A Time to Help

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Visions and Actions; Focus and Perspective January 2, 2011


Bradley states, “Visions and actions can be formulated in various ways and with various focuses and perspectives – physical and psychosocial life environment, human needs, human requirements and human rights.  These are and will be challenged in the ICT society with opportunities and risks.  We have new chances to deepen human qualities and social qualities, and bring people around the world closer together.” (p. 234)


In wrapping up my blog entries for my Social and Community Informatics course, I find like with all my other courses, sad to see it over ~ yet I’ve come away with a whole new breadth of what I want to do, what I want to accomplish.  I have a Bucket List for 2011 that ICTs will play a major part in.


#1 – I will finish my Bachelors by the end of the summer.  Possibly, soon after that, I may pursue my Masters.  In an ICT society, I have been able to complete 12 courses since Fall of 2009, with another 4 slated for the upcoming semester. Through Empire State College (ESC), I’ve been in classes with people in various parts of the country and around the world.  One of my professors is even located in Florence, Italy.


#2 – Create a photo blog.  Similar to the premise of the movie Julie and Julia.  It’s going to be a “Me” thing so to speak.  I absolutely, love, love, love photography … in particular digital photography.  There are so many styles and techniques to be able to experiment with.  It will be a photo a day, and maybe at the end I’ll make my own little coffee table book.


#3 – My family plans on hosting another exchange student.  Remembering back to the early 80’s when I was in high school and we hosted a student.  I believe ‘snail mail’ allowed us 1 or 2 letter exchanges before Fabiola arrived.  Now, with the use of Facebook and Skype, finding out about our student and her finding out about us can be done quickly and easily.  Her family and friends will be able to keep track of her through digital pictures posted to Facebook and Webshots.   “We have new chances to deepen human qualities and social qualities, and bring people around the world, closer together.”  (p. 234)  Sending your under 18-year old child half way around the world to a family you have never met before is a stressful and brave action.  I’m glad that there are these venues that can make those at home feel a little more connected.


#4 – Surpassing my fundraising goal for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, from my 2010 mark.  By one month into 2010, 4 people I knew were diagnosed with cancer.  By the end of the year, I truly lost track of the number of new cases I heard about ~ and sadly, there were those who lost their battle as well.  Raising money for ACS is only a small thing that can help them carry on their services to patients and families.


I set a personal goal of $1,500 for last year.  I sent emails to businesses around the greater Capital District.  I ended up with over 40 wonderful prizes!  By ways of my blog, my fundraiser page and Facebook, I was able to promote the sales of the raffle tickets and ended up raising $1,492.


#5 – Still turning to social informatics/social media ~ I will continue to promote activities surrounding volunteer opportunities and needs with the food pantry and ACS.  But, I also plan to find a new cause or two to add.  Paying it Forward is my motto for the new year, new decade.  Not everything costs money, not everything needs to be a financial donation (though if one has the ability ~ let them keep coming in!).  The donation of your time can be a gift that money can’t match.


Sit down at your computer, Google “Volunteer Opportunities” and see what you come up with.  Or, go to Volunteer Match, where you can search by geographic location or volunteer opportunity.  I’ll close with one of my favorite songs.  It inspires me with a vision and to take action; it gives me a focus and puts things in perspective.  There are so many opportunities to make brighter tomorrows for someone’s bleak today.

Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days


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