When fire broke out in Black Forest, my heart broke. Not only did my children spend many weeks there in their youth attending youth camp at the lodge, but it has long been a favorite place to hang out and appreciate nature’s bounty. When homes began being constructed there after the camp closed several years ago, we drove through the neighborhoods a few times appreciating the elegance and grandeur homes there appeared to wear, adorned by tall pines. Then as friends took residence in some of those homes, we were blessed to visit their homes.
A broken heart…
Tears of sadness fell as each home succumbed to the flames in the Black Forest Fire. Moreso, because I was unable to do anything to help anyone. If only I could help, just one person… Just one, I would in a heartbeat. I offered a few friends refuge in our home, though each had someplace else to go, our home was available. The long drive kept a few from accepting, even though their home was gone, their jobs in Colorado Springs still existed.
When I noticed posts showing up on facebook, I realized I could help, by reposting about pets, lost animals, missing treasures, and other tiny details that might slip past if only one or two posted. Thursday morning when a post requesting feed for horses taken in by the horse rescue operation came across my homepage, I reposted it, not realizing that I would soon be sinking in the mire of desperately seeking a solution.
As I tentatively worked on a client’s web page, I noticed more and more posts, recognized names and realized that I could probably help most by reposting, and being the CONNECTION between those who could help, those who had what was needed, and those posting the needs. John Anderson, a high ranking police officer in Castle Rock posted that they needed feed at one of the sites where horses were being brought for safe keeping until they were reunited with their owners, I realized I could not only repost that, but I might know someone, somewhere who could offer feed, or transportation for feed. I started making phone calls. Still on the computer working, glancing at facebook whenever it “dinged” at me, and continuing my chores for the day, I called numbers on my phone and numbers I had to look up. I brainstormed for names with friends and one business associate, Susan Lusher, offered horse panels. I kept brainstorming more solutions (I have two amazing little brainstormers who live with me – I call them my ‘boys’ – though they’re both grown). When another friend mentioned hay from my hometown area, I knew we were on the right track. I reposted and said, “We need transportation.”
Yet another friend called my number. I missed the call. We played phone tag through three calls and finally, Randy Lewis connected with me. He had trucks. He had drivers. We just had to coordinate. It took the better part of three hours to coordinate times, drivers, hay, locations and numbers… Working through other people we connected, using Whitepages.com and other search engines, I located a few other people who could help connect drivers and hay growers in my hometown area.
Eric Ellenburger donated hay – many big bails – and helped to coordinate the pick up, loading process and first level connections. Then brothers (friends of Eric’s and mine) Brian and Douglas West, were the next connections. Randy Lewis took it from there and connected with driver/trucking company Jana Wiemer, to dispatch a flatbed hay truck, to haul the hay to the Iron Horse at Larkspur, where it will be delivered to John Anderson’s crew and distributed via Brian and Douglas West, and many others – to various other points where hay is needed to feed horses throughout the safe sites along the front range, until owners find and are able to claim their livestock.
I’m not a hero…
I’m a Social Media Marketer who understands the means and methods of getting a message around the networks online, and uses the tools at my disposal to put those messages in the right hands. Whether I’m texting on my phone, giving someone a jingle or private messaging on facebook, hashtagging on twitter or posting on Facebook, connections from my hometown, political associates and networking junkies all come together to find the solution. The solution in this case is feed for the animal.
Thank you so much to those who allowed me to have one small insignificant part in this process of bringing the right people and the right tools together to make this happen!