged gifts at birthdays and Christmas and told each other how much they loved the others friendship. It was a great experience for both Nina and her friend. In fact, it was one of the greatest friendships either had ever had. True story.

 


 

Take his hand, you'll be so surprised

There once was a family who came from very far away and had little to eat and few clothes to wear.  They arrived frightened and huddled to a new place they’d never seen before, but heard many great things about.  When they arrived, they were greeted by people who were there to help settle them in and create opportunities for them and their families.  They were given an apartment with simple furnishings, healthy food, clothing, winter coats and boots, toothbrushes and deodorant and toilet paper.  They were given a job in a training program where they would earn government aid by working 40 hours per week learning a new language and new skills, sometimes at 50 and 60 years of age.  They sent their children to school in this strange new land and they, too, had to learn to read and write and become socially successful.  They were beyond grateful and loved their new land.  It was a dream come true.  Not the fairy tale kind.  It was better.  It was as close to a miracle as they could imagine.  True story.

 

 


 

So Find Yourself, We’re on Our Way Back Home

Gypsy had it rough. She lived on the streets and it showed. She wondered around, looking for something, anything to eat. Something from a garbage can or right off the street would suffice. She was hungry and thin and quite ill. You see, Gypsy contracted HIV and was homeless and the odds were very much against her. Gypsy found her way into a campsite one day and there were some people there who took notice. She was hard not to notice. Despite Gypsy’s condition, she was quite lovely. The camping family took her in, found her healthy food to eat, got her the medical attention she needed and she was forever grateful. She received medicine for the HIV and was pretty much treated like the kitty queen she was! Gypsy was grateful beyond meows and loved her new family very much. She rewarded them by snuggling with them on the couch or sitting on her lap and purring each night. True story


None of these stories would have turned out the way they had if it hadn’t been for the people who went above and beyond to create a better life, a better world for those involved. In many cases, like with our family who came from far away, many people came together and gave their time to help make a new life possible for an entire group of people. In cases like Nina and Gypsy, one person made all the difference in another’s world. 

Sending a smile. Showing you care.

 

 

 


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