The Dragonfly Effect Hits Sacramento
A few weeks ago, I was catching up on a friend's blog. I read her blog more religiously these days because she and her husband are walking through a very difficult journey. Lesley and I met on the leadership team for Social Media Club Sacramento a couple of years ago. She retired from the team last summer to focus on being a mom to her adorable newborn Anna and then shortly thereafter, her husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. I don't see Lesley as often as I used to; her blog lets me connect with her in a richer way than I can via Twitter or Facebook.
Back to the blog...that day, I read Lesley's post encouraging people to register to be a bone marrow donor through the Be The Match program. Years ago (about 20!) I signed up for the National Marrow Donor Program but three States and two last name changes later, I doubted that they would still be able to locate me if I was found to be a match. I was touched by Lesley's post and it spurred me to consider registering again. But because I love social media, charitable causes and Sacramento so much, I wasn't about to do this alone! So what did I do? I tweeted.
" Do you think we could organize a bone marrow donor event via ? Kind of a social media experiment? Went to one yrs ago." Within the hour, four people tweeted back that they would like to help organize a marrow donor registry drive-- including BloodSource, a non-profit blood bank that in addition to collecting blood donations, also collects samples for the Be the Match registry. That was two weeks ago.
We continued to collaborate, exchanging ideas via twitter and email and then held a conference call last week. By then, two more had joined the planning team; we were now seven with a cause! At the end of the 45 minute call, we had an event plan, a marketing communications & PR plan and a venue. Today we created the event webpage on Eventbrite and are optimistic that on March 6th, our campaign will result in 60 new registrants for the Be the Match registry. In addition to new registrants, our campaign will help to raise awareness about the need for more bone marrow donors.
So can I really claim "dragonfly effect" just yet? I can in that through social media we've already mobilized a small group that wants to take big action to #DoGood in our community and that small group has taken steps to plan and execute a marrow donor registry drive. Stay tuned for "the rest of the story"-- the outcome of our March 6th "Social Media to Save Lives: Marrow Donor Registry Drive." And maybe down the line, our effort will result in a life-saving match! If you are in Sacramento that day, we hope you will stop by The Urban Hive to get more information about the program and join the registry (it's free!); we'll even have appetizers donated by Republic Bar and Grill and fresh squeezed Lemonade and Iced Tea donated by Chick-fil-A Arden Fair. Prizes? Did someone say prizes? This is SMCSac so there there are going to be prizes! Lesley's been working with local businesses like TreyBCakes and Laughs Unlimited to collect goodies for grab bags for everyone who stops in. You can help us out by signing up to attend the event in advance; this will let us know how many BloodSource staff and collection kits we'll need to make sure everyone who wants to join the registry that day can.
P.S. For those of you who get squeamish when we start talking about blood and bone marrow, you don't have to give a blood sample to join the registry -- it's just a swab of your cheek!
P.P.S. Lesley and her husband got some great news last week! His recent PET scan showed no cancer is his body!