The reason I am sharing our story is because I have seen the power of the internet to do good - I have seen how sharing a story can encourage people to donate their time and money to incredible causes. I have seen true kindness.
I had never been a huge fan of social media before I was pregnant - I had a facebook page and an occasional dalliance with twitter. Following Erin's death I was reluctant to return to my twitter page - my last tweet was one expressing excitement at my maternity leave which was about to start. That tweet reminded me of the hope and joy that I had once felt. Then, in the early hours of one morning, when I was feeling incredibly sad, I decided that I wanted to try and do something to help the people who had provided us with such comfort and support over the previous month. I set up a justgiving page to raise money for Ronald McDonald House, with a target amount of £500. I felt a bit silly, thinking this was optimistic, but decided it was worth a try.
I logged onto twitter and decided I would see whether anyone would retweet my page - the first person I chose was Andrew Flintoff. About 5 minutes later, to my great shock and surprise, I received an email notification - Andrew Flintoff had retweeted my tweet! Suddenly I had more followers and more retweets - a donation of £5 was made on my justgiving page. I was amazed and for the first time following Erin's death, I had hope!
It was just the beginning - in less than 6 weeks the justgiving page has raised over £5000. I now have over 1400 followers on twitter and my tweet has been retweeted by celebrities such as Lilly Allen, Danni Minogue, Gary Neville and Jo Whiley. More than that, I have had the great honour of meeting some truly incredible people who inspire and amaze me. I have met parents of sick children who are using twitter to raise funds and understanding; I have met brave people who are battling their own illnesses and tweeting to raise awareness and I have met other people like me - bereaved parents trying desperately to keep the memory of their precious child alive. I am moved by the kindness shown to me by complete strangers on twitter on a daily basis and am so grateful for the support I have been shown.
Twitter has allowed me to show off my beautiful girl to literally thousands of people. It has allowed me to raise money for a cause that is incredibly close to my heart and who help hundreds of families every single day. It has introduced me to people who have experienced similar loss and devastation to that which I have experienced. It has introduced me to friends.
I have met so many lovely people on twitter, that it seems a shame to single any people out. However, I do want to acknowledge two people who have shown incredible kindness to me and taken specific actions to support my fundraising.
One lovely tweeter - @dottiedesigns - has kindly donated 10% of the proceeds from the sale of her beautiful christening book to Ronald McDonald House. You can see the item here http://t.co/SwmXPbP4 and find out more about her at her blog http://dottiedesigns.blogspot.com/
Another kind tweeter - @LittleDoers - has generously agreed to help design a logo for Erin's Gift that we can use on our fundraising endeavours. This is fantastic as, even though I can see in my head how I want the logo to look, transferring that onto paper is near on impossible for me. You can see what she does here www.littledoers.com
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped me on twitter - there are so many of you. I hope I never become complacent about the support I receive, because it truly amazes me and has enabled me to take Erin's Gift further than I ever imagined......and it is still only the beginning!
|It is all for you - beautiful Erin xxx|
"Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever" Margaret Cho