As I compose this blog, our nation is transfixed by the crisis occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalist domestic terrorists were protesting; lives were lost, people were injured, and divisions among people in our nation seem (to me) to have only widened.
Wiser and more prominent voices have addressed these events better than I could (but I still have something to say at the end of this post).
In the meantime, I have had several experiences this week — opportunities to pay some social media love forward and opportunities to benefit from people’s generosity (such as the thread Berrak created in LinkedIn for those of us looking for jobs) — and want to share those with you. I call it the “grab bag.”
A vendor who deserves some attention
My sweet and incredible friend Rachel asked us to follow her brother-in-law, Jordan (a/k/a watwoodshop), on Instagram. He makes beautiful cutting boards like this one. According to his Instagram profile, they are $40 and you order by DMing him on Instagram.
Here’s what to do: Follow Jordan’s WatWoodShop on Instagram by clicking here.
A REALLY cute dog who needs followers
I have helped promote Melissa Lamson’s work for the past few years through my responsibilities with Weaving Influence. We were talking the other day about her irresistibly adorable French bulldog, Rocky (bluefrenchierocky), and how Rocky needs more followers on Instagram (okay, to be specific, she wants Rocky to have more followers on Instagram. It’s almost as though she speaks for him!). Here he is:
Here’s what to do: Follow Rocky on Instagram by clicking here.
A fun local Twitter account that issued a challenge
I am admittedly more of a wine person than a beer person BUT I am a sucker for people who love with they do and enjoy making our community a more fun place. As soon as TLHBeerSociety reached 300 followers and challenged the Twitterverse to help get them to 400, I was in!
Here’s what to do: Follow TLH Beer Society on Twitter by clicking here.
An opportunity to commit an act of kindness and help the You Matter Marathon
The You Matter Marathon, where participants share a “you matter” card each day in November, is entering its second year (here’s a look back at last year). The You Matter Marathon has big plans to distribute a million “you matter” cards in November 2017.
The YMM is one of the causes being featured by the Kind Foundation this month. If it earn the most “votes” (votes are generated by people doing acts of kindness), it will be rewarded with $10,000! (printing and postage add up when the goal is a million cards.)
Here’s what to do: Do an act of kindness and help the You Matter Marathon earn a vote; click here for details.
An opportunity to support a worthy candidate for political office
My incredible friend Nicolette is running for Orange County Commission District 4. It’s a non-partisan seat. She’s running (in my opinion) for all the right reasons, but a campaign for public office is neither low-stress nor low-budget.
Here’s what to do: If you live in Nicolette’s district (Orange County District 4), vote for her (or at least vote). Whether or not you live in the district, use this link to donate if you are so inclined. (AND, if you are local to me in Tallahassee, support the Women Can Run event — I know they would appreciate scholarship donations too.)
I know some MidLifers Who Need Millennials and Vice Versa
I am excited to be participating in the Bridging the Gap campaign this fall; the campaign pairs Midlife women with Millennial women in an effort to “bring the ‘over the hill’ wall down.” Each partner will do a blog post featuring the other. I have a feeling lots of new friendships will be forged!
Here’s what to do: I am in preliminary discussions with two millennial bloggers to be my partner, but I am not positive either will pan out. If you are a millennial blogger (you have to have a blog and a public Instagram account) interested in participating, let me know! (Even if I have a partner already, I am happy to try to introduce you to a midlife blogger in search of a partner.)
My Personal Requests
Although I always say I blog to flex my writing muscle, I’d be lying if I said comments don’t matter! I was so fascinated by the story of Moss H. Kendrix, who I blogged about recently, and would love to get a few more eyes on it (and comments!). Here’s the link.
I am also still searching for additional part-time work (from 1:00 until (?) every day). It might be virtual, it might be somewhere in Tallahasssee. It might be writing/editing, it might be something completely different (I love providing stellar customer service). If you have any leads, send them my way! (And thank you to those who already have.) Here’s a link with more info.
What’s In It For You?
My main hope is that some deserving people (and dogs!) get followed, some worthy causes supported. To up the ante on that, I’ll treat one of you to coffee at Starbucks (via a $5 gift code)! Honor system — you don’t have to tell me who/what you supported, just that you did. You can also earn an entry by leaving a comment with your recommendation for who/what my readers and I should follow/support.
Back to Charlottesville, Unfortunately
I do believe that there are voices more wise and prominent than mine, as I said in this post’s introduction, BUT here’s what I want to say:
White privilege and racism are real and alive in our country today. I’ve written about white privilege here and how my views about how #BlackLivesMatter evolved here.
As I said on my Facebook wall earlier (slightly modified here), the actions we can take in response to racism are myriad. Some of them DO involve public statements, speeches, blogs, and overtures. Others involve much more tiny, yet influential, choices: speaking up when you’re in a conversation and someone says something that denigrates another race/gender/status, giving $5 or 5 minutes to a cause (such as Being Black at School or Equality Florida) that helps support the very difficult work of overcoming racism (and yes, dismantling the inequities that white privilege has created).
Let’s not leave our fellow human beings holding the bag on this.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Hi! I followed Rocky on Instagram and gave lots of love on pics. I would suggest you check out differentisequal dot com! Love what they do and have worked with them!
I am also interested in your Midlife and Millennial idea!
Paula Kiger (@biggreenpen) says
Yay!! I know Rocky will be PAWsitively thrilled! I’ll follow up with the rest when I’m done traveling!!
Sounds great have safe travels and yes Rocky is a ROCK STAR!
Aimee West says
Followed the TLHBeerSociety because that is great! Followed watwoodshop because that is such an art form and I love to give unique gifts! Great idea. Not a blogger but if you ever want to colab on something – let me know!
Paula E Kiger says
AH! I’m sure we could figure out a collab! We need to cook up some Tally/Michigan beer exchange thing! 🙂
I love the Bridging the Gap campaign! What a great idea.
Paula E Kiger says
Right? I think it’s exciting!
I could never turn down a person of your grace and kindness. Plus, your Green Pen still carries power in my book. I also can’t refuse to follow an ADORABLE French bulldog (since we are a pug family, I’m easily hooked by Frenchies). I’d be happy to sponsor a blogger on my end, if you need partners.
Paula E Kiger says
Isn’t Rocky adorable? And thx for your encouragement about the partnership. I sent you some more info via FB!
Kate | Life of a Ginger says
I followed Rocky and watwoodshop on IG. Great idea!! Thank you.
Paula Kiger says
Yay! I am sure they appreciate it! 🙂
Simply Southern Girl says
love this! followed Rock and the watwoodshop! you know id be happy to partner with you for blogging anytime..
Paula Kiger says
Aw – I think you’ll enjoy those follows!! Maybe can team up for a partnership sometime!! (I ended up with one for the midlife/millennial event but there will be others I am sure!!).
l LOVE this idea, Paula. I am so borrowing it for the future.
Paula Kiger says
Yay! Can’t wait to see what you include! 🙂