We women have a need to connect, and whether it is because of a hobby, or something more practical like helping people, or just to network with others in a similar stage of life, we tend to gravitate into groups to communicate. But it doesn’t have to be a physical group. More often than not, these bonds can be digital as well. Through blogs and Facebook, I’ve found a number of groups of women where I am very comfortable. Honestly, and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this, for most of us, it doesn’t take much, and it doesn’t take long to connect. It’s like we can sense a bit of the others’ soul through each other’s writing, though we’ve never met in the literal sense. Sometimes these “invisible” alliances are just about friendship and sharing stories, but sometimes, under the right circumstances these collaborations can have far reaching effects.
I live in Minnesota, smack dab in the middle of the country, but my son Jarrod goes to college on the east coast in the Washington DC area. About a year ago he met and started dating Mallory, who hails from Portland, Oregon. The two of them have been as inclusive as they can be in getting to know each other, and their families, considering the distances involved. We’ve found social media to be very helpful in this, as I have become Facebook friends with Mallory and because of that, with her mother, Taryn. Though we haven’t met yet, I liked her right away, and we seem to have a lot in common – besides our children.
A couple of months ago, I read a post by my friend Heather from Seattle, one of the bloggers in my circle of women, whom I have never met in person. She shared a plea from Ri-Len, a friend of hers who was looking for volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity Women Build project in Portland, Oregon. Having worked on Habitat projects before, I could relate to this cause, and because of my trust in Heather, who shared the story, even though I didn’t know Ri-Len, I felt a kinship, and wanted to help.
Luckily, through my new virtual relationship with Taryn, I had a connection in the Portland area, so I took a chance and shared the post with her. I didn’t get a response or any feedback, so I just assumed she was too busy or not interested….
This weekend, that assumption was blown sky high. I received a lovely private message from Taryn, wanting to thank me. It seems she and her other daughter had been looking for some kind of creative outlet that could also help others. The Women Build near them was perfect, but it was also something they would have never considered if I hadn’t brought it to their attention. She, her daughter, and some other women were on their way to work some practical magic in the form of painting the interior of a home built by women they had never met, that would soon belong to a woman and her daughter they also had never met.
It strikes me that this opportunity, set in motion by someone I probably wouldn’t know if I ran into her on the street, touched people on both coasts and in between, and traveled solely through channels of women’s trust, and the need to make a difference. The message communicated to similarly un-introduced women, ultimately ended in a collaboration that will provide shelter and safety to a mother and daughter, neither of which any of us will ever likely meet in person. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is!
Thanks to these otherwise unrelated total strangers, here is an example, on a small scale, of the supernatural power that happens when women lock arms and hearts, and trust our instincts – physically as well as virtually.
Have you ever made a virtual connection for the good of others?