The thing I love most about my job is that every day, I get to read stories about people doing great things with technology – making a difference in the lives of friends, families, and even strangers. These stories make me smile, encourage me to think about my own interactions, and sometimes make me cry. (My coworkers will be the first to tell you I have teared up a time or two at my desk, typically over stories involving social media and pets.)
This Valentine’s Day, I want to share with you the love and goodness I have the pleasure of reading about daily. So, here are 14 stories of people all over the country using technology to change the lives of those around them:
1. Returning vacation photos.
Vacationers made a YouTube video to locate the woman whose camera memory card they found. And, after 35,000 views they were able to return her those lost memories.
2. Students donate.
These students came together and collected over 300 used cell phones to donate to a family shelter in their area.
3. Woman and her dog reunite.
After five years a woman got a call about her lost dog. When she didn’t have the money to travel the 1,000 miles to pick him up, friends and neighbors started a Facebook page to help find volunteers to shuttle the dog from Georgia to Kansas.
4. Crowdsourcing cats.
Nurses at a Seattle hospital made a teen patient’s day after they sourced thousands of pictures of her favorite animal – a cat – on social media. They then built a makeshift tent to project the pictures that were submitted, putting a huge smile on the sick girl’s face.
5. A boy and his lamb.
A woman took to Twitter to help a little boy who lost his favorite stuffed toy. While it was never found, the hundreds of Tweets from strangers helped convince the company that made his cherished lamb to send two new ones.
6. Texting for a hospital.
These teens used their texting skills to try and raise $10,000 for a local hospital.
7. Classmates rallying.
When a boy was picked-on after losing a soccer game, his classmates stood in solidarity with him – changing their Facebook profile pictures and posting compliments about him. The next soccer season, he was the school’s star goalie.
8. Recharging after disaster.
After Hurricane Sandy, these people created a cell phone charging station for those still without power.
9. Lost hat goes viral.
A young girl lost her late mother’s hat – an accessory she wore every day – and caught the attention of Facebook. Her post was shared over 150,000 times as the Internet desperately searched to return it to her.
10. Making a fan’s day.
After his young son had a liver transplant, this dad looked online for support. And boy, did the Internet respond!
11. Fundraising with an Internet Café.
This eleven-year-old opened up a pop-up Internet Café and charging station to raise money for the Red Cross.
12. Smiles and sentiments from strangers.
A nephew shared his terminally ill uncle’s story on Reddit. What followed was an outpouring of support in the form of letters, gifts, and love.
13. Tweeting compliments.
These teens wanted to stop bullying at their school. So, they created a Twitter account to compliment their classmates and teachers. The account has taken off and now has over 5,000 followers.
14. Pledging to do good.
On Safer Internet Day, people pledged to use their online power for good. See some of the commitments that were made and make your own pledge.