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Using Social Media to Support Sandy Victims

Posted By Jen Reeves On November 5, 2012 @ 11:32 am In The Download | Comments Disabled

[1]Hurricane Sandy roared into the East Coast during my first week as the AARP’s new social media [2] trainer. I noticed how many people were sharing incorrect information on social media and wrote a post explaining ways [3] you can check the information you share with friends. In the aftermath of the storm and the growing crisis to provide assistance to thousands of people in 12 different states, I wanted to reach out and help. Luckily I’m friends with a leader at the Red Cross [4] who encouraged me to jump in as a digital volunteer at the organization’s Washington, DC headquarters. I had to extend my stay here thanks to the storm, so I loved the chance to help.

The Red Cross has an operations center that tracks messages and helps a digital team target locations and needs across the storm ravaged areas. I had the opportunity to help listen to questions, requests and needs on Facebook [5], Twitter [6] and Instagram [7]. (That’s me in the picture with a purple and white shirt.)

The one thing I found remarkable about social media in a crisis is how helpful and challenging it can be at the same time. If the Red Cross did not have a team of people listening to the online conversations, locations in need could have been missed. And there are SO many portions of the East Coast in need. I may not be a Red Cross volunteer who can travel to help, but I feel like I was able to make a difference from behind a computer screen. There are so many emotions running high during this difficult time.

JEN’S SOCIAL MEDIA TIP: If you are interested in participating in the Red Cross Digital Volunteer program, you can learn more at this link [8]. If you are interested in giving to victims of Superstorm Sandy, you are welcome to take part in the AARP Foundation’s matching fundraiser [9]. If you can help raise $500,000, the AARP Foundation will match it. I also collected many different resources to volunteer and donate on the Red Cross Facebook page [5].

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, did you catch yourself volunteering or donating your time or money in a different way? We’d love to hear from you.

[Photo credit: Laura Howe, American Red Cross [10]]

Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/11/05/using-social-media-to-support-sandy-victims/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://aarpblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/8150928148_fdbfcd6e54_o.jpg

[2] AARP’s new social media: http://www.aarp.org/technology/social-media/

[3] wrote a post explaining ways: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/10/30/social-media-lessons-from-hurricane-sandy/

[4] Red Cross: http://redcross.org

[5] Facebook: http://facebook.com/redcross

[6] Twitter: http://twitter.com/redcross

[7] Instagram: http://statigr.am/viewer.php#/user/24280769/

[8] learn more at this link: http://blog.redcross.org/disaster-digital-volunteer-training/

[9] AARP Foundation’s matching fundraiser: https://secure2.convio.net/aarp1/site/Donation2?df_id=8380&8380.donation=form1&cmp=LNK-FDN-110112-ReliefEffort

[10] Laura Howe, American Red Cross: http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanredcross/8150928148/

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