Would you join us 8/25th to make a difference for the Gulf?

Posted: August 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s a tremendous show of partnership for Social Media Club to be supporting CitizenEffect’s National Day of Action next week on Wednesday, August 25th. It’s fantastic.

Are you in the Washington, DC area? If so, please join the local SMC-DC chapter at a meetup 8/25th, as apart of a National Day of Action and fundraising effort for Gulf children’s education.
Are you outside DC or in a different region all together? Perfect! Other cities are participating too next week, complete with jazz, friends, Hurricanes, and great conversation on helping the Gulf recover.

Some reasons why we’re inviting you to participate:

Last month I joined a nonprofit called CitizenEffect for their fact-finding mission trip to the Gulf – or called #CitizenGulf on Twitter. The goal was to learn directly from fishing families about how they’d been impacted by the BP oil spill (and also learn from local nonprofits supporting the Gulf region).

We saw a lot that was both humbling and difficult to observe.

After meeting fishing families in Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish one day, we stopped by a 9th Ward neighborhood. Many homes had been leveled or abandoned since Hurricane Katrina (of which the 5th year anniversary occurs next week). Either way, several vacant homes still stood as reminders of Katrina’s ruination.

Katrina house1

We then continued on to Pensacola, Florida to discuss the oil spill’s impact with locals there and inspect beachfronts. Our team scoped out Casino Beach in particular, pictured below, and its tar balls rolling up on the sand (…my foot in comparison to a tar ball).

beach tar ball sneaker

Fishing families had just started to rebound from Katrina, then the oil spill emerged…

Would you join DC’s Social Media Club chapter and CitizenEffect to create next steps for Gulf fishing families? It’s all happening on an awesome National Day of Action, Wednesday, August 25th.

If you’re in DC, please RSVP and we look forward to seeing you.

If you want to host a meetup or join your local SMC chapter, please check to see what may already be organized on the National Day of Action in your city.

How your efforts benefit children of Gulf fishing families (plus more ways to help)

In addition to planning meetups with friends and Social Media Club per above, you’re welcome to donate anytime or vote for a PepsiRefresh project to benefit Gulf communities. All funds raised through the CitizenGulf National Day of Action will be donated to Catholic Charities of New Orleans (less processing fees) for their After School Assembly program.

Thanks again Social Media Club for your great help in creating more possibilities for this region and these families.

Reflections: CitizenEffect’s National Day of Action on 8/25th

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »


After completing CitizenEffect’s Gulf Mission last month, called #CitizenGulf on Twitter, I returned home to Washington, DC grateful for the chance to have learned about the oil spill first-hand. Yet feelings of overwhelm and strain overshadowed appreciation for that newly gained insight. Processing the spill’s environmental, financial complexity had left my emotions bewildered.

The upside was CitizenEffect’s response to the trip: a National Day of Action on August 25th. People across the country will meetup in their communities and host events to raise funds for children of Gulf fishing families.

Please join us for this Day of Action later this month (…with music, friends, more).

Some context:

Our fact-finding blogger team had spent 4.5 days meeting Gulf fishing families and learning the oil spill’s impact from their viewpoint. Nonprofits including Catholic Charities of New Orleans spent a lot of time introducing us to local areas in need – the fishing families standing in line at community centers awaiting grocery money and the out-of-work deck hands helping to keep oil from entering the inner marshes.

I have not encountered such vulnerability and strength all at once as seen in these communities. The fishing industry in Louisiana parishes is precarious at best. Fishermen that we met would express relief their children were not planning to work on Gulf fishing boats, saying:

“There’s nothing for our kids in this business; it’s gone.”

The thought of one’s profession evaporating overnight finally began to take hold in my mind, launching those feelings of overwhelm. I began to consider what it would be like to have one’s livelihood abruptly not exist (not just the job itself but the entire profession that created it).

What would that look like? What alternatives would exist?

I work online a lot, so the hypothetical equivalent (…as hard as this hypothetical is to imagine) would be to wake up one day to a world without the Internet. My ego would like to think my husband and I would carve out a way and be ok, but we both work heavily on the web. So relocating, re-thinking skill sets, or creating new marketable skills would immediately be required. But how? We shop online. We order food online. We work online. We commune online. What would be sustaining options with immediate, long term income?

It would be a huge paradigm shift that would scare the daylights out of my family.

And many Gulf fishermen and their families are confronting this type of metaphorical severity. But instead of the Internet, it’s the Gulf habitat at stake.

Can we join together and help Gulf families and their children? Yes.

For Citizen Gulf’s National Day of Action on August 25th there are a few ways to help children of Gulf fishing families: you can host a meetup in your city on 8/25th or donate directly anytime that will go to CitizenEffect’s partner charity for CitizenGulf — Catholic Charities in New Orleans. Another way to help is to vote for a Pepsi Refresh project benefiting Gulf communities.

Photo, St. Bernard Fisherman-Kerry, by Geoff Livingston, Creative Commons