Every day I hear businesses question the power of Social Media and worry about what it can really do for ROI.
Well, I’m putting business aside today to talk about what Social Media can do for morale. For hope. For love of a friend. For compassion from a stranger.
If you have not read or seen the story of Jack Jablonski, a 16-year-0ld sophomore at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in the Twin Cities — he was tragically hurt in a HS hockey game last Friday. After surgery this week, the doctors have said he has some movement in his right shoulder and bicep, but due to a spinal cord injury the rest of his body remains paralyzed. There is some hope that he will be able to feed himself and drive a wheel chair. See the full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/05/jack-jablonski-paralyzed-hockey-high-school-injury_n_1187684.html?ref=sports
While Jack (aka Jabby) and his family — Mom Leslie, Dad Mike, brother Max — rally by his side, it seems his teammates, classmates, the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the Midwest and the U.S. are trying to rally their spirits.
Via Social Media friends, family, strangers have been able to send their best wishes, hopes, prayers to the Jablonskis. Jack went from a few hundred friends on Facebook to 5002 (as of this writing). There’s been 240,304 visits to CaringBridge.com to wish him well. #jabs has trended on Twitter. The Minnesota Wild even have a ticker item on their site – just click on Jablonski.
His friends started a groundswell of hope that has been passed on. High Schools around the Midwest have worn white for Jack. Hockey families everywhere — who I’m sure know it could just have easily happened to them — have rallied and sent prayers, best wishes and contributions. At a time in the U.S. where folks have been out of jobs or unsure of their future — complete strangers have shown that compassion and humanity still abound.
The Wells Fargo Bank has even started a Jack Jablonski Fund (8200 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN 55427 – if you’re interested).
For those who want to reach out and offer support at a time when it’s clear there’s not a lot you can do, at least Social Media (driven by Jack’s friends), shows the Jablonski family they are not alone.
Since the Jablonski’s are my friends, it’s nice to know that there’s a ray of light in this tragedy from the compassion and support of friends and complete strangers. And, while they face everything that will come with Jack’s new life and theirs — may this outpouring buoy their spirits and hopes. We’re with you, Jack!
PS: A website is now up and running for donations: www.jabby13.com. Thanks.
PSS: Some great news this weekend! http://kaaltv.com/article/stories/s2443321.shtml