Category Archives: Social Responsibility

Invisible Children :: Nonprofit Video for Social Change

This post has two parts, actually. First, we’ll discuss a good CGM video shared recently in PROpenMic. Then, we’ll look at how the person that posted the video entered the social network and started to engage with people.

First, the video. Continue reading


Allison Wetherbee on Fox 6 in B’ham :: Absolutely Alabama :: Another Reason I Go On and On About Camp ASCCA

I think that anyone who ever meets Allison Wetherbee comes away with a clear realization … she is a terrific person. Having her return to Camp ASCCA, as the director of public relations, may go down as one of the brightest decisions ever made for camp. I think this video proves that.

Allison was recently interviewed by Fred Hunter, Fox6 News in Birmingham, for their Absolutely Alabama series.

Allison shares how camp helped her over the years, trying anything new that she had her heart set upon doing. Since being a camper, Allison has gone on to earn a masters degree in counseling and served for almost 13 years in practice, before returning to Camp ASCCA.

I have to admit, I got a little tear thinking about Allison as a camper and now – the ASCCA PR director. It is a sweet story. She is the spokesperson for camp, and does a terrific job.

Watch the video now. (Click image below for a popup.) I have to say, Fred and the videographer/editor do terrific work. A great video. Thank you Fox6!

Now do you understand why I can’t help but talk about Camp ASCCA? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Camp ASCCA Fund Drive Update

I am going to be adding this image to all posts, for awhile. My hope it to test the success of ChipIn widgets on behalf of Camp ASCCA..

Yes, I am an unashamed advocate for Camp ASCCA. I was a counselor there well before any of my students were born. The camp changed my life. It changes the lives of campers, and the students that work there, each and every day of each and every year.

I still remember my first campers. Robin & Vincent were about twelve years old. Their disabilities? Profound mental retardation, epilepsy with grand mal (Tonic-clonic) seizures and rigid (Dystonic) cerebral palsy. Some might suggest that such campers couldn’t really benefit from a camp experience. Hey, I was one of them, upon meeting Robin & Vincent that first day. But, that quickly changed. Continue reading

Shea Snider :: She Will Change the World … for the Better

You tend to remember your students. Some more than others, I imagine. There are so many, you know.

I believe you tend to remember the ones that you know – upon first meeting them – will likely change the world. These are the students that were so funny, so lively, so … overwhelmingly enthusiastic about life … well, you couldn’t get them out of your memories – even if you tried. Not that I would try, of course.

Shea Snider is one student that fits that description, for me.Shea and her Mom - Cindy Snider

Shea, and her many friends, made class a joy and … um, an experience. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Shea proved true on her promise of success. I knew she would. Shea’s the press secretary for U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL, 3rd District).

I’m willing to bet you that Shea is one of the most popular people on Capitol Hill. Seriously. This woman lights up a room when she enters.

Well, now Shea is participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Her story is compelling. Shea returned home on her first day of senior year in high school to a frightening reality. That first day is supposed to be the beginning of one of the most fun and memorable years of your life. It turned out to be even more memorable for Shea, for another reason altogether.

Shea writes, “I came home to a daddy with red puffy eyes and my strong mother sitting together. She had been to the doctor that day and it was confirmed that she had breast cancer. This same deadly disease kept me from ever being able to meet my maternal grandmother, Bobbie Royal Champion. My mother, Cindy Snider, had a single mastectomy, chemotherapy treatments and kept a good attitude on life and a smile on her face. It has been almost ten years since she was diagnosed and she has had wonderful reports from her oncologist since.” (Source)

That’s a wonderful story – particularly the ending. So, I’ve been moved to support Shea in her walk. Maybe you will, too. Visit Shea’s Avon Walk page and read more about her prep for the walk.

I just wanted to share this little story about Shea. She’s one of our more memorable graduates. We love her and wish her well in the Avon Walk. Take care, Shea.

Britt Bravo Believes :: Have Fun, Do Good :: Nonprofit Use of Social Media

While we’re considering nonprofit related blogs, I wanted to to share this recent find – an excellent example. Several students have mentioned working in the nonprofit sector, this semester. One just posted about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, let’s explore how nonprofits have been using social media in their daily PR and marketing activities.

From Oakland, California, we discover a great site. This one will be particularly interesting for those students thinking about a future in nonprofit work.Britt Bravo

Meet Britt Bravo of Have Fun โ€ข Do Good, “A blog for people who want to make the world a better place AND have fun!” Now there is a cool name – Britt Bravo.

Britt Bravo is a writer specializing in stories about individuals and organizations who are creating social change. She writes for blogs, produces podcasts and teaches women to blog and podcast. Britt writes for Have Fun * Do Good, BlogHer, WorldChanging San Francisco, and NetSquared. She also produces the Big Vision Podcast and the NetSquared Podcast. Using her 15 years of experience working with nonprofits, socially responsible businesses, and artists, Britt provides consulting for nonprofits and individuals to help them realize their Big Vision. To learn more about Britt go to her web site, Big Vision Career and Project Consulting, at

Her latest post is Have Fun โ€ข Do Good: 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs and Bloggers to Support Their Cause. A good post and one we should all check out for ideas. Continue reading

Parents React To Media Coverage of Disabled Child’s Controversial Treatment via Blog

For all the other big “new media” stories that have hit the blogosphere over the years, aside from politics and the Iraq war, I believe this may well be the biggest story peaking the interest of most people and spurring them to online discussions.

The blog by the parents has received 1,477 comments and the MSN message boards have 1,955 messages by 860 authors.

Will this eclipse the Terri Schiavo story, at least with regard to online social media discussion? Perhaps that’s not a fair comparison as the Schiavo story was a political story, after all. And, the Republicans no longer control Congress.

Ashley’s story has particularly galvanized the disability community. The reason for all of this may simply be because more media outlets have adopted social media tools on their Web sites. We’ll see.

For the past week, I’ve seen references to this story on TV and in the newspapers.

The parents have been overwhelmed by media attention. They started a blog to answer questions. So far, the one post has received 1477 comments. They are essentially handling crisis management through their blog. The post contains this statement to the media in that MSN blog. It actually comes off looking sort of like a social media news release.

(Note to members of the media and our web visitors: We are getting more emails and requests than we can possibly handle– more than 1500 in the 48 hrs since the LA Times story broke out. We want to attend to our lives and our kids as we should. This web site received more than a million hits and about 1000 comments were added in those 48 hrs! We truly appreciate the overwhelming support and the thoughtful comments we’ve been getting. Rest assured that we will read every one of your comments and they might be used in the future to help other families through a similar decision process.)

The long post in the blog features a key talking points list from the parent’s side of the controversy.

  1. Ashley is doing well, healthy, happy, and lovingly cared for.
  2. The “Ashley Treatment” is intended to improve our daughter’s quality of life and not to convenience her caregivers.
  3. Providing our daughter with this treatment was an easy decision since the benefits by far outweigh the risk and short term discomfort associated with the surgery.
  4. We wrote the article and published this web site to inform and help other families of “Pillow Angels” who might benefit from our experience.
  5. With the overwhelming thoughtful support that we are receiving (90%+ of the comments and emails) we feel better than ever about what we did for Ashley, and we certainly do not feel defensive about it.
  6. Please make sure to read the five emphasized paragraphs in the first two sections below, since they convey the essence of Ashley’s story.
Ashley’s parents say the effort is a more humane solution for the girl who has an irreversible brain impairment called static encephalopathy.

Fox News had a pro/con debate on The Big Story. It is a called “Frozen in Time.” (Don’t know how long that link will stay active.) I know. It is Fox. But, the debate does show both sides of the issue.
Click the image below for a larger version. The parents have actually created a media release statement for the photos in their blog, too.

Ashley In Her Wheelchair 2006More about the blog: The parents have actually posted a quite lengthy explanation of their side of the story in their blog. It is located at MSN Spaces in the blog The “Ashley Treatment”, Towards a Better Quality of Life for “Pillow Angels”.

There is much more out there in the way of coverage. See Parents defend treatment to keep girl child-sized from (Canada). Also, here is the link to 276 different stories in Google News.

Let’s face it. This is a difficult story to address. I am willing to guess that – at Camp ASCCA, for instance – we would have staff, counselors, parents and campers with wildly differing views on the actions taken by the parents and doctors. Also, as medical science goes forward, these controversial treatments are likely to become more common. Continue reading

How To Cover A Hanging :: Poynter Online

Update: Poynter has more resources. Al Tompkins’ Morning Meeting column. Pat Walters offers up analysis of coverage in Saturday Update: Coverage of the Execution and its Aftermath. Poynter truly does a great job of providing resources for journalists. Better than any other site, I believe.

Macabre, I know. But, let’s face it … Saddam Hussein is about to be executed and the issue for journalists – editors/producers and publishers/broadcasters – is very real. Also, we just don’t see headlines like that these days.

…this event has the potential to cause many things from intensifying the violence to serving as a denouement…

Yet, Poynter Online has the story covered… quite well, actually. Read How to Handle the Hanging: Covering the Saddam Hussein Execution.

My guess is that the denouement aspect won’t play out. It will likely heighten tensions and violence. But, how should it be covered?

Just a few of the issues to consider:

  • The hanging is supposedly being videotaped. If the videotape is leaked, would you air it?
  • Absent the video, would you air/publish a still photo of the hanging?
  • Does a resolution to the Saddam saga require publication of a photo/video of him providing proof of his death?
  • Are there Muslim religious considerations? Will broadcast or publication cause uprisings elsewhere in the world?
  • The hanging may occur within hours or days. No one knows when. From the government’s point of view, should it be planned as an end to this year and the beginning of a new era, or should it just happen within the required 30 day period.

There is so much more. This has the potential of being one of the most important stories of 2007. It could drive political and social action. It could just be another day. Who knows what will happen in the world after it occurs. But, it is essentially the final act of what this war was (supposed to be) all about … the removal of Saddam Hussein. Update: CNN is reporting that the execution will occur this evening at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time. After briefly looking at the three cable networks, CNN and Fox are doing wall to wall analysis/news and MSNBC is letting Keith Olbermann’s show proceed as usual. It appears to be a “Best of…” year-end show. Oh, brother.

So, go read what the many people at Poynter Online have to say. The people they’ve pulled together for the article are: Pat Walters, Naughton Fellow and many other contributors: Bill Mitchell, Howard Finberg, Bob Steele, Roy Peter Clark, Jill Geisler, Keith Woods, Aly Colรณn, Scott Libin, Leann Frola.

If it were up to me, I’d publish/air one still photo. I would use many reaction photos from those in attendance, if available. Then, I’d have many, many interviews with Iraqi citizens and U.S. citizens. I would avoid the easy option of using political analysts and go solely with statements from top U.S., Iraqi and world political leaders and the citizen interviews. Particularly important among the citizen interviews will be parents of slain soldiers and survivors of 9/11. What do they think about this? Is this the resolution they hoped for post 9/11?