#GivingTuesday: Social Media & Nonprofits


I started working on a project in fall of 2011, I had a lot of planning to do and just graduating college, I found it hard to focus on anything else but finding a career. After really getting to know the marketing side of social media, I have noticed a huge impact on funding for non-profits. Social media is a huge contributor for raising awareness and money for any cause if used correctly.

Just before my 17th birthday, I had my first seizure while at work. It was a miracle that I did not have one while driving home that night. When I woke up in the hospital, I did not know what was going on and all I remember was my mom and friend crying. Not sure how to feel, I started crying too. It was a huge disappointment when I had a few more seizures later that month. After multiple medical tests, the diagnosis was Epilepsy.

At that point, I was so down about life. It was hard to focus on school, sports and a social life. I was so worried about my health and about what others would think about me. I just got my license and it was a huge let down when I was unable to drive. Driving is every teen’s independence and to have it stripped away so fast was just very depressing.

Everyone said “you’ll be able to drive again,” but every time I was almost six months seizure-free (which in the state of Illinois, you need to meet that specific milestone to get a clearance to drive), I would have another seizure. It was a long journey to get stabilized. There was a lot of trials with medications and many restrictions. I really felt like I was a child again, I couldn’t be home alone, eat alone, shower when no one was home, cook alone, or drive. I had to depend on everyone to get to where I needed to go or to get what I wanted.

Finally after a year of having multiple seizures in a month, my Epilepsy finally became controlled and I was able to go to college and work again. I was extremely fortunate to have family and friends who helped me get around and played a huge part in my success.

Not a lot of people have that. So I started a project called Road 2 Independence. The mission is to make sure that everyone affected by Epilepsy has reliable transportation to meet their needs. This includes transportation to school, work, stores, doctor appointments, family visits & social functions.

It takes a lot of time and money to start a non-profit, although it is my goal, raising awareness for Epilepsy through @r2independence and raising funds for the Epilepsy Foundation to find a cure is a start.

How does social media tie in?

In honor of National Epilepsy Month, Check out the Epilepsy Foundation’s Facebook Campaign, “Now I Know.

Find out about #GivingTuesday™, a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

Give back to others with Epilepsy who need your help to gain independence!

Join the conversation on Twitter for #GivingTuesday, Novemeber 27, 2012. Find out how you can get involved.

And don’t forget to learn social media for nonprofits from the expert, Beth Kanter, one of the most influential women in technology, a nonprofit social media guru and author. Beth is an internationally recognized trainer who has developed and implemented effective sector capacity building programs that help organizations integrate social media, network building, and relationship marketing best practices.

Thanks for listening 🙂

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