Saturday, April 17, 2010

How Do I Look Someone in the Eye Through a Blog?

"How Do I Look Someone in the Eye Through a Blog?"

A spirited young lady asked me this question at a "Blogging for a Cause" workshop I hosted today at the Global Engagement Summit. This conference brings together students from around the world who have game-changing ideas about how to make the world a better place.

Her question made me think about confidence, courage and action. It reminded me that the single most important quality of a virtual or online community is that we come together and inspire change.

The remarkable students in the workshop have already started projects that will change our future -- projects that will likely advance the international relief efforts of the Red Cross when their NGOs take root. They will lead the organizations that someday the Red Cross may partner with to unravel the knots tightened by disaster -- knots that simply cannot be untangled by any organization alone.

In my time at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, I've been humbled by the incredible amount of work that gets done by volunteers and organizations working together, much like the students in the workshop. Their impact stems not from great ideas, but from having the courage to get started immediately when people need food, water, shelter, care and comfort after a disaster.

They assess the need around them, they open their hearts and they take action.

Volunteers acting immediately. That is a great idea.

And the blog? Well, that's just one more place we come together to get started, isn't it?

National Volunteer Week starts tomorrow. Honor those who take action. Take action yourself.

Whether your idea is big or your first action small, get started, for goodness sake.

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