“It’s bigger than you. You need to be real. You need to give back to the community.”
These are all mantras that digital strategists preach to their clients daily, trying to get them to focus away from the bottom line for a minute. That is where the true heart of social media lies: when you give something of yourself to others.
It is also the motivation that inspires us to volunteer in our communities. I have always tried to give back in some way over the years, including a new role on the marketing communications board for the local chapter of the American Heart/Stroke Association (Oregon/Southwest Washington).
In meeting with the inspiring Rebecca Fancher for my “orientation,” I realized how much heart disease and strokes have touched those in my life. Those experiences didn’t directly bring me to the organization, but they certainly give it added significance.
Fancher is the Communications Director for Oregon and Southwest Washington. She explained how heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States; strokes are No. 3.
- Heart disease: 616,067
- Cancer: 562,875
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is a national network of chapters trying to change those numbers by raising awareness, fundraising for research, and educating us about how to try and lead healthier lifestyles. The stress and unhealthy foods that often accompany our more sedentary modern lifestyles are all risk factors.
I am excited about the small role I may provide in helping to spread the word about a great organization and an important cause. Many of us have good deeds we try to accomplish where there is no direct benefit to us; we just feel compelled to do it.
To me, it is the same joy I get in connecting with others through social media. I am so blessed to be helped by others on a regular basis, and love to return the favor. It is the “Pay It Forward” mentality, one based on The Golden Rule most of us try to follow. It is truly humbling to experience it.