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Ways to help Hurricane Harvey Efforts

Over the last week, we have all seen the devastation Hurricane Harvey left in its wake on the news and social media. I know many of us want to help, and while you might be familiar with some of the more mainstream ways to donate, I have compiled a list of some other ways you can donate or help thanks to the power of crowdsourcing amongst my Facebook friends! If you know of any others, please feel free to add them to the comments below!

hurricane.jpg

photo by WikiImages

  • Mennonite Disaster Service: While they are unable to accept material donations at this time, they are accepting donations and also have a link if you are interested in volunteering.

 

  • Samaritan’s Purse: Samaritan’s Purse has disaster units there. You can follow the link to donate, learn more, and sign up to volunteer.

 

  • Undies for Everyone: Want to provide a specific donation but don’t know where to start? Undies for Everyone is accepting donations for underwear for those that have lost everything. You can purchase by going through the Amazon link or learn more on their Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

  • Church of the Highlands: This listing was sent by a friend who has a friend in the church. They are on the ground in the Houston area and have been, coordinating with other churches in the area to provide help. 100% of donation goes to the effort, nothing towards overhead.
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Pregnancy tests are just not funny

April Fool’s Day is a day of elaborate jokes and pranking. Heck, I have participated in my fair share of fairly epic pranks. However, there is one “joke” that gets pulled year after year, and it is never funny. That “joke” in question is a fake pregnancy announcement.

pregnancy test stick

Photo by Steid for Pixabay

I use “joke” loosely in the above statement because it really is no joke at all. On April Fool’s Day after I had my first miscarriage, one of my Facebook friends, posted a pregnancy test on her wall. I am sure she thought of it as a harmless prank, but it felt like a kick in the gut. Here is this chick basically saying, “Ha Ha. Psyche! I am not really pregnant. Pregnancy is soooo hilarious, you all.” All I kept feeling was how my body failed me, how I was supposed to be a few months away from having my sweet baby, and all I had was an empty womb and a still broken heart.

Women grieve differently. Some women who are struggling with infertility or suffered miscarriages can see this and not be affected. I am not one of them. My back to back losses made me feel like a failure. They ripped my heart apart. I fell apart. I had nightmares. In fact, I still have nightmares sometimes, and it has been over four years since my last loss. For many women, this “joke” acts as a trigger, a reminder of how our bodies have not given us what we wanted, a reminder of what we have lost.

I have written about my losses quite a bit, as well as my journey to my rainbow baby. I have done it because miscarriage is still a somewhat taboo subject, and many people are still insensitive about the subject. My losses spiraled me to a very dark point in my life. The feelings from my losses made me want to rip my heart out to ease the hurt inside me. So I wrote and wrote and wrote…to heal…to share…and to help others understand.

There are plenty of jokes that you can try for April Fool’s Day, but don’t be a jerk. “Jokes” like a fake pregnancy announcement can really hurt someone you love, someone who may be struggling with infertility or someone who may have miscarried. Because these are subjects that are not always shared, you may not even know about their struggles, so find something else. Don’t be insensitive. Be funny. Be creative. Don’t be a jerk on April Fool’s Day.

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How to Leave your Facebook Newsfeed and Get What You Need!

Social media has made its way into our lives in such a way that it is almost a part of us it seems at times. Being a blogger, social media is my best way to connect with readers and gain new readership, so leaving one of the big Social Media players like Facebook seems utterly impossible. However, this past year, with the election and all, I want to do just that. I dream of deactivating my account once and for all. Then I realize that as a blogger, I would just be shooting myself in the foot. Then I also realize that ALL of our homeschool groups are also on Facebook, and we do like our homeschool activities. I tried to just ignore the newsfeed when I would do social media on there or look up group stuff, but somehow I would get sucked into it over and over. This past weekend, I decided to make a change. To be honest, all of the constant bickering and bashing is just not good for my well-being, and I do not feel like engaging in it. If you are in a similar position, here are simple ways to step away from your newsfeed but keep involved in what you need.

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Until recently, I did not realize that Facebook had a group app. I knew they had a page app, and I know about the messenger app. However, there is also a handy little app for groups. Once you download those apps onto your phone or tablet, you do not need Facebook. You can sign out forever if you would like. Sign into your group app, messenger app, and page app, and voila! You have access to your page and group content. Plus you can use Messenger too. Messenger is still handy if you are active in groups. You can choose to receive notifications. While I have had a few glitches, for the most part, it has been simple to use. One thing to remember is for the groups app, make sure that you have notifications turned on for the groups in which you want to stay in contact the most. You can still search your groups from the app, but it is easier to just have the notifications appear without it.

I miss silly Star Wars memes every once in a while, but I do have Instagram still. Instagram, at least my Instagram accounts, are much more drama free. I know it might seem silly that I am even writing all of this, but the thing is that because social media has become such a part of our lives, it really can wear down a person. Leaving it does not mean that I care any less about some of the issues that are hot topics there. It just means that stepping back from it gives me a clearer head so that I can be a better person and even a better activist for the causes I hold dear to my heart.

Even if you are not in the mindset of leaving Facebook, please remember to step back when you feel things are getting heated. Clear your mind.Don’t get trapped in social media.

If you liked this article, please share! Sharing is caring!

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Guide to Getting Started in Social Media- Facebook Giveaways

social media guide imageI am not the foremost leading expert on social media by any means. However, I have been involved in social media for a few years. I started because of my party planning business, but now I use social media for my business and my blog. I help other companies get the word out about their products, and I help other businesses learn how to make social media work for them. Utilizing social media can be confusing, so over the next several weeks, I decided to cover some important tips and information to help those of you with businesses and/or blogs utilize social media outlets better.

This is a BIG NO-NO on Facebook!

This is a BIG NO-NO on Facebook!

I decided to start here because I have been seeing these pop up more and more lately, and if you have a Facebook page for your business or blog, you may be tempted to do this. I want to discuss with you why you shouldn’t.

Facebook changes their rules frequently about what you can and cannot do as a page owner. They change their algorithms as well, and just when you think you have it all figured out, they change it again! It’s frustrating to create a page, constantly create content for it, and then find out that only a handful of your followers have even seen it. You might be tempted to run a contest on your page to get more “likes” or traffic to your page in hopes that it will translate into page views for your website or blog. However, those contests violate the new terms of Facebook that rolled out in the fall of 2014 and running a contest like that could get your page removed. The new terms eliminate “like gating,” where one is forced to like a page in order to enter a contest. If you run a contest via Facebook, you may tell someone they have to comment on a post to win. However, you cannot make “liking” a page or “sharing” a post as a way of entry. You also must have a disclosure on the giveaway that says that Facebook is not connected with the giveaway and provides the terms of the giveaway. You can find the whole set of rules under Page Features: Promotions and in the Developers section where it talks about “Changes to Platform Policy.”

Personally, I don’t really like to run contests via Facebook. There are too many fake pages out there that run “Like and Share” giveaways as phishing scams. I don’t want to do anything that would hurt the integrity of my page. I have tried testing the Rafflecopter app over the holidays to see how that would work for my page. For that, you can have people visit your page as an entry, but they are not required to like it. If you have other means of social media ie: a blog, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, it might be more beneficial for you to explore Rafflecopter as an option to run giveaways.

While it might be frustrating that people are not seeing your posts, please remember that Facebook is only one avenue of many for social media and a free one at that. To maximize your organic reach, try looking at your stats and perhaps try posting at different times to see if you get more traffic that way.

Remember that just because you see others do something doesn’t mean you should too, especially if the risk means that you might lose all your hard work.